What's up Doc? a Blog

Sunless Tanning: How to avoid UV damage from the Memphis sun


Sunless Tanning MemphisSunless tanning products have been around since the 1960s. Even those of us not old enough to remember, weʼve probably seen comedic parody of the tanning products from back then that left people with an odd orange glow. The technology has come a long way since then and many new techniques have been developed.

When looking for a sunless tanning product, what should you look for?

Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, is considered the most effective sun-free tanning additive. DHA is a nontoxic ingredient that causes a chemical reaction with the amino acids in the dead surface skin layer. The result is skin darkening that is isolated to a part of the skin that is easily removed by exfoliation or tape stripping. Results are usually visible within an hour, but maximum darkening could take longer – up to 24 hours. Many DHA based tanning lotions contain a temporary dye as a visual indicator of where you have applied the product, but this should not be confused with the resulting chemical reaction – called the Maillard reaction. How much DHA that is contained in the tanning lotion or cream directly affects the resulting darkness of skin tone; a higher concentration of DHA produces a darker color. The depth of color produced by the DHA can be further be enhanced by combining it with a sulfur-containing amino acid. Frequent application of a sunless tanning product containing DHA will provide a very consistent and pleasing result.


How safe is a DHA sunless tanning lotion or cream?

DHA has a proven safety record with only a few reported cases of allergic contact dermatitis. There are no known side effects from frequent use. The DHA based formulated sunless tanning lotions are a safe way to achieve that perfect tan any time of year. However, they do not provide protection against the harmful effects of sunlight. The safety benefits of your sunless tanning product are numerous vs extended exposure of your skin to sunlight. Please remember that this is not a substitute for a good sunscreen. A high factor sunscreen should be used in combination with a sunless tanning product to protect yourself from UV sun damage.


This entry was posted in Dermatology Tips, The Skinny on Skin. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Make Appointment