Do tan gummies work? Twisted investigates claims of darker, longer-lasting tans

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Tan gummies almost sound too good to be true.

Beauty specialist Utan claims customers have darker, longer-lasting tans after taking its gummies four weeks before sun exposure.

Sounds like every sun-worshiper's dream, right? But do tan gummies actually work?

Here's everything you need to know...

do tan gummies work Utan specialises in tan gummies – but do they work? (Credit: Alamy/chris brignell)

What are tan gummies?

There seems to be no end to the magical powers of the gummy bear.

For decades, the adorable squidgy candies were the go-to candy to pacify screaming children and nauseate adults.

But now, they've undergone a transformation.

READ MORE: How to make 'Nutella' - the history of everyone's favourite chocolate spread

No longer the last resort of a desperate shopper seeking a speedy mammalian-shaped sugar fix, beauty specialists Utan & Tone have taken gummy bear tech to previously unimaginable levels.

For the first time, consumers can enjoy a sweet that reportedly helps them tan.

How do you take tan gummies?

Utan advises consumers to suck three to four gummies a day before sun exposure.

It recommends to start taking the sweet supplements three to four weeks before sun exposure.

For best results, take the chews before, during and after UV exposure.

However, it warns that the tan gummies do not contain SPF and advises applying SPF before sun exposure.

How do you take the supplement?

The seemingly deliberately confusing pseudo-scientific explanation provided by UTan doesn’t provide a great deal of background information.

According to its website, special ingredients within the bears "allow potent actives to be held in the buccal cavity for a considerable time, resulting in 'direct absorption' through the membranes in the cheek walls."

What, if anything, that sentence actually means remains a mystery.

A look at the active ingredients on the packet of the new product seems to reveal even less than the impenetrable explanation offered by the website.

On the face of it, all the sweets seem to contain is a bucket load of sugar, amino acids and some supplements of vitamins A and C.

However, on closer inspection, the source of the bears’ bronzing powers becomes clear.

According to UTan, the high doses of beta-carotene, or vitamin A within the sweets help to artificially discolour the skin, leading to a desirable, sun-drenched glow.

Do tan gummies work?

The chameleon-like properties of vitamin A have been known about for a while.

Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, states that "Ingesting high levels of beta-carotene may discolor the skin, as we see in people who eat a lot of carrots."

All good news for tanning junkies, so far.

However, it’s not all plain sailing for those who are after an edible way to get that been to the beach look.

As the legume-like name carotene implies, the colour change that takes place tends not to be towards the tan end of the spectrum, but instead towards orange or yellow.

The result is that most people who eat an excessive amount of vitamin A often inadvertently turn themselves into a walking satsuma.

READ MORE: What happens if you swallow gum?

We're guessing this is perhaps not the desired effect for the majority of consumers.

This is not the first time that a venture into gummy bear based technology has yielded some surprisingly potent results.

As many will attest, an attempt to popularise a new batch of sugar-free candies ended in disaster when the internet became awash with grisly reviews listing the laxative consequences of consuming the product.

Tales from customers struck down by bouts of inopportune diarrhoea provided both hilarity and horror in equal measure.

tan gummies Tan gummies are a topic of serious debate (Credit: Alamy/Stepan Popov)

The Twisted verdict

What’s clear from every foray into the gummi bear formula is that there are always unintended consequences to any slight alteration.

If you have a burgeoning desire to turn into a carrot, then these candies could be for you.

However, you should be well aware of the dangers present when playing with fire.

You have been warned – underestimate these sweets at your peril.