You can’t fail to have noticed that the UK has been basking in some seriously hot weather of late. But as the temperature heats up, so too does our obsession with getting a top tan. Problem is some people are using a worrying new tanning hack, which involves smothering your skin in Coca Cola. No jokes.
The bizarre trend, which originally started gaining traction in the UK last year, involves swapping the SPF for a bottle of the sweet stuff in the hope that cola will act as a tan enhancer.
Not only do folks hope that Coke’s caramel colour will give their skin a bronzed glow, they also believe slathering their bodies in the fizzy drink will accelerate the tanning process.
But that’s despite the fact that there is zero scientific evidence to support the claims. What’s more experts are warning that the bizarre beauty trend could actually be dangerous, claiming that since Coca Cola is full of acid it can actually exfoliate dead skin cells and leave your skin more susceptible to burning.
“I definitely do not recommend using Coca Cola as a tan enhancer,” warns consultant dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong.
“Coca Cola contains no UV protective effects and due to its acidic nature, can render your skin even more vulnerable to burning from sun exposure.”
Instead Dr Wong recommends people adhere to skin care advice and protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
“The public health message really should be focussing on protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation and reducing risks of potentially lethal skin cancer, not promoting it,” she continues. “A tan results from your skin’s pigment cells creating more melanin to absorb the UV radiation it is exposed to in order to minimise damage – it is effectively your skin’s cry for help!”
According to the Independent even Coca Cola themselves have addressed the trend by responding to the tanning claims in it’s official FAQ section.
“As much as we love Coca Cola, we really wouldn’t recommend using it as a sunscreen,” they write.
“There is no sun protection factor in it at all — it’s a drink!”
So, to conclude: please don’t use Coca Cola as a self-tan. Not only will you end up a hot, sticky mess, you’ll also likely risk getting sunburnt and leave your skin open to skin damage.
Instead slap on the SPF and get your golden glow from a bottle – of fake tan, not a fizzy drink!