How Does Fake Tan Work?

Fake Tan: How Does It Work & Why Is Natural Tan Better?

Would you believe that the chemical reaction that causes the appearance of a tan on the skin is the same reaction of sugar and amino acids (called the Maillard reaction) that is responsible for the golden browning on cooked bread?

Everyone knows of the harmful effects of excess sun exposure, it causes skin cancer and premature skin aging. So sunless tanning has become an ever more popular way to get a golden colour for summer without the risk of UV skin damage and choosing a natural self-tan lotion can have the added benefit of nourishing and feeding the skin while it tans.

How Does Fake Tan Work?

The most common ingredient used in self-tanning solutions is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), but as with any ingredient it comes in lots of different grades. Natural fake tans which are COSMOS certified use DHA derived from natural ingredients, such as sugar cane. This DHA is designed to react to the proteins and amino acids in the outer layers of the skin.

Products with synthetic based DHA include fake tan chemical absorbers designed to penetrate the skin’s surface to develop a faster tan. These tans can also contain ingredients like dyes, artificial fragrances, parabens, alcohol and petrochemicals. The side effect of the absorbers used to develop synthetic based tanning lotions, is that all the products chemicals are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

How Are Natural Fake Tans Different?

COSMOS certified organic tanning lotions contain only natural, approved ingredients which are selected to benefit the skin. This means that while the tan develops the skin is nourished and naturally hydrated giving it a healthy, natural glow.  


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