Cosmetic products have a date of expiration for a reason; certain ingredients within cosmetic and beauty products can have serious side effects when used past the expiration date. If you notice a change in color, texture, or smell – throw away that product and avoid using it any longer. What exactly happens to fake tanners when they expire, and why do they sometimes go green?
Oxidation is the main reason for why certain types of fake tan go green, once they have passed the expiration date. During oxidation, the DHA within the product is broken down, causing a green color to emerge. To avoid this, make sure to properly store tanning products in cool, dark locations.
Fake tan may not appear green in the bottle or container, but may turn green when applied on the skin. This is why it’s of utmost importance to check the expiration date; you could turn your tan skin green without realizing the product has been oxidized.
Why Tan Turns Green
If you use a tanning product correctly, according to package instructions, you should encounter no problems. When storing tanning products, keep them away from sunlight, since constant contact can result in a change within the composition of the product.
However, there are some products with a green undertone added, in order to create an olive based tan. This is typical of tans such as Bondi Sands, and the green tint washes off once the colour has developed.
When applying ‘green’ spray tan, there are usually two problem areas; either the green color will appear after application, all over the area, or it will only turn green in certain parts, commonly the armpit, face, and other small areas. Each happens for a different reason, due to different causes.
Green All Over
If after the tan is applied, the whole body becomes green – this is usually due to problems within the formula that are caused by direct contact with sunlight. Tanning products should develop no problems if stored inside a cabinet or bathroom shelf – however, if they are kept out in the open, such as on the bathroom counter near a window, problems could arise. This is a result of oxidation, meaning oxygen has penetrated the formula, and will ruin the result of your tan. If this occurs, wash off the product immediately after noticing with water and soap.
Green in Specific Areas
If a tanning product turns green in specific areas, it is probably not due to oxidation, but instead because of other products applied on the skin. A common problematic area is the armpit area, since certain deodorants do not combine well with tanning products, and may result in a green hue. This can also occur with colognes, perfumes, and body creams. Before applying any kind of tanning product, it is extremely important to completely clean your body and make sure no other products are applied beforehand.
Factors To Consider
There are certain external factors to consider, that may cause tanning products to expire quicker, have certain side effects, and turn green. Before purchasing and applying any kind of tanning product, make sure to read the ingredients label – the cleaner, and the more organic the ingredients, the better the products tend to be and the healthier and safer on the skin. Many of the extra ingredients such as harmful chemicals and preservatives can make tanning products turn green easier and quicker.
Higher quality tanning products are suggested, even if they may cost more. Tanning products are applied all over the body, directly onto the skin. You want to make sure you are applying a product that will not come off, that will maintain a natural looking golden hue, and that will not turn green easily. The Beauty By Earth Self Tanner is a great suggestion and is made of all clean ingredients.
To avoid any unpleasant experiences, and having to remove the product with no tanning effect, check the expiration date always before applying. If a product ends up turning green anyway, quickly hop in the shower and rub it off completely to avoid any longer term effects.