Let’s play two truths, one lie:
- Eating carrots can help you to see better in the dark
- Eating carrots will naturally give you a bronze-y complexion
- Sun tanning is totally unhealthy and un-cool
Oop! Tricked ya! There is no lie.
Once a humble vegetable now (another) TikTok beauty hack, influencers have been spotted dialling up their intake of carrots to naturally alter the undertone of their skin to something that resembles a sun-kissed glow. The apparent golden number? Three large carrots a day.
Beauty influencer @isabelle.lux appears to be at the root of this trend posting back in late July about the difference she’s seen in her skin after munching on said three large carrots a day (for three years!). “I don’t fake tan anymore. I don’t go out in the day, during the sunlight.”
@isabelle.lux #stitch with @Hannah just est your carrots #carrottan #naturaltanning #tanninghacks ♬ original sound - Isabelle ⚡️ Lux
I don’t think there’s any harm in eating your veggies. But I am still a little skeptical. (And need to know if the same rules apply for all orange-based foods.) (I’m looking at you, Cheezels.)
“Carrots are rich in an orange-yellow pigment called beta-carotene, and eating large amounts of foods rich in beta-carotene can lead to elevated levels of beta-carotene in the body. This causes carotenoderma, a yellow/orange discoloration of the skin (read: carrot tan).” Explains accredited Dietitian and Nutritionist, Rebecca Gawthorne.
So while you’re avoiding UVA exposure, which triggers melanocytes to produce melanin and therefore tan the skin, you’re instead discolouring the skin from within.
“Carotenoderma is a harmless condition. However, just because something is good for us, doesn’t mean we need to consume it in excess, or go to extremes. It’s best to eat a healthy balanced diet with a wide variety of colourful fruits, vegetables to get all the health benefits we need.”
But if I am going to be upping my carrot intake, surely there’s some additional benefits for the body?
“Carrots are extremely nutritious. As well as being a good source of beta-carotene, they also contain fibre, vitamin b, vitamin k, potassium. Eating carrots can improve our eye health, immune health, reproductive health, digestion and gut health.
And remember, there are other beta-carotene rich foods out there too: sweet potatoes, pumpkin, rockmelon, oranges, peaches and apricots. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli, despite being green, also contain high levels of beta-carotene.”
Sadly, it’s a no on the Cheezels.