What is D.H.A.?
In short, D.H.A is the stuff that gives us a sunless tan (and causes the infamous tan lotion smell, thank you scent drops!). Dihydroxyacetone, D.H.A. for short, is a carbohydrate extract derived from Sugar Beets, Rape Seed or Sugar Cane. It’s one of the most widely used ingredients in topical tanning products.
You know that delicious toasted color of caramel? That browning effect is the same thing that’s happening during a spray tan. When dehydrated sugars and amino acids meet, a type of non-enzymatic browning occurs (as opposed to the oxygen, fruit decay browning). This happens both with foods and on our skin, and it’s called the Maillard Reaction.
D.H.A. causes the color change when it’s exposed to the amino acids found within the keratin that makes up the outermost layer of the skin. The brownish polymers that are then created in the skin – this is what is left after you rinse off the cosmetic bronzer – mimic a sun kissed beach glow!
D.H.A. is a naturally derived ingredient that has been used for ages; it was the first ingredient to be used for sunless tanning. But, formulation of these products has come an incredibly long way from your grandmas orange-hues, which gave D.H.A. a bit of a bad rap.
Now, professional solutions, like Evolv Tan, contain a host of natural additives in addition to D.H.A. to fully customize your tan and ensure that you get the best possible airbrush. From pre-tan skin balancers, color enhancers to better compliment skin tone, accelerators for a quicker development time, scent boosters and even post-tan moisturizers! W
So, while D.H.A is the most widely used ingredient in developing color, you likely heard of other additives too. For example, Erythrulose, a berry derived sugar extract that adds a reddish hue to the skin using a similar chemical reaction as D.H.A.
In high end solutions like Evolv Tan, DHA and Eurythrolose are added together and synergistically yield a gorgeous, long lasting color. Eurythrolose develops at a slower rate, and does not pull moisture from the skin like a pure D.H.A. solution would. This results in longer lasting results, and a tan that will fade more evenly.