Tanning With Carrot Oil

Vitamin E in carrot oil may reduce the harmful effects of UV-B rays.
Vitamin E in carrot oil may reduce the harmful effects of UV-B rays. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Carrot oil is used to achieve a safer and deeper tan. Carrot oil contains high levels of carotenoids, organic pigments with powerful antioxidant qualities. Antioxidants help protect skin cells from the damaging effects of environmental free-radicals, such as those created by the sun’s UV rays. Studies indicate that one type of carotenoid -- beta-carotene -- is effective at defending against skin photodamage, though more research into its beneficial effects is needed, according to a 2001 review published in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Carrot oil doesn’t offer sun protection, so it must be used in conjunction with a sunscreen to avoid burning.

Massage carrot oil into moist skin after showering for up to seven days before sun exposure.

Massage carrot oil into moist skin each morning before sun exposure.

Apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 (higher if you have pale, easily burned skin) on top of the carrot oil.

Reapply sunscreen every two hours during sun exposure, and immediately after swimming.

Massage carrot oil all over the body every evening after sun exposure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once opened, store carrot oil away from direct sunshine and heat sources.
  • To avoid having to apply two separate products, look for high SPF, broad-spectrum sunscreen products formulated with carrot oil.
  • For safe tanning, the National Institutes of Health advises wearing protective clothing, staying in the shade and reapplying a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every two hours when out in the sun and after swimming. Avoid sunbathing between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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