top of page

Understanding DHA

Updated: Jan 6

What is the magical ingredient that makes you look like a sun kissed goddess back from a Caribbean vacation in a matter of a few short hours? Keep reading for the answer!

➺ Dihydoxyacetone (DHA) is a 3 carbon sugar found in sunless products (spray tans & self tanner) that interacts with the outermost layer of the skin & produces the darkening effect.

➺ DHA is considered safe by the FDA for external application, & it is considered non-toxic & non-carcinogenic.

➺ DHA %, or strength, is one of the determining factors in making a sunless tan customizable. The percentages found in most solutions typically range from 6-12%. There are solutions that contain a higher percentage, meaning they get really dark. These are typically not used for most occasions.

➺ DHA can be drying to the skin, which is why hydrating & moisturizing post-spray is so important. Additionally, using a prep spray & hydration top coat can be beneficial!

This chemical is found in the majority of spray tans & sunless tanners. When you leave your appointment with us, you are seeing cosmetic bronzer, which acts as a guide for us to see where we are spraying. Immediately after your appointment, the DHA is working to build your color.

DHA is fairly understudied mainly due how relatively new the sunless industry is so it's always best to be conservative when you are pregnant, have asthma, or have any other underlying health issues. Wear a mask, spray in a well ventilated room, & make sure to let your artist know.

In conclusion, I sprayed last week & sat in the bronzer for just two hours & have the prettiest color, perfect for my skin tone. My tan is still going strong 6 days later. It's safe to say, I'm a big fan of DHA, airbrush tans, & everything about sunless tanning.


Katie Davis

65 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page