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The word organic is very reassuring, giving us a feeling of safety and health. So when it comes to artificially change the colour of our skin we love the thought of getting it with organic fake tan. But is it a reality or not? let’s have a look at the meaning of organic and the ingredient that gives us the fake tan effect:


We can apply the definition of organic to the origin of the ingredient used and also to the beauty product. In terms of the ingredient, we refer to organic when it comes from a plant that has been cultivated according to a recognized organic standard. For example organic sunflower oil or organic aloe vera come from plants that have been cultivated without the use of pesticides and then extracted with simple means. Among the thousands of organic cosmetic ingredients available today, not a single one has the ability to change the colour of your skin like a fake tan product. So if we think that organic fake tan can be obtained via a simple organic or even natural ingredient from a plant we might be dreaming. To get a final answer to our question let’s see what cosmetic ingredient is behind the magic of sunless tanning.

Fake tan ingredient

The key ingredient that gives you the brown skin effect is dehydroxyacetone, also called DHA. DHA reacts with the skin proteins giving brown coloured melanoids responsible for the quick tanning effect. This ingredient is not found in nature as we normally expect, and can be made from petrochemical sources or via a high tech fermentation process of sugar and rapeseed. This can be confusing, exactly the same substance can be obtained from petroleum as well as natural sources… This means that it does not make much difference to the skin if you use the synthetic one or the natural one because their behaviour is the same. What is different is the environmental impact because natural DHA is obtained from renewable sources.

So after this journey into the world of fake tan, is organic fake tan a reality? My answer is you can get a natural derived DHA or tan via a beauty product containing other organic cosmetic ingredients. Not quite what you might have expected!

To make surer you get a natural and sustainable tan watch out for Ecocert approved DHA.

You can discover more about organic fake tan on wikipedia

Happy tanning!