Hoorah – it’s finally May!
Here’s a brief history lesson that will enlighten you on the art of sunless tanning – and no doubt inspire you to ‘get your spray on’ – and I can almost guarantee that once you go from ivory to ebony in ten minutes flat, you’ll never go back!
History of sunless tanning
1900 – Louis-Camille Maillard discovers the process that turns protein-based materials brown, aka the Maillard Reaction.
1919 – Fair Skin continues to be a universal sign of wealth and health.
1920 – Coco Channel returns from the South of France with a healthy glow – women everywhere run to the beach to emulate the famous designer.
1940 – Sun bathing becomes an international past-time. Designer Louis Reard crafts the bikini to show off all the lovely bronze!
1950 – Dr. Eva Wittgenstein researches DHA (dihydroxyacetone) treatment of metabolic disease in children with Glycogen Storage disease for the University of Cincinnati. Wittgenstein’s work used DHA internally, but spillage on the skin created a darkening similar to a suntan. By painting various areas of her body, Dr. Wittgenstein discovers that the painted areas look like a tan from the sun.
1960 – Copper Tone creates Quick Tan, a self-applied lotion to tan the skin.
1973 – FDA adds the DHA to its list of approved cosmetic ingredients.
1980 – Vast improvements in sunless tanning solutions coincide with increased awareness and concern for skin cancer, resulting a boom for the sunless tanning industry.
How DHA bronzes the skin
DHA is a sugar derived from plant sources such as beets and sugar cane, and it works with your skin to create the perfect tan. Once combined with the proteins and amino acids on the top layer of your skin, it creates a temporary darkening effect called the Maillard Reaction. It does not change or harm the pigmentation of the skin; the sugar simply binds with the dead skin cells, causing the color change. The tan fades gradually, similar to a tan from the sun.
Application of DHA
DHA is ingeniously combined with self-tanning lotions and sprays to create the desired effect – an authentic-looking, sunless tan.
Lotions evenly applied on a regular basis can maintain a light tan on the skin; practice with the lotion helps prevent streaks and over-coloring on the skin. Always wash your hands immediately after application; humans do not tan on their palms and soles of their feet and these areas can turn orange quickly.
Sprays are applied in automated booths and by technicians. So you do NOT end up like Ross in “that Friends Episode”, read the directions and ask questions of the tech before getting into an automated spray booth. If available to you, opt for a spray tan application by a technician since it gives you the most adjustable, reliable tan. Additionally, contouring and body sculpting by a tanning artist dramatically improves the appearance of muscles and recedes unwanted areas.
Here is the magic of DHA-improved formulations and spray guns: the fine mist that coats your body goes on evenly while the bronzing effect works with the melanin in your skin to create color. The spray tan artist does have a limited range of shades, but most of the work is done by the DHA and your skin. NO MORE orange…. just a beautiful, healthy looking tan! The tan will fade gradually in 5-7 days.
A good sugar scrub 24 hours before your sunless session sets up an even canvas for your tan. It is desirable to wait 24 hours to shower after the session (minimum of 12 hrs). Keeping an even tan takes only 2-3 sessions a month – that is only 45 minutes out of your busy schedule! By keeping up your tan, you’ll be less tempted to sunbathe naturally, thereby saving your skin from premature aging and a slew of other sun-related side effects.
Accessed 5/1/14 http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Eva-Wittgenstein/611053540
Accessed 5/1/14 http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-maillard-reaction.htm