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Ingredient that affects the color of skin and that is present in most self-tanners. Derived from sugar, it reacts with amino acids found in the top layers of skin to create a shade of brown; the effect takes place within two to six hours and it can build color depth with every reapplication. It has a long history of safe use when applied topically to skin, where it affects only the uppermost layers. Dihydroxyacetone doesn’t pose a health risk to skin.
References for this information:
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2004, issue 5, pages 706-713
About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!