How to choose a self-tanning product?

First of all, you need to know that all self-tanners are based on the same active ingredient, Dihydroxyacetone, also shortened to DHA. The similarities stop there and are also why you find a cheap and expensive product on the market.

Shopping for skincare with a specific ingredient has become increasingly popular, but skincare is normally not that simple. Skincare companies have expert chemists working to obtain optimal results instead of using only one magic ingredient.  It’s very much so with DHA, which is a difficult ingredient to stabilize.  It dehydrates and often develops skin irritations.  

DHA irritation & sensitive skin.

So, in order to not sensitize your skin by using DHA, it´s important to look for deeply hydrating products with humectant ingredients such as glycerin, squalane, propanediol, caprylic, and capric triglyceride. Also, it´s good to have a product that you don´t have to use too often and gives long-lasting and even results.  
A gradual tanning build-up is great for avoiding  “mistakes” of application and unnecessary skin exfoliating.
It´s good to keep in mind that the main reason for getting the typical orange skin tone is because you used a product that is too dark for your skin tone or you used too much. 
That´s why a gradual layering product is really a great option.

If you want a quality product, you should look for the boosting ingredient, erythrulose.
Erythrulose by itself is not classified as a self-tan ingredient. However, when combined with DHA, the tan lasts longer, fades more slowly, and provides a more attractive reddish tone.
DHA can start to show in 2-4 hours, but it fully develops in 24 hours, whereas the effect of erythrulose actually only starts after a day or two.

Avoid fragrances and drying out ingredients.

Did you know that up to 30% of people have developed a sensitivity to fragrance while no one is born like that?  
Our overuse of chemical perfumes in skin care is the main cause, along with perfumed washing powders.
The smell in skin care does nothing except cover up a bad smell of raw materials or old ingredients!  DHA has a distinctive yeasty smell while the tan develops, and most people find it disturbing.

A quality self-tanning product will use more expensive versions of ingredients that do not smell so bad that they have to be covered by perfume.  Therefore, a product without perfume is more likely to be of higher quality.

Alcohol is often used in these kinds of products, but often, these dry out the skin even further, so if the product smells of alcohol, avoid it.

Preservatives make the product last longer, but they kill not only bad bacteria but also good ones. We need our good bacteria, and the balance of our microbiome is disturbed by the layering of different products, all with preservatives. Please note that fragrances and preservatives in the self-tanners have also been linked to rosacea and allergic contact dermatitis.

Please note that fragrances and preservatives in the self-tanners have also been linked to rosacea and allergic contact dermatitis.

Does DHA cause hyperpigmentation?

DHA can cause persistent hyperpigmentation, but it is fairly rare. The hyperpigmentation caused by DHA is due to the Maillard reaction, which is the non-enzymatic glycation of amino groups of proteins by the carbonyl groups of sugar. To avoid such an effect, it is also wise to limit your exposure to DHA and choose a long-lasting product.

How long is DHA active on the skin?

7 days! The tanning takes 2-24 hours to develop, and the intensity of the color depends upon the product’s DHA concentration and each tanner’s skin characteristics.
The color developed by the DHA usually lasts 7 days and begins to fade as the top layer of the skin naturally exfoliates.
In order for the tan to last, exfoliation before applying self-tan is crucial, as well as keeping the skin hydrated afterward.

Love your skin.
EVY Team 🧡


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