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Taking the smell out of fake tan!

May 4, 2009

The fake tan is a must for many of my melanin challenged brothers and sisters (self included)  but if you are anything like me, the smell is an unwelcome and off-putting side effect. Well,  I for one was happy to find out that the bad smell may be a thing of the past!

Fake tans make you brown in a couple of ways:

a)  They paint your skin by containing brown coloured pigments and dyes that stick to the stratum corneum and give you an instant brown (or orange/yellow) appearance.

b) They contain ingredients such as DHA  (Dihydroxyacetone) and/or erythrulose which undergo chemical changes when applied to the skin to develop a brown colour over time. DHA works by reacting with the amino acids that are present on the skin surface. DHA can’t get through the top layer of skin and is plant derived making it acceptable to most people.  Erythrulose is another plant based ingredient that works in the same way as DHA. When the DHA and Erythrulose are combined the resulting colour is said to be less orange and more natural looking than DHA alone. Many brands now use both – they should both be listed on the label.

C) A combination of the above.

The smell seems to be a unwanted bi-product of the above chemicals reaction with proteins in the skin. Chemist Tim Whitely of UK based CPL Aroma’s identified between 250-300 different molecules originating out of this reaction – and some of these smell bad. This article was reported in New Scientist – see it here.

The good news is that CPL Aroma’s have developed a product called Aromaguard which interacts with these smellies and turns them into longer molecules which can’t be detected by the nose.  This technology of aroma altering and masking is not new and is commonly used in hotels and restaurant air re-circulating units to reduce odours from cooking and smoking.

If you want your fake tan without the stink you might like to try the St Tropez range – the first commercial range to go public with this new technology!

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