How Dark Self Tan Products Work

By Susan Jumonville

Dark self tan occurs in the outermost stratum of the skin known as the epidermis. Epidermis is also made of many other layers, among them is stratum corneum. Stratum corneum is the layer that gets affected by dark self tan equipments and products. The procedure of tanning is fundamentally similar among a wide range of techniques and dark self tan products. This article outlines some fundamentals of self tan commodities.

DHA is the short form for Dihydroxyacetone. This substance has been in use in tanning skin since 1970s. It was however until late 1980s that the cosmetic industry found a way of producing superior results with it. The browner but less orange results attained using this product are attributed to the improved refining procedure which yields higher and more predictable qualities.

Another most used dark self tan product is Erythrulose. This dark self tan substance does the same function as DHA. These 2 dark self tan products react with amino acids in the outermost skin layer to turn the skin color to brown. Erythrulose is a kind of Ketose that reacts with amino acid in form of keratin. These reactions result in formation of melanoids, which are brownish polymers. If Erythrulose is used alone, it can be applied on a daily basis and it does not cause dark tan.

When Erythulose is blended with DHA, they function together to minimize discoloring and streaking, hence producing a naturally looking tan. The tan also lasts longer and it fades away uniformly for a continuous natural look. Most products contain a guide color. The guide color is intended to show one where they have already applied the dark self tan and where they have not. It also enhances the cosmetic appearance of the skin although it does not last long since it washes away.

Bronzers produce instantaneous effect that is simply removable using soap and water. Bronzers are available in beauty shops in form of creams, powders, and lotions. Bronzers are more like make-ups than dark self tan commodities because they only last when the skin surface is not washed. The most efficient sunless tanning commodities come in form of sprays and lotions with dihydroxyacetone DHA as the key active component.

Dark self tan pills contain canthaxanthin as the most dominant and most active pigment. Most standardizing bodies have not authorized its use as a tanning agent even though it is used as a color additive in various foods. Canthaxanthin must be consumed in huge quantities if it has to have any effect on skin color. This pigment is deposited on many organs including the skin, liver, brain, and heart among others.

Deposit of canthaxanthin is associated with many serious side effects like canthaxanthin retinopathy and hepatitis. Tanning accelerators refer to pills or lotions that have amino acid tyrosine. Manufacturers of these accelerators believe that tyrosine has the capability of stimulating and increasing formation of melanin. The possible effects of using large amounts of tyrosine and validity of the claims that it darkens skin color need further scientific proof.

Dark self tan and other related tanning procedures are part of a crucial industry in the current world. Mostly, models use them during championships. Ordinary people also apply them to improve their appearance.

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