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Ingredient spotlight: DHA

It’s a key ingredient in our award-winning Gradual Tanning Drops, but what is DHA?

Beauty insiders love to throw around official-sounding terms and reel of lists of ingredients. We like to be completely transparent about what goes into our products - and how each ingredient works.

DHA - aka dihydroxyacetone or glycerone, is a colourless, naturally occurring chemical which is the key ingredient in the most effective self-tanning products, like our Gradual Tanning Drops. It acts as the colour additive that temporarily darkens skin. Think of it as the active ingredient which makes the magic happen.

When applied, DHA reacts with the amino acids in keratin, the proteins which make up the main component of the skin’s surface. This produces the tanning effect. To the uninitiated, the idea of a chemical that changes the colour of your skin might cause initial alarm, but - we promise - you can (fake) tan with confidence. DHA can’t penetrate the protective outer barriers of the epidermis and scientists agree that low-concentrations of DHA have zero negative health effects, and it’s generally well-tolerated (i.e. won’t provoke sensitive skin).

As the active tanning ingredient in our Gradual Tanning Drops, DHA regulates the intensity of the tanning effect, but the final colour depends upon your individual skin composition and skin pH level. This is why our Drops are so clever. Forget the one size fits all approach where you apply a self-tanning product regardless of your skin, Gradual Tanning Drops allow you to tailor your tan. Two drops will give you a healthy glow; three provides a ‘just been on holiday’ look. The easiest way to apply them is to add to your daily moisturiser or body cream.

A word of caution: DHA gives skin the appearance of a tan, but doesn’t offer any SPF protection. So add an additional SPF with UVA and UVB protection, like our Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25.