Sunless Tanning Agents Provide Continuous Sun

November 11, 1998

WICHITA, Kan. -- Researchers have discovered that the chemical reaction of your skin with the active ingredient in sunless tanning agents offers continuous and unique protection from the sun, regardless of a person's activities.

The compound not only provides long-lasting protection, they say, it resists soap-and-water washing, reduces the sun exposure of persons with fair ski,and increases the efficacy of sunscreen products applied over it.

John A. Johnson, Ph.D., and Ramon Fusaro, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha presented their findings here at the Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world'slargest scientific society, Nov 4 -7, 1998.

The researchers say dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the active component of sunless tanning preparations, reacts with skin surface proteins to produce pigment that screens against UVA, UVB and visible radiation. Although the sun protection offered by products containing DHA offers only an SPF of level 3, it offers day-long protection, and screens rays from the sun that are not covered by commercial sunscreen products, according to the scientists.

Dr. Johnson says these unique properties make DHA valuable to people who rarely tan and often burn, and to parents wanting to protect young children. He also suggests that people wishing to maintain tans year-round use browning agents rather than tanning salons.
A nonprofit organization with a membership of more than 155,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy, and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C. and Columbus, Ohio.

American Chemical Society

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