People are using Coca-Cola as tanning lotion and experts are worried

Experts are warning people to refrain from using brown cola as a tanning lotion. Getty Images

People wanting a fast tan are turning to the latest viral hack of rubbing Coca-Cola onto their skin – and it has skincare experts worried.

According to The Independent, people believe that the sugary beverage helps them tan faster and will use it as a tanning lotion while out in the sun.

READ MORE: Man warns of dangers of sun exposure after getting 2nd-degree burns

The trend first emerged back in 2006 when Australian entertainer Peter Andre revealed that he would soak himself in Coca-Cola before sunbathing.

The hack, which many swear by, is resurfacing again and is gaining so much momentum in the U.K. that Coca-Cola had to issue a statement on their website: “As much as we love Coca-Cola, we really wouldn’t recommend using it in this way. There is no sun protection factor in it at all – it’s a drink!”

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Despite the entertainer’s beliefs, Toronto dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett says there is zero scientific proof to support Andre’s claims and denounces the trend as dangerous.

In fact, the ingredients found in cola are harmful and are doing more damage to your skin than you might think.

READ MORE: This new drug could tan your skin while reducing the risk of skin cancer

“Some of the [ingredients] in it – like citric acid – can be an irritant to the skin,” Kellett said. “I don’t know if many are aware of this, but it also contains lime juice – and lime juice will actually make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.”

Kellet explains that the citric acid and corrosive properties act as an exfoliant to the skin and removes dead cells, leaving your skin vulnerable to sunburns.

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“In the short-term – because it makes you more sensitive to sunlight – you can get UVA and UVB induced erythema, which is redness, like a sunburn,” she said. “But over the long-term, we know that without photoprotection, it not only increases your risk of premature aging, but also causes changes to the DNA which might increase your risk of skin cancer.”

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