It’s hard to find a safe and simple way to get a sun-kissed tan. Laying out in the sun is time consuming and can leave you with unwanted tan lines. Hopping into a tanning bed can cause dangerous skin damage. And relying on sunless tanners often leaves you streaky and smelly.
Fair-skinned people have long lamented that there are no safe and effective ways to get a tan—but one TikTok user claims that there’s an easy solution. Isabelle Lux, who goes by @isabelle.lux on TikTok, took to the social media platform to reveal the secret to her sun-kissed glow: eating carrots.
Lux claimed that after enjoying carrots daily, she discovered that the vegetable had changed the “natural undertone” of her skin to appear as if she was glowing “from the inside out.”
In the TikTok, Lux reveals that she’s been eating three large carrots every day for several years. And her discovery isn’t entirely anecdotal—scientists confirm that carrots can indeed change the color of your skin. But calling it a "tan" is a bit of a stretch.
“Eating too many beta-carotene-filled foods can turn your skin an orangey color,” dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang, MD revealed to Cleveland Clinic. The phenomenon is called carotenemia and can be caused by other fruits and vegetable with a similar color palette—think cantaloupe, mangoes, squash, and sweet potatoes.
Instead of a legitimate golden tan, carotenemia can cause a bright orange hue to develop on your skin. And it tends to impact some body parts more than others. Carotenemia is typically spotted on your palms, knees, elbows, and the soles of your feet.
“You would need to be eating about 20 to 50 milligrams of beta-carotenes per day for a few weeks to raise your levels enough to see skin discoloration,” says Dr. Piliang. According to her, that adds up to around 10 carrots a day.
At one point, Lux even incorporated 10 carrots a day into her diet—until she needed medical intervention. In the video she claims that eventually she got “really sick” with “vitamin A poisoning” before her doctor advised her to reduce her intake to just three carrots a day.
But are you actually going to get vitamin A poisoning from carrots? According to Jennifer Altman, PsyD, RD, there isn’t a cause for concern beyond cosmetic. And Rosy Rojas, a Registered Dietitian atTufts University's Frances Stern Nutrition Center, said, “Though uncommon, people do overdose on vitamin A; however, when it comes to eating carrots an overdose is impossible." Altman previously told Delish that while “orange skin may look shocking,” the condition is not “harmful to your health.”
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