All Topics
Association dihydroxyacétone et érythrulose.

Naturally Tanned, Thanks to Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and Erythrulose

Thanks to self-tanning products, it is now possible to get a tanned complexion without having to expose yourself to the sun. The active ingredients used in these products are usually DHA in combination with erythrulose. In this article, you will learn all about these two molecules.

What Are Dihydroxyacetone and Erythrulose? Why Should They Be Combined?

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a carbohydrate monomer with the molecular formula C3H6O3. This molecule can be of synthetic or plant origin. Naturally occurring dihydroxyacetone is usually obtained through a biotechnological process in which glycerol from plants such as canola, corn or beets is fermented and bioconverted by bacteria.

DHA is now the most important active ingredient in self-tanning products. In the 1960s, however, this compound was not popular because it left an unnatural orange tone and streaky lines on the skin. It was not until the 1980s that it became popular, as when combined with Erythrulose, it produced a much more even and natural tanned complexion. Erythrulose is also a biotechnologically produced compound. This natural sugar is found in the cells of plants such as raspberries and beets.

So, the combination of these two compounds promotes a natural tan. In addition, erythrulose has moisturizing properties that counteract the drying effect of DHA.

How Do DHA and Erythrulose Affect the Skin?

When these tanning agents are applied to the skin, they react to form pigments called melanoidins. The tanning effect of the skin is the result of this reaction, which is called the Maillard reaction. The pigmentation of the skin appears within 2 to 6 hours after the application of the self-tanning care. However, this color gradually fades and completely disappears within 5 to 7 days. This phenomenon can be explained by the frequent renewal of the corneal layer (natural desquamation process).

Note: Although these two molecules act on skin cells in the same way, they do not react at the same rate. Thus, DHA tones the skin very quickly, while erythrulose acts slowly and gradually. It is also this balance between the reaction time of the two compounds that enhances a natural tan.

The Self-Tanning Products of Typology

The synergistic effect of erythrulose/DHA is also present in the self-tanning serum DHA 10% + carob fruit extract. The care lifts the complexion already 12 hours after the first application and provides a gradual effect. Carob pulp extract contained in the serum ensures that the glow is maintained longer. Unlike chemical self-tanners, this serum does not create an artificial orange tint.

The combination Erythrulose/DHA is also found in our self-tanning gel for the body 6% DHA + Aloe vera. It provides a gradual tan while being gentle on your skin. Aloe vera is included here for its moisturizing effect on the skin, protecting it from moisture loss and making it supple.

Note: This self-tanning care does not protect against the sun's UV rays and is not a substitute for sunscreen. Be sure to protect yourself from UV rays with a broad-spectrum sunscreen before going out in the sun.


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.