lady smiling with nice skin

What is DHA?

If you're a fan of sunless tanning products you may have heard the term DHA before. But how much do you really know about this ingredient? Read on to discover more about DHA.

What is DHA?

DHA is an ingredient commonly used in sunless tanning lotions and products for its effective ability to darken skin, without the need for it to be exposed to harmful UV rays.

What does DHA stand for in tanning? And what is DHA in tanning lotions?

DHA in tanning is an abbreviation for Dihydroxyacetone. DHA is a type of carbohydrate and is derived from plant sources such as sugar canes as well as by fermenting glycerin. Within DHA tanning products, it is the active ingredient that interacts with the amino acids in our dead skin cells to darken their appearance - giving the impression of a natural sun tan.

Is DHA tanning safe?

Using a topical DHA tanning lotion to attain a sun-kissed glow is widely considered to be safer than traditional sunbathing as there is no need to expose your skin to harmful UV rays. When applied topically, dihydroxyacetone is not absorbed through the skin into the body and is non-toxic. DHA is an ingredient approved for use in skincare products in the UK.

self tanning skin cells

How does DHA tanning work?

When DHA tanning lotion is applied topically it latches onto dead cells on the surface layer of skin. It then begins to react with the cells and oxygen, causing them to temporarily darken - giving you a naturally tanned look. It can take up to 8 hours for DHA tanning solutions to fully develop so it is recommended that you apply DHA tanning cream after you have showered and before bed so it can work overnight. How dark your skin will turn is dependant on your unique skin characteristics as well as how concentrated the amount of DHA is in the product you are using. Once the colour has developed, it typically lasts for up to a week and begins to fade as the top layer of skin naturally begins to renew.

Can you tan through fake tan?

The short answer is a resounding yes, you can tan through fake tan! However, it is very important to remember that a fake tan does not protect you from the sun, and you should always apply sunscreen with SPF before exposing bare skin to it. Some people opt to fake tan before going on beach holidays to get a 'head start'; the idea being that their natural tan will catch up over the course of the holiday.

NIVEA Q10 Firming + Radiance Gradual Tan Moisturiser

NIVEA Q10 Firming + Radiance Gradual Tan Moisturiser

So that you can gradually build that irresistible summer glow safely whilst caring for your skin, NIVEA Q10 Firming + Radiance Gradual Tan Body Moisturiser combines the power of 100% skin identical Q10 with gradual tanning moisturiser for firmer, tighter skin and a natural-looking, radiant glow. NIVEA Gradual Tan Moisturiser contains dihydroxyacetone and can be used as your main body moisturiser every day for a buildable summer glow, whilst leaving no streaky lines.

Unlike other DHA tanning lotions, the smell is a welcome indulgence of summery scents such as rose, jasmine, peach and plum mixed with notes of bergamot, green notes and violet leaves so you can feel confident that you are avoiding the usual dreaded self-tan smell. Give NIVEA Q10 Firming + Radiance Gradual Tan Body Moisturiser a try and get firmer skin along with a beautiful looking sun-kissed glow, without any of the health risks.

How to apply NIVEA Q10 firming + Radiance Gradual Tan Moisturiser

  1. For best and most even results, begin by taking a deeply cleansing bath or shower, remembering to gently exfoliate your skin as you wash. Applying DHA tanning lotion to skin that has been exfoliated allows it to be absorbed more easily and evenly.
  2. Thoroughly dry off using a towel or by leaving your skin to dry naturally. 
  3. Apply the lotion evenly over all areas of your body you wish to tan and moisturise. Skin is most hydrated straight after showering but can dry out quickly, so applying NIVEA Gradual Tan straight after showering will help to lock in the extra moisture and benefits for a more radiant look. NIVEA Q10 Firming + Radiance Gradual Tan Moisturiser can be used all over your body as well as on your face.
  4. Allow the lotion to fully absorb and dry naturally before getting dressed to allow it to evenly sink into your skin. Be sure to give your hands a good wash to rinse off any excess residue. The palms of your hands absorb tanning products faster than the rest of your body, and nobody wants tanned palms!
  5. Repeat this process daily, or every other day, and expect to achieve firmer skin in just 10 days along with a beautifully radiant tan!