What on Earth is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)?

What on Earth is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)? - Bro Glo

Self-tanners have become wildly popular over the past couple of decades. After all, what’s not to love? You apply some Bro Glo all over yourself in the evening and wake up with a golden tan in the morning. Boom. Magic.

Ok, maybe not magic. We here at Bro Glo promise that there is absolutely no sorcery involved in helping you go from humdrum to hot. The way our water-based tanner works is, however, a little bit science-y. It's all thanks to a little-known saccharide called dihydroxyacetone. But since we are such huge fans of this guy, we just call him DHA.

How Does DHA Work?

A saccharide is a carbohydrate which just means that it is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Dihydroxyacetone is a saccharide that is derived from plants. Does that mean that layering on some self-tanner is just as healthy as eating a salad? We can’t say for sure, but yeah, sure.

Back in the 1920s, some smart dudes in Europe discovered that DHA works well as a skin-coloring agent. We're pretty sure they learned this by accident, but hey, we aren't here to judge. When applied to the skin, it results in non-toxic browning thanks to something called the Maillard reaction. That’s the reaction that causes foods to brown during the cooking process. Fear not as Bro Glo is not cooking your skin. It simply means that sugars and proteins are reacting with your skin's surface to form a brown hue. Before we go on, is anyone else hungry?

When you apply Bro Glo, the DHA undergoes a chemical reaction with the amino acids that are found in the keratin that makes up the surface of our skin. The result is a sexy bronze glow thanks to the development of melanoidins. These are golden brown polymers that result from a carb, DHA, combining with a protein, keratin. Voila. Overnight hotness. You now have a killer tan without the sun damage. The fine folks over at Bro Glo don’t like to throw around the word “hero” often, but c’mon.

Is DHA Safe?


OK, we’ll elaborate. Real live scientists have done the research and confirmed that DHA does not post a health risk. In fact, some of those same smarties recommend using DHA to achieve a tan as a safer alternative to the sun’s rays. They are certainly much safer than using tanning beds which some in the industry refer to as “tanning coffins”. Since the world is finally turning its nose up at sunburns while still wanting to achieve a healthy glow, the demand of products with DHA has been on the rise. This has encouraged companies to adopt clean, sustainable manufacturing processes to ensure consumers are getting a safe product. Yay, capitalism!

And there you have it. We have created a product for the boys to help keep a nice tan without the wrinkles and sun damage. Not all heroes wear capes, but we think we look pretty good in them.

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