DHA – How Sunless Tanning Lotions Work

"Most people who benefit from the use of sunless tanning lotions don't ever stop to think about how they work. After all, they're just glad that they work, providing natural-looking tans without requiring them to go out into the sun. But perhaps you've mused upon the fact that sunless tanning lotions are a really interesting product.

And perhaps you've wondered how they do what they do. Do they dye the skin? Are they safe? These are the questions that a few people have wanted to know about face tan water lotion.

The answer that these people are looking for is simple. DHA. Okay, maybe it's not that simple, but once you know a little bit about it, the sunless tanning lotion process is easy to understand. Basically, the important ingredient in any sunless tanning lotion that you might use is an ingredient called DHA, short for dihydroxyacetone. This is a natural ingredient (a carbohydrate actually, see there is such a thing as good carbs!). Believe it or not, it's basically sugar.

Way back in the 1920s, DHA was being used for medical purposes and it was discovered that it turned the skin a darker color than it naturally was. It was then that the idea was sparked that would eventually lead to the creation of sunless tanning lotions.

But original plans were derailed and the first sunless tanning lotions (which didn't come out until forty years after that discovery) didn't make good use of DHA. It wasn't until the 1970's that the FDA approved the use of DHA for cosmetics and it wasn't until the 1980's that it became the primary ingredient in sunless tanning lotions.