People Are Using Coca-Cola To Tan In A Dangerous New Trend

Allure reports that a disturbing trend of slathering the skin with soda has health officials worried.


Nov. 18 2019, Updated 2:14 p.m. ET


It's summer, and you want to work on your tan. You also want to cover yourself in a fine sheen of sticky liquid. There's a perfect way to do both: Coca-Cola.

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Allure reports that a disturbing trend of slathering the skin with soda has health officials worried. Tanning in general isn't safe—the sun is constantly trying to kill us, and only our thinning ozone layer is doing anything to stop it. You should wear sunscreen! And if you want a summer glow, you can buy it in a bottle. Not a Coca-Cola bottle, but a spay tan bottle!

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"Well, theoretically, " you may be asking, despite my warnings, "How does this Coca-Cola thing work?" theory, Coca-Cola, and other sodas like it, contain caramel dye, to give it a brown tone. Despite rumors, Coca-Cola isn't naturally green, at least according to Snopes. But the dye makes it look extra tasty, I guess. Unfortunately, if you do defy my advice to protect your skin from the damaging sun and go down this dark path, you may not end up with the tasty soda caramel look you're going for. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City told Allure that putting random chemicals on your skin is actually bad.

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"While some feel that Coca-Cola can speed up your tan, it actually can be dangerous, and I recommend staying away from it," said Zeichner. "Applying it to the skin may lead to a temporary darkening or staining of the skin, but because sodas are acidic, it may exfoliate dead cells, enhancing the ability of UV light penetrate into the skin. Ultimately, this may increase your risk of a sun burn."

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In other words, don't mess with the fizz. It's not worth it.

However, if you're determined to use Coca-Cola in your beauty regimen, people also apparently use it for hair stuff?! It produces a "beachy look."

Hopefully you don't attract a lot of bees when you step outside...

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