People are using a popular soft drink to get tanned, and that’s a really bad idea @casspa/Twitter

You’ve probably heard about the practice of slathering on cocoa butter or baby oil before sunbathing to achieve that perfect tan, but now people are using Coca-Cola to aid in tanning. 

A number of reality stars in the U.K. are reportedly endorsing the idea, but at least one dermatologist on this side of the pond is condemning it, suggesting that it could put you on the fast track to developing cancer as well as age the skin prematurely.

“No tan is a good tan when it comes to skin health,” says Connecticut-based dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. “Tans are our body’s defense mechanism against toxic ultraviolet (UV) light, so when you develop one, it’s actually just your body’s way of saying, “Hello! You’re hurting me!…And it certainly is not advisable to slather on soda to aid in an already dangerous process.

Dr. Gohara adds that society’s obsession with the sun-kissed look has caused an alarming rise in skin cancer among those in the 18-39 age group. In the past 40 years, melanoma cases have increased by a whopping 800 percent among young women and 400 percent in young men.

So, do yourself a favor and keep Coke off your skin. Besides the potential harm it could cause, dousing yourself with it would be pretty gross.

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