Tanning with Baby Oil: All You Need to Know

UVA radiation is no joke and one way of dealing with it (other than staying away from the sun) is to tan. There are a lot of things that people use to tan and one of the most popular items is baby oil.

Baby oil is very effective when it comes to tanning but is it safe? Read on to find out.

Can You Safely Tan With Baby Oil?

No, you cannot tan safely with baby oil. Yes, you get a deeper tan quickly using baby oil, but it’s not safe as it offers no protection against the harmful UV rays.

Tanning is not as simple as it seems because one has to consider other things apart from getting a deeper tan quicker. For those looking for immediate tanning results, baby oil is the perfect solution, but baby oil offers little if you are concerned about safety. Read on to find out more.

Tanning With Baby Oil

The reason why baby oil helps you tan more quickly is that it attracts and absorbs UV rays. Baby oil acts as a reflector allowing the rays to penetrate deeper into your skin, creating a deeper tan quickly.

There are two types of UV rays; namely, Ultraviolet A (UVA), associated with skin aging & has a longer wavelength, and Ultraviolet B (UVB), associated with skin burning and has a shorter wavelength.

Both UVA and UVB rays are harmful, and baby oil offers no protection against either of them. This is a serious issue for those who are health conscious. But from a tanning point of view, baby oil is fantastic as you will get a better result much faster.

The Benefits Of Using Baby Oil For Tanning

Here are some of the benefits of using baby oil for tanning.

It Gives You A Deep Tan

This is one of the reasons why people prefer using baby oil to tan. Compared to the other tanning options, baby oil gives a deeper and even tan quickly.

This is because it attracts and absorbs UV rays better than other alternatives. This means that you don’t have to sit for an extended period in the sun for you to get that perfect tan when using baby oil.

It Does Not Ruin Clothes

Tanning lotions come in different forms, and some might give your clothes ugly stains. Even though the stains might come out after washing, they are not easy to deal with. Baby oil, on the other hand, will not give you such a headache. 

It’s Hypo-Allergic

This is another major plus for baby oil as some people have sensitive skin. Baby oil is made by mixing mineral oil and moisturizers; hence it’s skin-friendly. This means that everyone can be able to use baby oil, even those with allergies.

Most tanning oils and lotions have chemicals and scents, making them bad for people with allergies as they can develop a skin rash and other skin issues when applied. You will not experience any of that from using baby oil.

It’s Not Sticky

The thickness of tanning oils and lotions varies, and you can find some that are very sticky. Applying such oils and lotions makes it a very uncomfortable experience. Those with sensitive skin can even develop skin irritation from using sticky tanning lotions and oils.

Baby oil, on the other hand, is very smooth. It soaks into your skin and ensures it stays moisturized for a long duration without irritating.

The Risks Of Using Baby Oil For Tanning

Even with all the amazing benefits discussed above, baby oil has some side effects you need to keep in mind when using it for tanning. Some of them include:

Increased Risk Of Skin Cancer

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, prolonged exposure to (UV) ultraviolet radiation is the primary risk factor when it comes to skin cancer. When your skin is exposed to UVA and UVB rays without any form of protection, the DNA in your skin cells becomes damaged.

This results in genetic defects, known as mutations, and can lead to skin cancer. Baby oil does not offer any form of protection against UV rays. It attracts them and allows them to penetrate deeper into your skin, increasing your risk of developing skin cancer.

Causes Skin Damage & Pigment Changes

Baby oil increases the exposure of harmful UV rays, leading to increased stimulation of pigment-producing cells, also known as melanocytes. Melanocytes are specialized skin cells that are found in the epidermis section of the skin.

These are the skin cells responsible for the production of melanin, which is the protective skin-darkening pigment. Therefore, over-stimulation of melanocytes by UV rays results in the darkening of moles, sun spots, and unevenness in pigment.

A Higher Chance Of Getting A Sunburn

Bay oil offers no protection against the UV rays, therefore increasing the risk of you getting sunburn. Sunburn can be easy to treat, but they expose you to other more severe complications such as eye damage, premature aging of your skin, and increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Some of the home remedies you can use for sunburns include staying hydrated, wearing the right clothes (UV-blocking sunglasses, long-sleeved pants & shirt, and a broad hat), using compresses, and applying gels or creams with aloe, menthol, and camphor.   

Causes Premature Ageing

No one wants to age faster. Increased UV rays exposure causes thinning of your skin, collagen breakdown, increased wrinkling, and sunspots.

Is It Okay To Wear Baby Oil Over Sunscreen When Tanning?

You might be tempted to mix baby oil with your favorite sunscreen to increase protection against the UV rays. However, this might work, but it’s not recommended as baby oil attracts a lot of UV rays and offers no form of protection against the harmful rays. It might therefore make the work of the sunscreen harder.

Baby oil and sunscreens are two different products; the former is made to keep the skin moisturized, while the latter is made to protect the skin against UV rays. You might get a good tan by mixing baby oil with sunscreen, but you can use other better and safer alternatives.

Safe Alternatives For A Perfect Tanned Skin

If you are one of those people who don’t like to gamble, here are safe and fantastic tanning alternatives you can try out.

1.         Spray Tans

Spray tanning is one of the best alternatives to baby oil. Spray tan machines are easy to use and are safe. You get a perfect tan with no UV exposure, and this means no endangering your health. Spray tans give you instant results, don’t leave you feeling messy or sticky, and they give you a chance to choose your shade.

If you are spraying the tan yourself, the only thing you have to do is to ensure that you don’t spray too much on one side.

Some of the best stray tans include:

Norvell Ultra Vivid Color Collection Sunless Tan Spray

This spray tan is 100% organic and works with your base skin tone to give you an elegant glow. Norvell tan spray utilizes micro-nutrient technology to deliver antioxidant and vitamin-filled tan.

When using this spray, you have to be keen as Norvell products have a short shelf-life. Also, watch the amount as applying too much solution makes the tan look unnatural.

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Mini Kit

St. Tropez self-tan spray kit gives you excellent tanning results from a single application. It usually takes about 4-8 hours for the tan to develop, but it lasts for days. This spray is also easy to apply, 100% clean, and vegan friendly.

2.         Fake Tans

Fake tans are products (lotions, creams) that give you a perfect tan without exposing yourself to harmful rays. Fake tans are safer than baby oil as you don’t have to expose yourself to the UV rays. They are also more convenient as you can apply them in the comfort of your home or anywhere you feel like.

There is also variety as you have many fake tan products you can choose from, you can decide to go with light, medium, or deep tan products.

Examples of fake tans you can use include:

Jergens Natural Glow

This cream is infused with coconut water and antioxidants, ensuring that you stay hydrated. Jergens Natural Glow is also fresh scented and creates a fantastic deep bronze tan.

Beauty by Earth Self Tanner

This product gives you an elegantly glowing tan without having to expose yourself to UV rays. Beauty by Earth Self Tanner is 100% vegan and is ideal for men, women, and children. It keeps you moisturized, and it’s good for those with sensitive skin.

3.         Tanning Towels

Tanning towels are becoming more popular by the day as they give a tan similar to what you get from the sun or tanning beds. These towels contain tanning lotions, so all you need is to rub yourself from head to toe, and you will get a bronzed glow in a few minutes. Tanning towels are a safer alternative to baby oil as you don’t have to expose yourself to UV rays.

Examples of tanning towels you can use include:

Tan Towel Self Tan Towelettes

These are some of the best tanning towels, and they give you a natural and healthy tan that only takes a few minutes to develop and lasts for hours. When using Tan Towels, you can rest assured of an even application with no mess.

L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Towelettes

These towels are easy to use and give you an even, natural-looking tan. They are packaged delicately and perfectly for travel, making them the best for use when you are on the go. It usually takes about 2-4 hours for the tan to develop.

4.         Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil has many health benefits, and it’s been used for tanning for a long time. But is it safer than baby oil? Yes, it is! Baby oil has no SPF, but a study found virgin coconut oil to have an SPF of around 8. This means that virgin coconut oil blocks about 20% of the harmful UV rays.

It might not have the same protective qualities as sunscreen, but virgin coconut oil is safer than baby oil. For the best results, you should consider mixing virgin coconut oil with broad-spectrum tanning lotion. This will give you a perfect tan and protection against UV rays.

Take Away

Baby oil will definitely give you a fantastic tan quickly. However, you should be very careful as there are many complications that can arise as a result of prolonged exposure to UV rays that baby oils give no protection against.

If you are only concerned with getting an ideal tan, you can consider other alternatives that don’t include being out in the sun or those that will assure the protection of your skin. Happy tanning, and stay safe!

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