DHA Dihydroxyacetone

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Important:  Worldwide supply chain issues have provoked a 50% price increase in this product. Our next batch of DHA will retail at £80 per kg. Order at the current price while stocks last

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)

is derived from sugar beets or cane sugar and is the commonest active ingredient used in self-tanning products. The skin-browning effect is the result of a nontoxic chemical reaction between Dihydroxyacetone and the amino acids and proteins in the skin’s surface. The process is known as the Maillard reaction

Can be added to formulations as is, usual final concentration 2-10%, lower concentration for lighter tan or face, higher concentration for darker shade and body. DHA may lose its tanning effect (or induce discolorations) when combined with alpha-hydroxy acids, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, iron oxide pigments, or certain perfumes. Avoid using amino acids, proteins, peptides, EDTA as these ingredients can trigger the chemical reaction within the product that produces the tan. One of the most glaring errors we come across when looking at existing tanning products that are readily available on the high street and online is the sheer number of tanning lotions that contain aloe vera. Aloe vera is full of amino acids and proteins both of which will trigger the maillard (the tanning) reaction in the bottle, thus degrading the DHA.

Heating DHA will accelerate the degradation of the ingredient. It must be added to the finished product at room temperature. If formulating a cream or lotion then, to ensure even dispersion of the DHA powder, we recommend reserving some of the water from your water phase and dissolve the powder into it. When the cream or lotion is sufficiently cooled add the DHA solution and mix well

Final product should be in the pH range between 3.5 and 5, as this will prevent it from early degradation. Usually combined with erythrulose for a deeper, natural looking tan.

For external use only.

Store in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Ideally store in the refrigerator, tightly sealed to prevent moisture absorption.

Additional information


100g, 250g, 500g, 1kg

Technical Documents




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