Aura Blog

This blog is a place where you can get the best information about spray tanning and also about tanning in general, focussing on med- ical research, industry developments, spraying technology, and own market research results.

Is Sunbathing more dangerous than driving a car #BuckleUpSkinSafety

Posted on Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Is Sunbathing more dangerous than driving a car #BuckleUpSkinSafety

A recent study by JAMA Dermatology finds that globally more than 419,000 new skin cancer cases can be attributed to indoor tanning each year, which is 15% higher than the cases of lung cancers attributable to smoking. These results are not surprising according to the US Skin Cancer Foundation and are discussed intensively in social media.

While a comparison in general is certainly helpful to explain the potency of a risk that affects us in a gradual, obscure and in a seemingly un-noticeable manner like that of skin cancer; the physical visibility of the risk of smoking that it has been compared with, is very vague and unnoticeable in itself. Therefore we feel a better approach might be to compare skin cancer risks in general, of which greater than 90% of cases are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, but with something all of us do on a daily basis: For example driving a car. The idea is to bring forth a negligent attitude we have towards the skin cancer, by use of a comparison that we can immediately relate to and understand.

Not all skin cancer types required to be notified to authorities

Hence we have compiled a table which compares the latest available annual number of fatalities due to road accidents and due to skin cancer. Although we have researched the corresponding values very carefully, two limitations apply. Firstly, several national statistic authorities report only the melanomastatistics, thus excluding other skin cancer types such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma, which are not required to be notified to authorities. This means that in fact the skin cancer figures for several countries should be higher than stated in the table below. Secondly, some statistic bureaus do not publish reports annually. So you will find countries where we have compared data from different years. But given that this is the first such comparison of its kind to best of our knowledge, we feel that these uncertainties should not affect the gravity of the argument we want to contribute to the discussion.

Cited from national statistics bureaus and traffic authorities

For ease of use, the sources are linked to the individual numbers. We have cited from publications of national statistics bureaus and traffic authorities for imparting more authenticity to our analysis, if you have better or additional sources, please leave a comment.

Comparative risk of UV-Exposure for selected western countries
Country Annual road traffic deaths (latest year) Annual skin cancer deaths (latest year)* Registration of all skin cancer types Likelihood of dying of skin cancer compared to traffic accidents
Australia 1,193
yes +71%
Austria 455
no -12%
Canada 2,077
no -51%
France 3,250
no -14%
Germany 3,339
yes +7%
Ireland 162
yes +40%
New Zealand 290
no +12%
Portugal 937
no -72%
Spain 1,128
yes +35%
Switzerland 269
(average 2007-2011)
no +12%
UK 1,173
no +25%
USA 33,561
no -62%

Numbers speak for themselves

In the table above, we see that in Australia, that skin cancer deaths at 2,036 are alarmingly 71% higher than road traffic deaths. We notice that this is true for most of the other countries we looked at. Also worth mentioning is the fact that in many countries the deaths caused by melanoma and non-melanoma are not required to be notified. Consequently, countries that have an incomplete register, understate the risk of natural and artificial UV-exposure. This observation calls for an introspection and change of attitudes on how to deal with skin cancer deaths.

Regardless the exact ratio, it is evident that skin cancer is a very relevant cause of death. If you reflect at the mere numbers, you feel that when compared to traffic safety, skin safety is treated absolutely disproportionally in our daily lives. Just think about how often you remind your friends, colleagues and loved ones to buckle up! Would you really ask them with similar insistence to protect their skin?

Is tanning only a woman’s pleasure?

Posted on Wednesday, 25 March 2015

It seems women are not the only ones who like to achieve a sun kissed glow. AURA recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 beauty salons within the UK which revealed that over the past five years, beauticians have noticed a significant increase in male clientele, mostly due to the increased popularity of tanning amongst Britain’s men. This has led to four out of five of those surveyed hiring on average up to five additional employees over the past five years to cope with demand.

Some 84 per cent of the salons that responded stated that they had seen an increase in business of up to 80 per cent, as men can now benefit from tailored tanning services much to their delight.

As we continue to innovate with new spraying solutions, we are confident that this can only be good news for the industry. Much has been reported recently about the dangers of sun bed damage so a spray tan is a healthier, safer option, as long as users are aware of the following things: a spray tan does not provide protection against sunburn, SPF cream needs to be used in conjunction with this; tanned skin is a sign of your cells being damaged following UV ray exposure; excessive sunbed use is unhealthy.

At the end of the (sunny) day, opting for a spray tan to achieve a sun kissed glow is a more sensible option. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy all the benefits of having a bronzed look whilst avoiding the dangers of its alternatives? #Fakeitdontbakeit

Top authorities confirm spray tanning is safe

Posted on Thursday, 19 February 2015

When an outdated technology is replaced by a new one, there is generally a period of uncertainty. This uncertainty arises when we compare the advantages and disadvantages of the technologies, research the benefits and seek answers. Debates on data protection regarding Facebook, or consumer rights with budget airlines are just two examples. This is no different in the case of spray tanning. In numerous articles (e.g. Boston Magazine, Advocate Health Care and Marina Hunley’s Blog “Happily ever after”), health aspects of spray tanning are discussed, for example whether the active ingredient DHA (dihydroxyacetone) in the tanning lotion is hazardous or not. The answers are for the most part incorrect or incomplete.

The US Skin Cancer Foundation has published a very interesting article on this. They say that use of the colouring agent DHA on the skin is a “safe, effective alternative to UV tanning”. The highest U.S. American health authority also classifies DHA as safe and allows “DHA to be externally applied for skin coloring”. At the same time, however, the FDA points out that inhalation of DHA should be avoided because it has not yet researched any risks which it may involve.

The health experts of the EU committee are one step ahead here. They have measured both the concentration of DHA in air and the quantity inhaled during a spray tan treatment and have given it the all-clear: “The use of DHA as spray tan ingredient does not pose any risk to the health of the consumer.” Going by the general accepted opinion among the discerning communities, we feel it is just the matter of time, before FDA too will adopt the same position.