What is carotenemia? Viral carrot tanning TikTok trend explained

Carotenemia can be developed from consuming too many of the veggie (Image via Getty Images / TikTok / @izaszyszko)
Carotenemia can be developed from consuming too many of the veggie (Image via Getty Images / TikTok / @izaszyszko)

Carrots are being promoted on TikTok as a 'miracle' way to get tanned quickly without using a sunbed. This vegetable is being promoted by beauty bloggers as a technique to "change your natural undertone," with three large carrots recommended each day for a "glow."

However, health experts have things to say to those who are thinking of trying this hack. While experts agree that this "trick" is not particularly hazardous, it is also actually not a tan.

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According to dermatologist Melissa Piliang, beta-carotenes are the pigment found in some red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables, including carrots. Having too many carrots can result in too much beta-carotene in the bloodstream, causing carotenemia.

It is a condition in which the skin turns yellow or orange due to the consumption of excessive amounts of carotene-rich foods or supplements. It is treatable by lowering carotene consumption and should not cause any negative consequences.

Dr. Piliang further explained that:

“Eating too many beta-carotene filled foods can turn your skin an orangey color. Carotenemia is pretty uncommon, but we probably see one or two cases a year.”

The viral carrot tanning TikTok trend has become quite popular

Influencers are discussing the positive effects of having the vegetable every day. (Image via TikTok / @isabelle.lux / @adixovic / @izaszyszko)
Influencers are discussing the positive effects of having the vegetable every day. (Image via TikTok / @isabelle.lux / @adixovic / @izaszyszko)

TikTok is full of beauty trends and fads that periodically take over the platform. With summer in full swing, an increasing number of users are looking for simple ways to achieve the ideal tan. The latest beauty trend on TikTok suggests that consuming an abundance of the aforementioned vegetable might help tan faster.

The 'hack' has been explained by famous TikTok beauty influencers. Influencer @isabelle.lux shared a TikTok video about her "carrot tan," showing photographs of her natural skin when she was younger with no tan so viewers could compare it to how she appears now. The video has been seen 3.2 million times and has received over 205K likes.

Another influencer, @adixovic, suggested that eating it for a really long period can modify the skin tone.

He further claimed that these are high in beta-carotene, helpful for acne, and provide UV protection. He also said that:

“He transformed from being 'pale' to having more 'color' by simply eating this type of vegetable”.

One woman even created her own recipe, which involves mixing it into juice to obtain an "enhanced tan and healthy glow." In a video with 8.1 million views, TikTokker @izaszyszko demonstrated how she makes "sunshine shots," which is a juice made with carrots, peppers, and a chunk of ginger.


Is eating too many carrots life-threatening?

These vegetable has lots of health benefits (Image via Getty Images)
These vegetable has lots of health benefits (Image via Getty Images)

According to experts, the tactic is not normally risky. However, it is not a tan. Carotenemia is to be blamed for the orange hue.

Any beta-carotene-rich meal, such as carrots, cantaloupe, oranges, yams, squash, apricots, mangoes, pumpkin, or sweet potato, has the potential to tint the skin orange. This is due to the accumulation of high levels of beta-carotene in the blood.

Addressing it, Dr. Duane Mellor, an Aston University nutritionist, said:

"Carotenemia when connected only to diet is usually not hazardous".
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However, he also said that consuming a lot of vegetables high in pigment may result in vitamin shortages because other foods may be excluded from the diet. Eating too much of one food sometimes indicates a restricted diet that eliminates other nutritious foods.

This aforementioned vegetable is surely high in vitamin A, potassium, dietary fiber, magnesium, and vitamins C, B-6, and K, but they are low in most other nutrients, including calcium and iron.

According to iClinic, eating too many of these can cause vitamin A toxicity, flatulence, allergies, and skin discoloration. It is also hazardous to newborns. As a result, consuming them raw or drinking them in liquid form by making juice in the recommended quantity is advisable to avoid any negative effects.

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Edited by Divya Singh