Supereasy tan

busThe vacation season is over but looking tan and fresh is still up to date of course. Since we already know that too much sun is harmful we have to use other options. Here is one of them.

Background: In 1912 the physician Louis Camille Maillard published in a research report that amino acids that react with sugar produce a color change that is bronze or golden brown. Several years later it was discovered that sugars which react with amino acids in the outer skin layer gave a tanned effect on the dead skin cells.

A diabetes doctor at a children’s hospital in USA made children with diabetes to swallow large doses of the sweet DHA solution and some of the children vomited because of it. Besides that their skin went brown where they didn’t get scrubbed/cleaned. That’s how the sunless tan effect was invented!

The active ingredient of the sunless tan-products is always a chemical compound of DHA (Dihydroxylacetone) which is a monosaccharide. From the beginning, this kind of sugar was as an active ingredient for treating diabetics with hypo because it gave a better effect than glucose (another type of monosaccharide).

One can describe the process as an analogy with the oxidation of an apple (a sliced apple that gets to react with oxygen gets brown). The reaction with this sugar is regarded as harmless, however it smells when the sugar oxidizes. So all sunless tan manufacturers use the same substances in their preparations and it is all about who is the most successful to perfume away the smell. Remember to look for naturally perfumed products (essential oils).

This is clearly a better alternative than solarium in the autumn/winter season. The important thing is to avoid the negative effects of UVA and UVB.

Read Sunlight good or bad.

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