woman eating carrot
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
April 25, 2024 ·  4 min read

Does Eating Carrots Make You Tan?

In the quest for a safe and effortless way to achieve a sun-kissed tan, people have tried various methods, from tanning beds to sunless tanners. However, a recent influencer claim caught the attention of many, suggesting that eating three carrots a day can give you a natural tan. This has of course left many people wondering – is this true, and most importantly, is it safe? Let’s take a closer look at this claim and separate fact from wishful thinking.

The TikTok Influencer and her Carrot Tan

Credit: Tiktok

Isabelle Lux, known as @isabelle.lux on TikTok, made waves on social media by revealing her secret to a sun-kissed glow – eating carrots. Lux claimed that after including three large carrots in her daily diet for several years, her skin acquired a radiant glow. While carrots are good for your health, is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Let’s explore the truth behind this claim. (1)

Read More: Eating This Fruit Has Been Associated With Lower Risk Of Cardiovascular And Coronary Heart Disease

The Science of Carrots and Skin Color

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While carrots indeed contain a pigment called beta-carotene, which can influence skin color, referring to it as a “tan” might be a bit misleading. Dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang explains that an excessive consumption of beta-carotene-rich foods can lead to carotenemia, which turns the skin orange. This phenomenon can also be observed when consuming other fruits and vegetables with similar color palettes, such as cantaloupes, mangoes, squash, and sweet potatoes. (2) “Eating too many beta-carotene-filled foods can turn your skin an orangey color,” explained Dr. Piliang. “Carotenemia is pretty uncommon, but we probably see one or two cases a year.”

Understanding Carotenemia

Orange vegetables and fruit
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Carotenemia is a condition that leads to an orange hue in the skin’s appearance. However, it is crucial to note that carotenemia tends to affect specific body parts more than others, such as the palms, knees, elbows, and the soles of the feet. Achieving a change in overall skin tone requires an alarmingly large amount of carrot consumption. Of course, carrots aren’t the only orange-colored food. Eating a large amount of any of these, along with carrots, could cause the same effect. There are plenty of other foods high in pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene) as well. These include apricots, mangos, cantaloupe, oranges, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams.

The Amount of Carrots Required for Skin Discoloration

Many carrots placed raw in a container, overhead photo
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Dr. Piliang suggests that to see a noticeable change in skin color; one would need to consume approximately 20 to 50 milligrams of beta-carotene per day over several weeks. This equates to around ten carrots a day. This level of consumption is significantly higher than the three carrots per day claimed by the influencer.

The Cautionary Tale of Excessive Carrot Consumption

diced carrots on a wooden table, selective focus, rustic style.dice carrots.
Credit: Shutterstock

Lux herself admitted to incorporating ten carrots a day into her diet at one point. However, she eventually fell ill and was diagnosed with “vitamin A poisoning.” It was only then that she reduced her intake to three carrots a day. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that the body can store it in your fat cells. Fat-soluble vitamins do have a higher risk of toxicity, aka overdose. However, this is normally only achieved through supplementation. This poses the question: Can you really get vitamin A poisoning from carrots? (3)

Read More: 10 Fruit and Vegetable Peels You Should Never Throw Away

Expert Opinions on Vitamin A Poisoning

Sexy healthy woman
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According to experts such as Dr. Jennifer Altman and Registered Dietitian Rosy Rojas, while consuming excessive amounts of vitamin A can have adverse effects, an overdose from eating carrots is virtually impossible. While consuming an excessive number of carrots may result in orange skin, it is unlikely to cause harm to one’s overall health. “Though uncommon, people do overdose on vitamin A; however, when it comes to eating carrots an overdose is impossible. Since they are known for benefiting eye health and vision, carrots are thought to be loaded with vitamin A, but they actually don’t have any vitamin A in its active form. Instead, carrots are filled with carotenoids, mainly beta-carotene, that can be converted to active vitamin A. Our body is able to regulate this conversion, so toxicity is not an issue,” said Rojas. (4)

The Bottom Line

Dog holds carrot in its mouth
Credit: Shutterstock

Dr. Altman agreed, stating that while orange-colored skin might look shocking, it is not dangerous to your health. This goes against Isabelle Lux’s claim that vitamin A poisoning from eating carrots took her to the emergency room. Without knowing the full story, it is not possible to know what else was at play in her situation. (5) While the influencer’s claim that eating three carrots per day can give you a natural tan may seem enticing, the reality is that achieving a ‘carrot tan’ requires consuming a substantial amount of beta-carotene over an extended period. It is essential to note that excessive carrot consumption can lead to carotenemia, resulting in an orange tint on the skin. However, this condition is primarily cosmetic and not harmful to one’s health. Therefore, while adding carrots to your diet can have numerous health benefits, it is unlikely to provide a natural tan effect.

Read More: The Tree of 40 Fruit is indeed a coat of many colors


  1. Tiktok. isabelle.lux
  2. Can Eating Too Many Carrots Turn Your Skin Orange?Cleveland Clinic. June 11, 2019
  3. A woman said she achieved a ‘natural fake tan’ by eating 3 carrots a day. But a dietician cautioned against overconsumption, suggesting self-tanner instead.Yahoo. Geoff Weiss. September 13, 2023.
  4. Is it possible to get an overdose of vitamin A from eating carrots?Nutrition Letter. February 5, 2016
  5. 5 ‘Healthy’ Foods You Can Overdose On.” Delish. Taylor Ann Spencer. September 21, 2023.