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What is DHA (dihydroxyacetone)?
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DHA is the only active ingredient approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for sunless tanning. Dihydroxyacetone(DHA) was first recognized as a skin coloring agent by German scientists in the 1920s. In the 1950s Eva Wittgenstein at the University of Cincinnati did further research with DHA. Her studies involved using DHA as an oral drug for assisting children with glycogen storage disease. The children received large doses of dihydroxyacetone(DHA) by mouth, and sometimes spat or spilled the substance onto their skin. Healthcare workers noticed that the skin turned brown after a few hours of dihydroxyacetone(DHA) exposure. Eva Wittgenstein continued to experiment with this unique substance, painting dihydroxyacetone(DHA) liquid solutions onto her own skin. She was able to consistently reproduce the pigmentation effect, and noted that dihydroxyacetone(DHA) did not penetrate beyond the stratum corneum, or dead skin surface layer. Additional research studied dihydroxyacetone-DHA's skin coloring effect in relation to treatment for patients suffering from vitiligo. This skin browning effect is non-toxic, and similar to the Maillard reaction. It is more commonly seen in the food preparation industry, and was described in 1912 by Louis Camille Maillard. Dihydroxyacetone(DHA) reacts chemically with the amino acid groups, which are part of the protein containing keratin layer on the skin surface. Various amino acids react differently to dihydroxyacetone(DHA), producing different tones of coloration from yellow to brown. The resulting pigments are called melanoidins. These are similar in coloration to melanin, the natural substance in the deeper skin layers which brown or "tan", from exposure to UV rays. The FDA's Position on DHA DHA is a food grade product and is approved for ingestion by the FDA. In fact the largest user of DHA in the world is the health supplement industry. Because DHA is a Pyruvite or fat burner, it is found in many weight loss products. DHA has also been approved for application in creams and lotions and has no known detrimental effects on the body when applied topically. It has been a common ingredient in most sunless tanning lotions for many years. DHA has not been specially evaluated for use in spray-on tanning systems.  As a comparison, the ink used in permanent tattooing has never been evaluated for that use by the FDA either. Beach Body Tan informs all of their customers that repeated exposure to or inhalation of airborne matter may cause irritation or discomfort.  Common sense tells us to recommend that people who will be using the product should wear nose filters to reduce contact. Customers should be advised to hold their breath or wear noise filters when the product is applied near the mouth or nostrils.  Medical Concerns Associated With Spray Tanning Can  pregnant women be safely sprayed? Beach Body Tan Solution is a non-toxic, food grade product. We have not received information from any medical authority that would indicate detrimental effects to an expectant mother and we have not heard of anyone be advised not to tan by their physician. However, as you would before using any product on a expectant mother, we recommend each customer consult with their personal Physician before receiving a DHA tan application. Does DHA pose a risk to diabetics? We have received no feedback from any medical authority that would indicate a risk to a diabetic person. However, as mentioned above, common sense tells us anyone with any medical condition should consult with their physician before receiving a DHA tan application.
What is DHA (dihydroxyacetone)?
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