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  • Writer's pictureKim Van Tussenbroek


Updated: Dec 9, 2017

What is Erythrulose and how does it benefit our spray tan solutions?

#Erythrulose is a Ketone - or sugar derivative (same as DHA) and is a yellow liquid. It works the same way as #DHA (#dihydroxyacetone) does and reacts with the amino acids in the skin's surface to create a colour change in the top layer of the skin. It is derived from raspberries or other red berries and is manufactured in a similar process to how DHA is manufactured.

It is often used in conjunction with DHA within a #spraytan formulation.

Erythrulose and DHA paired together is the perfect combination. They compliment one another and the combination provides a more robust final formula, Erythrulose develops slower and fades more evenly than DHA does, but the development isn't as strong when Erythrulose is used on its own. When combined with DHA the longevity of the spray tan is extended and the wear off is a lot smoother. DHA can develop anywhere up to 24 hours, whereas Erythrulose can develop anywhere up to approximately 36 hours.. sometimes longer... it's why you may notice a jump in colour result after the 24 hour mark when using a DHA/Erythrulose combined solution.

As it is a very expensive ingredient you won't find it in all spray tan solution formulations, and the amount of Erythrulose that is used in the solution can be anywhere up to around 3%.

There have been comments made of late on Facebook with regards to the dangers of Erythrulose by and Australian brand, which is why I wanted to speak out about Erythrulose. I have been doing a lot of research and speaking to a lot of different chemists to get their view on Erythrulose as well. We cannot find any written documentation where the FDA or other reports state that Erythrulose should not be used in products and there doesn't seem to be any official warnings regarding the ingredient anywhere.

The topic of Erythrulose also came up in a US Facebook tanning group, and one of the main manufacturers in the USA has stated that they use it in their products. He also mentioned that the #FDA does not generally approve ingredients for use in cosmetics but they do specifically control and approve colours and colouring agents like DHA. Erythrulose is not approved as a colouring agent by the FDA, but he believes using Erythrulose as a performance enhancer is acceptable under FDA rules, ie being used in solutions to give a better result. This manufacturer not only manufactures a number of Brands in the USA, but also manufactures solutions that are shipped out here to Australia, and has extensive knowledge in the spray tanning industry.

As it hasn't been approved as a colouring agent by the FDA I would be wary of solutions that contain a high amount of Erythrulose only (without DHA), but amounts of up to 3%-4% (basically 30mls/40mls in a litre bottle of solution), would be perfectly fine.

If you have any questions regarding Erythrulose please post below. I will do my best to answer any questions you may have.

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