chapter  29
28 Pages

Sunless Tanning and Tanning Accelerators

Introduction 574

Tanning Products: Sunless Tanning V. Tanning Accelerators, a

Market Review 574

Biological Tanning 576

The UV Radiation Response 576

Melanogenesis 578

Regulatory Considerations 579

Enhancing Biological Tanning 580

Artificial Tanning 581

Regulatory Considerations 582

Dihydroxyacetone 583

Formulating with DHA 586

Quality Control 586

Formulation 586

Top 10 Products Review (Ranked by 2002 Sales) 588

Tanning Accelerators 588

Sunless Tanners 591

Conclusion 594

References 595


From the time a tan became symbolic of health and affluence in Western culture,

scientists the world over have been researching ways to enhance, accelerate, and

imitate the golden bronze look that consumers so deeply desire. In the dawn of

the tanning industry, reflective panels redirected the suns rays to the face while

mineral oil was slathered on the body to intensify the effects of basking in the

sun. With the 1960’s came a revolutionary new product concept, QT. This

product was the first consumer product that used dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to

provide a tanned appearance “in 3 to 5 hours without the sun”. The late 1970s

brought the tanning bed, a sarcophagus of fluorescent tubes that radiate UV to

fuel biological tanning without the sun. The first generation of tanning beds

emitted predominantly UV-A radiation. Advances in tanning beds led to quick

tan bulbs, which expanded the radiation spectrum to include UV-B and

produce a speedier bronze. As with many new mass recreational phenomena,

the increased tan population developed its own set of health related side

effects. The rise in population that tanned recreationally led to an increased popu-

lation with premature photoaging and skin cancer. Nonetheless, the market

demands for a healthy looking tanned appearance remain at an all-time high.

While the majority of this book deals with protecting us from the detrimental

effects of the sun, the authors of this chapter have chosen to investigate the

science behind the consumer demand. Advances in research are taking us ever

closer to that natural tan without the need for overexposure to harmful solar

radiation as well as an instant bronze that looks as if you have spent a week in

the Caribbean.