INCI: Dihydroxyacetone

What is Dihydroxyacetone or DHA?

DHA, also known as dihydroxyacetone or glycerone, is a simple saccharide, often obtained from sugar beet or cane sugars. Sometimes it is also a fermented form of glycerin. It comes as a white, crystalline, powder. DHA actually when applied on skin it reacts with an amino group of amino acid or proteins which are found on the skin surface, and thus forms a special pigment called ‘melanoidins’, which are brown color. The darkness of skin varies proportionally with the amount of DHA. The color obtained is mostly confined to the epidermis; however, it is not fully proven.

Use & Benefits

It is mainly used in tanning products. Without using sunlight or UV light, the cream or lotion containing DHA can solve the purpose of tanning the skin. It does not block harmful UVA and UVB, so the choice should be made carefully considering the sun protection factor (SPF).