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Self tan at home: how to cheat a little (or a lot!)
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Five Questions for Clarins Director Lionel de Benetti

Five Questions for Clarins Director Lionel de Benetti
© Lionel de Benetti, Director of Research, Clarins

Lionel de Benetti, Director of Research, Clarins.

Q:  How do self-tanning products work?
A: It’s actually very simple. A molecule called DHA (dihydroxyacetone), undergoes a chemical reaction to produce colour. It’s added to the product as a white powder and changes colour when it comes into contact with the amino acids present on the surface of the skin. These two molecules combine to form a brown product, creating the tan.

Q : Can you develop different types of tan?
A: Yes, according to the concentration of DHA in the product and the skin type of the person using it. Skin PH isn’t always the same, it can vary depending on temperature, diet, stress and menstrual cycle, which means that the same person could develop a different shade of tan depending on when they use the product.  

Q:  Does the tan develop evenly?
A: We make sure that the overall colour is even, thanks to DHA-erythrulose complex, (another active ingredient) which acts as a colour regulator and is very important to the final outcome.
Q:  Do self tans dry the skin out?
A: Today, you no longer need to worry about skin dehydration, due to the moisture-consuming DHA/amino acid reaction, as most self-tanning products contain hydrating active ingredients.

Q:  Do they provide sun protection?

A: No. Natural melanine tans are the body’s way of protecting us from the sun, but fake tans merely colour the skin, so you should always use extra sun protection as you would without the self-tan.


Sarah Horrocks
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