Beer Tanning: The TikTok Trend You Should Not Try at Home


| LAST UPDATE 07/27/2023

By Alyssa Williams
beer tanning dangerous trend

There's one sizzling summer trend that's got TikTokers buzzing - but not in a good way. You know how we all dig that sun-kissed glow during beach season? Well, some folks are going to extremes to get it, and we're here to tell you: Don't try this at home!

Say hello to "Beer Tanning." Yep, you read that right. This latest viral beauty hack involves slathering your skin with beer before soaking up some rays. The idea is that the hops in beer can boost melanin - that's the stuff that gives your skin, hair, and eyes their color - and help you score a deeper, more even tan. Sounds cool, right? Not so fast. Health pros are waving the red flag on this one, slotting it right alongside other dodgy TikTok trends like DIY lip filling and at-home tooth filing (yikes!).

TikTok beer tanning hack
Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels
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Dr. Geeta Yadav, a top-notch dermatologist from Toronto, acknowledges that a study found a compound in hops could ramp up melanin production in human skin cells. But hold up - before you start bathing in Budweiser, keep in mind that this was in melanoma cells. And melanoma, friends, is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Meanwhile, Dr. Dustin Portela, another skincare guru who's big on TikTok, is urging us to put down the booze, stat. He warns that anything that speeds up tanning equals more skin damage and a higher risk of skin cancer. His advice for beach days? Sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen. Not a drop of alcohol in sight.

According to Dr. Portela, rubbing alcohol on your skin can strip away natural oils and moisture, leaving it dry and more susceptible to sun damage. Plus, beer on the skin can cause irritation and allergic reactions. And if your brewski has added flavoring, you might end up with a nasty condition called phytophotodermatitis, which is super painful and can take weeks to heal. Both Dr. Yadav and Dr. Portela recommend sticking to self-tanner or spray tans, which don't expose your skin to harmful UV rays. An added perk? Ditching the beer means you won't smell like a frat house party the morning after! So, trendsetters, let's keep it safe and stylish this summer, okay?

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