Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

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Comment utiliser la dihydroxyacétone ?

How Is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) Used?

DHA is currently the most important active ingredient in self-tanning products, but is also found in some natural hair dyes. Chemically, it is a sugar, or more precisely, a carbohydrate monomer. Here are our tips for the proper use of this ingredient.

What Is DHA, and What Is It Used For?

DHA is a sugar found in plants such as sugar cane or sugar beets. In skin and hair care, it can be of synthetic or natural origin. When it is of natural origin, DHA is extracted through a biotechnological process involving microorganisms. DHA is obtained through the fermentation of glycerin, which in turn is extracted from plants such as canola, corn or beets.

Organoleptically, DHA is a white crystalline powder that is odorless and hydrophilic (water soluble). The colorant interacts with the amino functions of amino acids in the dead cells of the stratum corneum or the keratin proteins on the hair surface via the Maillard reaction. This reaction leads to the formation of melanoidins, heterogeneous polymers responsible for the brown color.

When applied topically, DHA is therefore included in self-tanning products to give the skin a tan without having to be exposed to the sun. You will find this active ingredient in our self-tanning serum DHA 10% + carob fruit extract, as well as in our self-tanning gel for the body DHA 5% + aloe vera. When used in hair, this molecule forms the basis for some natural hair colors to darken hair and/or conceal white hairs that appear over time.

How Do I Use DHA on My Skin?

DHA is used as an active ingredient in self-tanning skin care. This type of care is applied periodically, that is, whenever you want to have a tanned complexion, in summer and winter.

For the face, take a small amount and spread the serum, milk or cream with a brush or directly with your fingers in circular movements. The care is applied from the T-zone to the tips. Two to three drops of the care are enough to cover the face. Be sure not to forget the ears and neck. Let the care dry for at least an hour. Wash your hands immediately.

Do the same with the body, this time applying a larger amount. As with the face, you can apply the DHA-rich skin care with bare hands (remember to wash them thoroughly afterwards) or with latex gloves or a special self-tanning glove. You can apply two consecutive coats of the self-tanning product on legs, arms, décolleté, etc., using a gentler touch for the second pass. The second layer enhances the tan on the parts of the body that absorb the light particularly well, such as the décolleté and shoulders. Be sure to smudge the material on transition areas of the body such as ankles, wrists, knees or elbows (remove excess material with a tissue if necessary). Before getting dressed again, wait at least an hour for the product to dry and not stain your clothes. Wait 3 hours before going underwater, or even 24 hours if you want a quick tanning effect.

Tip: To get an even tan, it is recommended to exfoliate the day before. This removes dead skin cells and optimizes the tanning time. For example, you can use the nourishing scrub for the body and the radiant scrub for the face. If you prefer a solid soap, you can use the poppy seed scrub to gently exfoliate and nourish your skin at the same time. It is made from 100% natural origin ingredients and contains poppy seeds, corn grits, organic olive oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil.  

How Is DHA Used on the Hair?

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a coloring ingredient usually found in natural hair dyes, also known as non-oxidative hair dyes. Unlike conventional hair dyes, natural non-oxidative hair dyes containing DHA color the hair without changing its structure. They act only on the surface, where they come into contact with the keratin in the hair fibers. As a result, the shine of the hair is preserved, as the keratin remains intact.

In general, it is recommended to apply the care products to dry hair and leave them on for at least an hour before rinsing. Keep in mind that DHA colorants are temporary due to their superficial effect. To maintain the color, you should wash your hair at shorter intervals and re-dye after a few weeks. Also, prior preparation will help the hair color last longer. This includes exfoliating the scalp to remove dead skin cells and revitalize the hair. So, you can use our scalp scrub with gluconolactone (PHA) and jojoba beads beforehand. This exfoliating gel before shampooing gently removes dead skin cells and ensures a healthy and balanced scalp.

Source :

  • CIRIMINNA R. & al., Dihydroxyacetone: An updated insight into an important bioproduct. ChemistryOpen (2018).


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