Hailey Bieber Uses Carroten For Tanning, but Is That Even Safe?

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There's no denying that Hailey Bieber is on a lot of people's minds, whether it's the news about her latest Rhode Skin launch or her pregnancy announcement with husband Justin Bieber. There are even numerous accounts dedicated to her outfits, her overall aesthetic, and of course, her beauty routine.

People are often recreating Bieber's best looks, from a simple outfit she wore out or an entire makeup routine. Recently, the beauty founder shared on social media that to get her glowing skin, when she's in the sun she uses the product Carroten ($24), an intensive tanning gel, mixed with her own choice of SPF, since the product has none.

With the warmer months just around the corner, we wanted to reach out to experts to find out whether or not Beiber's tanning routine is actually safe. Ahead, dermatologists break down what Carroten is and whether or not it's safe product to use while in the sun. Keep scrolling to read more.

What Is Carroten?

"Carroten is a branded tanning gel that is predominantly petrolatum," Bobby Buka, MD, JD, board-certified dermatologist and founder and CEO of @thedermspecs, tells PS. "Petrolatum, commonly found in Vaseline, is a photo-accelerant that multiplies the effects of ultraviolet rays."

Carroten says it has SPF 0, which means that it does not offer any protection from UVA or UVB rays. "It accentuates their effects, meaning you will tan — and burn — faster, so technically, it should carry a negative SPF rating, but the FDA does not issue those," Dr. Buka says.

The product has other ingredients — like carrot extract and coconut and sesame oils — which are considered soothing and hydrating to the skin. However, Dr. Buka says the "real story" lies behind the product's primary ingredient, petrolatum.

Is Carroten Safe to Use?

According to Carl Thornfeldt, MD, board-certified clinical dermatologist and founder of Epionce, the straightforward answer is that this ingredient shouldn't be used on its own. "It doesn't provide any UV protection, so no, it's not safe to use in the sun."

Dr. Buka agrees, adding, "Carroten on its own is a one-way ticket to skin cancer because it amplifies the impact of ultraviolet rays on your skin."

However, when used in conjunction or mixed with sunscreen, the answer becomes more complicated. Dr. Thornfeldt says the issue with doing this is that when you mix SPF with any other product, you risk the SPF itself being diluted and the formulation breaking. "Sunscreen formulations are quite complex, and mixing them with anything lessens the efficacy of the SPF," he says.

Dr. Buka explains further, adding, "One intensifies tanning while the other mutes it. For example, if you were to use equal parts Carroten and SPF30, now you've got an overall protective effect of somewhere less than SPF 15."

In short: absolutely don't bake in the sun with just Carroten on your body, but if you find yourself absolutely needing to use it, make sure you mix it with a high SPF. Dr. Buka suggests mixing Carroten with a product like Dune Sporto Spray with SPF 50 ($23). "It goes on quick and is great for larger body surface areas, plus, I like the idea of a stronger SPF to combat the sun-boosting effects Carroten has on ultraviolet rays," he says.

Sunless Tanning Options

Of course, both Dr. Buka and Dr. Thornfeldt agree that the best move when out in the sun is following the American Academy of Dermatology's recommendation of wearing at least SPF 30 that is broad-spectrum protecting against UVA and UVB rays.

If you want a tan, though, Dr. Buka says he prefers self-tanning lotions to sun exposure for a sun-kissed look. "I know, no one wants to look like an orange, but there are two products my patients love for their more natural look that also won't break the bank." His picks are the L'Oreal Sublime Bronze ($15) and the Jergens Instant Sun ($14). "These interact with your skin surface amino acids to give a healthy glow without increasing your risk of skin cancer."

Renee Rodriguez is a staff writer and social producer for PS. She writes across all verticals, but her main areas of expertise focus on fashion and beauty content with an emphasis on reviews and editor experiments. She also produces social content for the PS TikTok and Instagram accounts.