Common Spray Tan Solution Ingredients

September 23, 2012

With the harmful UV rays of the sun causing skin problems and diseases, new ways like spray tanning have popped up for those wanting a sun-kissed look without the health risks. Although spray tanning gives an alternative to sun tanning, it’s also good to be aware of the ingredients commonly found in tanning solutions. There are various ingredients labeled on the back your spray tan solution which most of us are unfamiliar with. Here we look at some of the more common functional ingredients found in tanning solutions and what their purpose is.

Aloe Vera

A commonly used extract from the Aloe Vera plant which helps in the renewal of cells, aloe vera is used in thousands of cosmetic products as it soothes and heals the skin, while moisturising it as well. It oxygenates the skin and has a similar pH balance when compared to the skin’s pH balance. The skin repairs and regenerates with this common spray tan solution ingredient.

Argan Oil

This plant oil extracted from the Argan tree in Morocco, has become the latest must-have ingredient in any good spray tan, due its immense benefits to the skin. This versatile and multipurpose ingredient is used for the facial skin, hair, nails, and the body. With a high level of vitamin E and 80% fatty acids, the oil restores and replenishes the skin’s natural freshness and softens it. The oil also proves to be an anti-ageing agent and it soothes inflammation. It has also been found to remove stretch marks formed during pregnancy. The deeply penetrating nourishment of argan oil moisturises the skin and creates a perfectly blended and natural looking tan. The vitamin E in the oil softens and moisturizes the skin, which aids in the spray tan solution to absorb fully and produce a rich bronze tan on the silky skin. Therefore, with the organic argan oil in a spray tan solution, a flawless and streak-free tan is created on the skin which also hydrates the skin and makes the tan last longer.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)

The most common ingredient in tanning solutions is DHA as this is the active ingredient responsible for generating the tan on the skin. DHA is extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets, and when used, it is the main ingredient which creates a brown colour on the applier. DHA reacts with the amino acids in the upper layer of the skin and oxidizes it which produces a tan. The colour begins to appear in 2-3 hours, and the maximum colour is formed within 24 hours of its application. DHA is approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) for external use only.


Another important spray tan solution ingredient, eythulose is used with DHA to create a long-lasting tan. Like DHA, it is a carbohydrate which reacts with the keratin and amino acids of the upper layer of the skin’s surface. The colour change appears slower than DHA but it lasts longer.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin which neutralises free radicals gathered on the skin’s surface. This vitamin is used in spray tanning solutions to increases the collagen levels of the skin, making it look younger and fresher. It also reduces wrinkles and cracks formed by the spray tan solution.

Vitamin E

Another antioxidant vitamin, vitamin E aids in reducing the effects caused by free radicals. It also moisturises the skin and softens it. It increases the skin’s elasticity and it aids in the blood circulation.

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