Guest Post Credit: Origin (of the SF Lair)
Everyone wants a tan, but not everyone has the time, or a place with enough sunlight. Or if you’re like me, the last thing you want is to waste hours of your week laying in a tanning bed. And not everyone tans easily, either. I may be pale, but that doesn’t mean I tan quickly.
So for the longest time I’ve been on the hunt for a fake tanning product that works. I wasn’t interested in trying 10 different products at my own expense (been there & done that with hair products). I needed one that I knew would work well, so I asked around my local community and I asked girls I know. Even girls from Hollywood. There were no good answers. The only person who had tried any, told me that they all leave you orange and splotchy. But there’s tons of products out there. I figured, surely at least one of them must work.
So I kept on searching the internet, but found nothing conclusive. I tried a bunch of different terms; ‘fake tan’, ‘tanning lotion’, ‘sunless tanning’, etc. Lots of websites, lots of products, lots of literature that I don’t have time to read, or even know if I can trust.
Then the breakthrough! Don’t search google, search youtube!
Tell me everything you know about dihydroxyacetone.
That won’t take long. The DHA in your sunless tanner was derived by some mystical process from a vegetable source, most likely sugar beets. Some apparently sloppy German scientists in the 1920s were messing around with DHA [it’s used in the X-ray process] and noticed that it turned the skin brown. Then World War II occurred. After that, DHA was used as a treatment for vitiligo. In 1960, Coppertone introduced QT or Quick Tanning, a product which almost singlehandedly destroyed the market for decades. In the 1970s the Food and Drug Administration added DHA to their list of approved cosmetic ingredients. Then, sometime in the 1980s, the cosmetic companies found a way to produce better results [browner, less orange] with DHA. The secret: better refining processes now produce higher quality, more predictable DHA.