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

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

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Idée reçue : Les autobronzants sont des produits solaires.

Misconception: Self-tanners are sun care products.

Due to the term "tanning", we sometimes think that self-tanners are treatments that protect us against UV rays. However, self-tanning does not equate to sun protection. We tell you everything about self-tanners.

What is self-tanning?

Theself-tanner is a skincare product that aids in achieving a temporary tanned complexion. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it allows for a sun-kissed skin tone similar to that achieved with sunbathing, but without the need for sun exposure. What makes this product so popular is the ability to use it all year round. Thanks to the self-tanner, you can achieve a tan without the sun.

Self-tanning, how does it work?

Self-tanning skincare products contain two key active ingredients responsible for skin pigmentation:

  • The dihydroxyacetone (DHA) : This is the main ingredient in self-tanning products. This sugar molecule is derived from corn or sugarcane. Being plant-based, it poses no danger to the body. In a self-tanning product, it makes up about 3 to 8% of the mixture.

  • Theerythrulose : It is naturally present in raspberries and is found at a concentration of 1 to 3% in self-tanning products. In combination with DHA, it allows for a more uniform colouring of the skin.

These two molecules react with the amino acids at the level of the stratum corneum, the most superficial layer of the epidermis: this is what we call the Maillard reaction. This reaction forms melanoidins, which are polymeric pigments responsible for the brown colouration. This allows you to achieve the same results as sunbathing, while avoiding exposure to the sun's UV rays. This colouration is temporary, it lasts between 5 to 7 days. This can be explained by the skin's desquamation process.

Note : Desquamation refers to the normal or pathological shedding of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin.

Does self-tanner protect against the sun?

Contrary to sunscreen, self-tanners do not protect against the sun's rays. Indeed, this misconception arises from the brown colouration achieved on the skin. It is important to understand that the pigmentation obtained from sun exposure is different from that achieved by a self-tanner:

  • The brown colouration achieved by UV : Exposure to UV rays triggers the production of a brown pigment in the skin, known as melanin. The formation of melanin is a natural protective phenomenon of the skin, but this protection is very limited.

  • The brown colouration achieved by self-tanners : This is the result of the Maillard reaction, which leads to the formation of melanoidins, which are polymeric pigments. This reaction does not protect the skin from UV rays.

In both instances, apply a sun protection suitable for your skin type daily. Our face sun creams with SPF30 and SPF50 will protect your skin, while deeply hydrating it. It should be applied to your face and neck approximately 20 minutes before any sun exposure, and reapplied every 2 hours.

Sunscreen is also essential when using self-tanners that contain UV filters. Indeed, these will only protect you from the sun in the hours following application.

Focus on our self-tanning serum.

Comprising 10% of DHA, our self-tanning serum provides a customisable, gradual tan that begins to develop 12 hours after application and lasts for 5 to 7 days. The number of drops applied and the frequency of use will allow you to adjust the intensity of the tan achieved.

The serum is intended for use on the face and neck, but can also be applied to the body. Apply 2 to 3 drops of serum, preferably in the evening, to clean skin and dry, and distribute evenly across the entire face and neck, avoiding the eye contour. Its fluid texture spreads easily and penetrates quickly, without risk of transfer to the pillow. This serum can be used alone or mixed with your usual face cream .

To optimise the product's performance, we suggest:

  • Exfoliate your skin prior to application. For this, we recommend the use of the radiance facial scrub ;

  • Tohydrate your skin before application to achieve an even sun-kissed complexion;

  • Ensure to wash your hands thoroughly after use to prevent tanning on the palms of your hands.


  • MARTINI M.-C. Self-tanning and sunless tanning products. Annales de Dermatologie et de Vénéréologie (2017).

  • LIM H. & al. Dihydroxyacetone : a review. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (2018).


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