A: You can use tanning pills, but you shouldn’t.
This answer comes straight from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and their article entitled Tanning Pills published on October 18th 2000. I’d like to think my answer is a little easier to read.
- Swallow massive amounts of canthaxanthin, an FDA approved food coloring.
- Canthaxanthin takes up residence throughout your body, including your skin.
- It changes your skin color as more and more builds up in your skin.
- Color varies from brownish to orange depending on the individual.
- Though FDA Approved for use as a food coloring you have to eat more than 24 times the recommended dose of canthaxanthin per day in order to get and maintain this ‘tan’
- Adverse effects have been reported, the scariest of which is retinopathy. Crystals form in the eye and effect your vision. Though the condition is reversible, it can take from 2-5 years to completely get your vision back.
- No UV protection. Canthaxanthin does nothing to increase skin melatonin levels. Normally I think no UV protection is a good thing since it forces you to wear sunscreen.In this case, it really depends on how the product is marketed.
- The FDA is going out of it’s way to say “Not Approved for This Use”
The Guru’s Opinion
Just say no. Do you really want to risk your vision for an easy tan? Why not just try sunless spray tan?