The science behind fake tan
Learn how fake tan works.
No prizes for guessing that we all love fake tan at sienna X…it’s easy to apply, adds a subtle sheen to the skin and makes us feel super body confident. But how does it work?
Fake tan contains a special compound called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – this is the magic stuff that colours the top surface of the skin to create a gorgeously bronzed base. Derived from sugar cane, DHA reacts with the air and the amino acids on the skin and causes a browning process to occur. This reaction is unlike staining because the colour cannot be washed off with soap and water.
Fake tan gradually wears away as the skin cells on the top layer of the skin naturally slough off. Therefore a sunless tan will slowly lighten over time in the same way as a suntan does. However, a fake tan is a much safer way to achieve a golden glow and there are ways to boost the longevity of a fake tan too. The colour can be prolonged by moisturising the skin regularly because this slows down the skin’s sloughing process. Reducing the use of harsh body washes and shower gels that can strip the colour early is another way to add extra life to a tan.
When fake tan was first brought to market in the mid-1950’s it often resulted in a streaky or patchy finish. Today’s formulations have improved massively…so much so that novice fake-tanners can achieve a gorgeous golden glow in the comfort of their own home that looks natural, attractive and sophisticated.