Updated: Feb 22, 2018
There's so much debate in the world of spray tanning regarding the marketing and the use word "organic". Kylie Rumball, a Sunless Tanning expert from SunFX, explains the misconception and clarifies what consumers and artists should seek when looking for the healthiest and most natural type of sunless tanning solution.
"In reality, natural products aren’t necessarily organic [...] In the US for example, products that don’t carry a USDA Organic Seal only need to contain 70% organic ingredients in order to advertise themselves as an organic product. The remaining 30% of ingredients don’t even need to be natural – so they may consist of nearly a third synthetic materials".
In virtually every TV ad break, you’ll probably hear the words ”organic”and “natural” used to sell a wide variety of different products. These adjectives are often applied to products to make them appear healthier – including foods of questionable nutritional value like high-calorie cereal bars or soft drinks. The unfortunate result is that many people now confuse the terms “organic”and “natural” for each other.
In reality, natural products aren’t necessarily organic, and even products advertised as organic could contain a significant amount of unnatural ingredients. In the US for example, products that don’t carry a USDA Organic Seal only need to contain 70% organic ingredients in order to advertise themselves as an organic product. The remaining 30% of ingredients don’t even need to be natural – so they may consist of nearly a third synthetic materials. And thanks to confusing regulations in other territories, many products advertised as “organic” could be stretching the truth when it comes to some of their “organic” ingredients.
So what’s the story with organic spray tans? Does this mean spray tans that claim to be organic may not actually be organic at all?
FORGET ORGANIC. THINK NATURAL.
While many spray tan products carry the words “organic” or “organically certified” on their packaging, in reality, there’s no such thing. And it’s not a case of those companies intentionally misleading their customers. Instead, the issue stems from a general lack of clarity as to what ingredients can reasonably be called organic.
A great example of this is dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – a common active ingredient in many spray tanning products. DHA is manufactured from natural sources including – but not limited to – sugar beet and rapeseed. And while many spray tan producers consider this naturally-based DHA to be an organic ingredient, others do not.
While Sunfx uses certified DHA derived from all-natural sources, we felt it was misleading to accurately list this active ingredient as organic. And even though the Australian Organic Standard requires only 95% of a product’s ingredients to be organic, we believe anything less than 100% is again misleading.
What should I look for instead of “organic” spray tans?
Rather than relying on “organic” labels, certification, or advertising claims, you should instead look for tanning products that are free from unnatural ingredients like:
● Alcohol ● Artificial perfumes ● Parabens ● Mineral oil ● Artificial preservatives
Not only will this ensure your glow is as close to organic as possible, you’ll also avoid unwanted side-effects and unnecessary harm to the environment caused by chemicals in many spray tan products.