+++ News: Calmags has taken over the exclusive distribution for our cosmetic substances in the USA, Canada and South America. Trustful years of cooperation have given us the confidence that uniting our capabilities would enable the best possible service to our customers abroad. Both companies are following the same philosophy of doing business. Reliability, honesty and flexibility are characterizing all our activities. +++

Natural Tanning by Erythrulose

Despite the existence of the increased awareness of the dangers of ultra-violet radiation causing skin cancer on exposure during sunbathing, there is still a strong desire for a healthy and natural tanned appearance. Therefore, there has been a distinct trend to use self-tanning cosmetic products to achieve the browning effect without the risk of this exposure to UV radiation.

The natural keto-sugar Erythrulose enables new developments in modern aesthetic self-tanning products. Erythrulose is found in many plants and lichens and is produced in Germany by modern microbiological fermentation. Erythrulose is easy and safe to use and shows many distictive advantages, compared with Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that is applied in traditional self tanning products.

It has been known for many years that certain ketosugars, when applied to the skin react with amino acids, peptides or proteins, give a browning effect by producing colouring products (Maillard Reaction). In the past, for example, Dihydroxyacetone has been the choice in a broad range of applications although this substance has many disadvantages. It has been known for sometime that DHA may liberate fission products as well as formaldehyde and formic acid under certain circumstances, which can cause skin irritations. Furthermore these fission products may considerably reduce the effect of skin tanning.

These side effects are not known when using Erythrulose. Erythrulose is more stable and has lower reactivity with the proteins in the skin. Although this reduced reactivity is often presumed as a disadvantage, it is indeed an evident benefit. The gentle enduring reaction of Erythrulose protects the skin and leads to a reduced peeling compared with DHA. As a result the tanning of the skin by Erythrulose takes more time but lasts considerably longer.

Erythrulose tans the skin giving a natural and homogeneous brown / bronze appearance, whereas Dihydroxyacetone often produces a mottled and irregular tanning, which can be caused by not sufficiently cleaned skin, with differing pH or inhomogeneous application. The gentle enduring reaction of Erythrulose compensates for any inhomogeneous application.

Microbial contamination is an inherent problem when stabilising cosmetic products. Dihydroxyacetone itself is a known intermediate in the metabolism of many microorganisms and for this reason formulations containing DHA are in principle more affected by contamination and require special attention by using preservatives.

In Summary:
Dihydroxyacetone has been used for many years in the market as a self tanning agent. It required manifold efforts and special finesse in formulations to solve application problems. Now, with the arrival of Erythrulose, there is a real alternative product for natural and homogeneous brown / bronze tanning. For all the above reasons, the current and often proposed practice of combining of Erythrulose with DHA should be reconsidered with the view to using Erythrulose alone.

The advantages of Erythrulose can only be fully realised when it is used solely and a product with the following advantages is desired:

  • significantly lower liberation of cleavage products compared with DHA and therefore considerably less skin irritation
  • gentle and homogeneous, non mottled tanning, with similar sun tanning kinetics to natural sunlight
  • long lasting tan
  • efficacious with reduced de-moisturising effect - compared with DHA

Please find the specifications for these products in our complete list of products.

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Last modified on November, 27. 2014.