So you come into Celebrity Skin Couture Air Tan and they ask you a few questions about this thing called DHA? So…what is it?

DHA stands for Dihydroxyacetone, which is the common ingredient found in all sunless tanning products. Scientifically, it’s a colorless 3-carbon sugar that causes a chemical reaction to the surface cells of the skin. When applied DHA produces a darker tone to the color of one’s first layer of skin, but does not cause damage to the skin.

So…where does DHA come from you ask? The origin of DHA comes from specific plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane. It was originally discovered in Germany in the 1920s and was thought to be helpful in WWII in treating glycogen storage disease. Flash-forward to 1950, and we see DHA being orally used in children with glycogen storage disease. The children who ingested DHA would often spit it out after ingesting it, and doctors came to find darkened skin around their mouths hours later. This is when the use of DHA was turned into a skin darkener as apposed to treating glycogen storage disease because it’s clearly safe to ingest orally and on skin surfaces.

While DHA is used in every sunless tanning product, it DOES NOT protect against harmful UV rays. It should not be used as a sunscreen in any way. If you have had any allergic reaction to an over the counter tanning product, you may be allergic to DHA (although this is not very common).

Now that you know the science, history, and basics of DHA you can be comfortable and full of knowledge at your next tanning appointment with Celebrity Skin Couture Air Tan.


Your Tanning Guru

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