Today in wacky beauty claims going viral on TikTok: eating carrots can give you the same results as self-tanner. The conversation all started when a TikTok user claimed that she'd been eating three large carrots a day for the last few years, and it completely changed her skin's natural undertone from a lighter color to a more golden orange shade. Since then, tons of people on the app have posted follow-up videos saying they've been following her routine in order to achieve similar results. A few people have even said that it's already started working for them and they've been able to toss their self-tanning products in the trash.
While we're all for a nifty beauty hack, we haven't forgotten the time a TikTok user told us hemorrhoid cream could eliminate undereye bags, or when everyone on the platform was suggesting teeth filing. So yeah, we were a little curious and a lot more cautious. To get to the bottom of it, ahead, we chat with two skin-care experts as well as a nutritionist to pick their brains about whether or not eating carrots can change your skin tone, and if so, whether it's safe to try. Keep scrolling to learn everything to know about the viral beauty trend.
The short answer? Yes. "Carrots contain beta carotene, which can, in certain dosages, effect skin color," Azza Halim, MD, tells POPSUGAR. In fact, there's an entire condition called carotenemia, which is essentially yellow-orange skin pigmentation due to excess consumption of foods with high levels of carotene. "This may happen in some people from eating a lot of orange vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, and butternut squash," Jessica Sepel, clinical nutritionist and founder of JSHealth Vitamins, tells POPSUGAR.
If you're wondering how it works, exactly, allow us to explain. "Beta carotene is a pigment (lipochrome), and excess beta carotene in the bloodstream can latch onto the stratum corneum of the skin making it appear orange," says Jennifer Levine, MD, facial plastic surgeon. However, it doesn't affect all body parts equally. "The color change usually occurs where the skin is thicker, like the hands and soles of the feet, or the knees and elbows," Dr. Levine says. "It does not turn the whites of the eyes a different color, which happens with jaundice. Also, it's more noticeable in people with lighter skin tones."
Dr. Levine and Dr. Halim say that you'd need to eat somewhere between 20-50mg of beta carotene daily to see any difference in your skin tone. Three [large] carrots roughly contain 20-24mg, so that means you'd need to eat between three and 10 carrots a day for at least a few weeks to see a noticeable difference.
Now that we know it works, the next question is - is it safe? "Such high dosages can result in vitamin A toxicity," Dr. Halim says. "Usually if you notice skin discoloration it's best to decrease or discontinue intake. All foods and vitamins have benefits within moderate ranges, it's only when they're consumed in large amounts that they can induce various side effects."
Sepel agrees, adding, "I recommend everything in moderation. It's important to consume a wide variety of vegetables and colors rather than just eating one type or eating one excessively." Instead, she says focusing on a balanced, nourishing diet that steers away from fads related to foods is the better way to go.
So, is it time to throw away your tanning products in favor of a bag of carrots? Probably not. While we can't deny that carrots are a yummy snack (when doused in ranch, of course), we'll stick with our favorite tanners or some good old bronzer for now.2023-09-26T21:39:43Z dg43tfdfdgfd