There’s nothing like a refreshing pint to cool you down on a summer’s day. Crucially, though, you need to drink the beer – not put it on your skin.
A dubious ‘hack’ using the beverage as a tanning agent is currently growing in popularity online, joining a long list of social media tips that are ill-advised at best and outright dangerous at worst.
A number of TikTok creators have shared videos of the method, which involves ‘showering’ your skin in beer before sunbathing or going swimming.
One claims it offers the ‘best tan ever,’ while another recommends it as a ‘cheap way to tan faster,’ alongside baby oil and olive oil.
The beers used in each video differs and some use SPF alongside their brew while others don’t.
However, experts have warned against trying the technique altogether, saving your tinnies for drinking and your skin from burning to a crisp.
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Online searches in the UK for ‘beer tan’ have increased by more than 137% since March, suggesting Brits are looking to get a cost of living-friendly glow now temperatures are on the up.
Despite seeming like a TikTok fad, people around the world have extolled the benefits of using beer to bronze for some time – and while it is true that the amber nectar has a number of skincare benefits, that’s not the whole story.
Jason Goldberg, director at SpaSeekers.com, comments: ‘There is science behind why beer can help us to achieve a perfect tan, with the hops in beer activating melanin – the substance in our bodies which is responsible for making our skin darker.
‘However, if you were to replace using sunscreen for a can of holiday beer, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to the sun’s exposure with no protection.
‘Doing this can leave you at an increased risk of sunburn, heatstroke, or even sun poisoning in severe cases.’
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We’ve all seen the cautionary tales of improper sun protection: blisters, swelling, peeling, and in the long-term, premature ageing.
Additionally, according to the NHS, ‘sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer,’ and although the risk is lower among those with darker skin, ‘a tan does not protect your skin from the sun’s harmful effects.’
Considering the dangers – not to mention the myriad sunless tanning products available that can achieve the same effect – it seems like a waste of a bag of cans.
And that’s before you factor in the practical side, from the smell to the fact it makes you a walking target for bugs.
Jason adds: ‘Coating your skin in beer will leave you feeling sticky and at increased risk of being stung by insects such as bees and wasps.
‘Instead of beer, we’d always recommend wearing an SPF of at least 30 and applying it between 15 to 20 mins before heading out into the sun for a tanning session.’
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Don’t scrimp on the sunscreen either, as the protection advertised depends on you using it correctly.
‘For adults using sun cream or lotion, this is the equivalent of a thick line of sunscreen running from the tip of your middle finger down to your wrist, for any given body part,’ says Jason.
‘If using spray, ensure you are spraying a minimum of 15 times on each area of the body you are applying to.’
Always be sun-safe, take everything you see online with a pinch of salt, and keep beer for drinking only.
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