The Road to a Revolutionary Sunless Tanner Part 1: From The Chemist and Creator of CLEANTAN USA

The Road to a Revolutionary Sunless Tanner Part 1: From The Chemist and Creator of CLEANTAN USA

By Julie Pefferman, Co-Founder CLEANTAN USA

 I have been formulating skin care for years, but I have to admit that creating a self-tanner was something I had zero interest in. That was until Tina, my business partner, posed it as a viable beauty space that needed ‘cleaning up’. 

I tan easily, so I always found it best to just step out in the sun for a few minutes versus fussing with a sunless tanning product. Truth be told, I actually hadn't even tried a self-tanner since the 90's and felt they made people look like orange Oompa Loompas! 

Fast forward to my mid-thirties and “Oh shit! Sun damage and age spots had reared their ugly heads on my face!” They seemingly appeared out of nowhere but I knew better; that sun damage that had been there for years and reminded me that I couldn’t possibly be the ONE person that could avoid premature aging from UV rays. I take good care of my skin but I should have stayed out of the sun.

So here I was charged with formulating a sunless tanner like never seen before. We decided to call it CLEANTAN because we were literally cleaning up all the issues that made people hate self-tanners. We had radical goals: to be CLEAN from all unnecessary chemicals and toxins.

Here was our very steep criteria:

No Odor - No Orange Color - No Unnecessary Chemicals - No Dyes - No Fragrance - No Penetration Enhancers - No Animal Products - No Dangerous Byproducts - Luxurious Tanning - Flexible Product  - Smells Natural - EWG 1 - Easy Application - Natural Brown Color- Lasting Color 

I personally tested hundreds products already on the market.  ALL of them fell flat against our aims.  Day by day, week by week, they all got dumped them into the sunless tanning graveyard - what eventually became known as "the box". 

Here is some stuff I learned…..

I tried mousses, lotions, sprays, clear ones, brown ones, in-shower, for face only, and on and on. Some tanners were so weak I didn't see ANY result. I had to use them daily and it was going to get expensive fast (not to mention annoying)!  Some tanners were so messy my bathroom still remembers them. Some tanners look good immediately and then washed off to nothing. Some tanners made my husband gag at the smell at night. Some tanners left marks on my white sheets that DID NOT wash off. 

As a formulator, I quickly realized that over half of self-tanners are simply the same product with a different label.  We call this 'private labeling' and it is a tempting option for those who may not know how – or want to - innovate in a meaningful way.

This was my light bulb moment! Nobody was innovating in the tanning industry and I was determined to change that!

Since all of the tested sunless tanners fell short of our aims, we simply had to start from scratch and re-imagine what a self-tanner could be. Oh Boy.

More about my self-tanning journey will be revealed in Part 2 but what you need to know right now is that…

WE DID IT! And you can buy it HERE! 

Are Your Beauty Products Making You Fat?

Are Your Beauty Products Making You Fat?

Really? Yes. What we put on our skin may be even more important than what we put in our mouths. The reason for this is pretty simple – toxins absorbed by our skin bypass the toxin filtration system provided by our liver.

Commonly called ‘chemical calories’ or 'obesegens’, these toxic chemicals create unhealthy hormonal imbalances that can cause you to gain weight regardless of diet and exercise! They are also linked to poor semen quality, increased belly fat, insulin resistance, poor gut health, and can even cost you IQ points. No joke.

And given the average adult uses 9 personal product each day - with 126 unique chemical ingredients - these micro exposures add up fast and get stored in our fat cells. Our ‘chemical calories’ also get exhausted by a host of other household and food obesegens such as pesticides, high fructose corn syrup, BPA, and antibiotics. We never liked those things anyway.

One HUGE contributor is fragrance, which is found in almost ALL personal care products, and heavily dosed-up in sunless tanners (not CLEANTAN though!). These daily use items include perfume, body lotion, face cream, makeup, sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body wash, skin toner, serums, exfoliating scrubs, deodorant and laundry products. Don’t even get me started on body sprays or air fresheners!

Here are the main take away’s:

- Almost all fragrance is made of 95% petrochemicals, 75% are phthalates

-Phthalates are Obesegens

-Fragrance/Obesegens are in just about every consumer product on the market, especially cosmetics & personal care

So how does CLEANTAN do it? No dangerous chemicals or fragrance? Well, that’s our secret… but let’s just say we spent years formulating a healthy self-tanner so you wouldn’t have to think about it ever again.



The New Second Hand Smoke

The New Second Hand Smoke

You’ve probably heard by now: FRAGRANCE IS THE NEW SECOND HAND SMOKE. If you aren’t in the loop yet, it has become a norm that both private and public workplaces have implemented strict fragrance free policies.

Why? Is fragrance really that bad? I mean, it seems to be in EVERYTHING! From laundry detergent to sanitary pads, air fresheners, scented candles, household cleaners, and oh my! Did we mention personal care & beauty products?

Marinate in this shocking statistic for a minute: The average man uses 5 to 7 personal care products per day. The average woman uses 9 to 12, and the average teenage girl uses 17!

But before we list the top 6 reasons why fragrance is the new second hand smoke, we need to unapologetically brag, just a little

CLEANTAN® contains zero added fragrance -‘natural’ or synthetic - which is virtually unheard of in the sunless tanning industry!

Most - if not all - sunless tanners use perfumes or fragrances to mask their stinky, toxin filled formulations. You know that ever so familiar piña-colada/coconut scent? Yeah, well, there is a steep price to pay to smell like your favorite vacation cocktail.

Let’s lay down the facts. Number 5 will change your life!

1. Perfume ingredients are protected under the U.S. Fair Packaging and Label Act because they are considered trade secrets, and thus, do not need to be disclosed.

2. Even ‘natural’ fragrance such as essential oils are skin irritants (there are a few exceptions such as cardamom, German and Roman chamomile, and frankincense).

3. Today’s fragrances are 95 – 100% phthalates, or coal-tar derivatives, which are not sustainable and found to cause significant effects to the nervous system and immune system that include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, weakened immune system, autoimmunes, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child behavior disorders including learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity and ADD (attention deficit disorder).

4. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors; studies reveal a 6 point drop in IQ for children when their mothers were exposed to phthalates during their pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you would do well to stay away from all products with fragrances, phthalates or endocrine disruptors to protect your baby.

5. Ingredients found in fragrances, including phthalates, are considered “Obesogens” which means they CAN cause you to gain weight independent of what you eat or the activity you get. (Yikes! We will talk more about this in our next Blog: Are Your Beauty Products Making You FAT?!?!).

6. Phthalates can cause sperm damage, hyperpigmenation, headaches, dizziness, rash, violent coughing, vomiting, and skin irritation.

Are you pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down here? It takes some serious huevos for formulators to bare only their naked ingredients, unashamed of their true and natural scent. Here at CLEANTAN® USA, we have nothing to hide.  We are leading the sunless tanning industry into a new era, revolutionizing clean beauty, and exceeding your well-deserved high expectations.

Until next time…Think Dirty. Tan Clean®.