Self-tanning has long been a safe and popular alternative to UV tanning. Self-tanning products have come a long way since the days of orange glows, and nasty processing smells! Today’s premium products achieve natural, beautiful color results, nourish your skin, and smell great. The danger of UV tanning has become widely known, and more and more people are turning to self-tanning as a safe and fun way to keep a summer glow without the risks and damage to the skin from sun tanning.
We can thank Ms. Coco Chanel for our addiction to a golden glow and love of all things tweed and tan! In the 1920s she returned from a vacation in St. Tropez sporting a glowing tan, instantly making it “In-Vogue”. Naturally, her admirers followed suite, and from then on, a tan was regarded as a symbol of youth, beauty, and status. Today we still admire her sense of style- we’ve kept the pearls and tweed, but swapped the unsafe sun and UV tanning for healthier alternatives such as self-tanner and spray tans!
So what is a self-tanner and how does it work? Let us give you a brief tutorial on DHA, the main skin-coloring ingredient in self-tanners, how it works and some of the benefits.
DHA stands for Dihydroxyacetone, a sugar derivative from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane. In the 1970s, the Food and Drug Administration permanently added DHA to their list of approved cosmetic ingredients. DHA is NON-TOXIC and approved for external application to the human body.
Through a safe and natural process, the DHA attaches itself to the amino acids in your epidermis, the top layer of the skin, and goes through a chemical change. This process is similar to the browning that occurs when you cut open an apple and leave it exposed to the air. The resulting effect is a gorgeous brown color. It is NON-TOXIC and only affects the upper layers of your skin, which is made up of dead skin cells. Since skin color is unique, tan results will vary from person to person. Our bodies naturally shed dead skin cells daily so unfortunately your tan won’t last forever! However, you can expect the beautiful color to last up to a week or two.
DHA was discover in the 1920s, when a group of German scientists first recognized it as a skin-coloring agent. They noted that when in contact with their skin, the surface would turn brown if not rinsed off! Years later, Eva Wittgenstein, a scientist at The University of Cincinnati in the 1950s, was researching the use of DHA for the treatment of children with the metabolic disease, Glycogen Storage Disease. While working with these children, she made an unanticipated discovery! She found that when her young patients accidentally spit up or spilled the DHA onto their skin, it darkened the area after a few hours. This led her to further experiment with the DHA, testing it out on her own skin by painting various …