By Alex Warner
In today's biggest WTF news, tanning gummy bears now exist, and yes, they are exactly what you think they are. Except, you know, not actually candy, not actually that healthy, and not actually effective. Whoops.
Utan & Tone's Tan Gummies claim to be the first "edible tan supplement" that can "help to accelerate and enhance the perfect bronze tone to pale skins, with and without the sun," according to their website.
If you're wondering how, exactly, this little chewy bear gives you a "better" tan—which, FYI, is an oxymoron, because all sun-induced tans are dangerous and bad—the website claims that the ingredients in the gummy bears "allow potent actives to be held in the buccal cavity for a considerable time, resulting in 'direct absorption' through the membranes in the cheek walls." Uh, okay.
A quick glance at the ingredients list shows no insane-looking chemicals—just a bunch of sugar, vitamins C and A, and amino acids. In fact, the gummies seem like a pretty generic, harmless vitamin. But apparently, the "tan" magic comes from its high dose of beta-carotene, or, vitamin A.
"Ingesting high levels of beta-carotene may discolor the skin, as we see in people who eat a lot of carrots," said dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Unfortunately, the color your skin turns is actually a yellow shade, not a tan shade."
And it all makes sense, too—you can't "brown" your skin from the inside, because exposure to UV light (a.k.a the sun), along with certain hormones, is what causes skin to tan. So ingesting beta-carotene won't give you the same bronzed, just-spent-all-day-tanning-despite-skin-cancer-risks glow.
Bottom line: These tan-friendly gummy bears are nothing more than a sallow-maker in disguise. Or, at best, a multivitamin. Luckily, it's still possible to get a safe, realistic glow, without looking like Big Bird or a carrot, by delving into the magical world of sunless tanners (don't worry—today's formulas won't leave you looking orange anymore).
No matter what, even if you choose to try these gummies, just make sure you're slathering on sunscreen every single morning (as we've been again reminded by Caitlyn Jenner, who just had skin cancer removed from her nose this week). A subtle tan is not worth the skin cancer risk, okay?
Every Single Fenty Beauty Product is 25% Off Right Now At Sephora
Rihanna wants you to look good this holiday season!
By Julia Marzovilla •
Found: The 17 Best Cropped Cardigans of 2021
The coziest solution to your wardrobe limbo.
By Shelby Comroe •
Everlywell's At-Home Allergy Test Kits Are 40% Off
The testing company is offering big savings on some of their most popular kits.
By The Editors •
At-Home Dermaplaning: An Esthetician's Guide
Shaving your face for better skin? Yes, really. Here's how to pull it off.
By Chelsea Hall •
The 30 Best Face Oils For Every Single Skin Type
Yes, even you and your acne-prone skin can use face oil.
By Chloe Metzger •
25 Lip Balms That'll Save Your Dry, Chapped Lips
By Taylore Glynn •
The 21 Best Glitter Nail Polishes for Adults
Because we'll never grow up.
By Taylore Glynn •
How to Wear Eye Makeup Underneath Glasses, According to Experts
And why you should avoid a smokey eye.
By Tatjana Freund •
14 Creams for Eczema on Your Face That Nourish and Soothe
...and they're all available at the drugstore.
By Jenny Hollander •
How to Use a Jade Roller, and Why You Should Be
You spin me right round, baby, right round.
By Maya Allen •
Microneedling at Home: How to Do It Safely
Done right, it can reduce fine lines, age spots, and acne scarring.
By Alexis Gaskin •