Science Behind Self-Tans and Spray Tanning

Is it Safe?

Learn about DHA and sunless tanning

What is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)? Is it Safe?

The FDA added DHA to the list of approved colors for cosmetic products in the 1970s. DHA is the active ingredient most often used in all sunless tanners, including tinted moisturizers, self-tanners, and spray tan solutions. DHA is a carbohydrate (monosaccharide sugar) compound, approved by the FDA for use in externally applied sunless tanning solutions. DHA is often derived from a vegetable source like beets or sugar cane.  VersaSpa’s DHA ingredients are Eco-Certified. The FDA has approved DHA for external application to the skin. For misting applications, the FDA recommends protective measures to prevent eye contact, inhalation or ingestion. To ensure complete protection, the FDA suggests wearing protective eyewear, nose filters, ear plugs, lip balm and undergarments.

What is Erythrulose?

Erythrulose is an active ingredient often used in sunless tanning products combined with DHA. Erythrulose takes longer to develop its full effect, therefore helps the tan last longer. VersaSpa sunless products are formulated with Eco-Certified Erythrulose.

What is Dimethyl Isosorbide (DMI)?

DMI is a high purity solvent and carrier, which offers an effective delivery enhancement mechanism for active ingredients in personal care products. DMI in sunless tanning products enhances the effect of the sunless tan. VersaSpa sunless products are formulated with DMI.

What is Odor-Ban 200™?

VersaSpa sunless products, both self-tan and in-salon, are formulated with breakthrough odor control technology, Odor-Ban 200™, designed to virtually eliminate the odor commonly associated with sunless tanning products. Not all skin chemistry is the same, but 89% of our panelist surveyed said, “little to no odor”.

Are VersaSpa products formulated with natural or organic ingredients?

Yes, VersaSpa products are formulated with natural ingredients, including naturally-derived, Eco-Certified Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), naturally-derived Eco-Certified Erythrulose, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sorbitol and other natural ingredients.

If you’re wondering if VersaSpa products are organic, here is the information you need to know on organic sunless products. You may see products with claims such as, “includes natural/organic ingredients”, which may be an accurate claim, but that does not mean the entire product is organic. Although DHA is naturally derived, there is no 100% certified organic DHA ingredient on the market.

For EcoCert’s official statement regarding organic DHA please visit

What is the blend of marine algae?

All VersaSpa products, both self-tanning and spray tanning, are formulated with a blend of green and brown marine algae. The combination oxygenates, detoxifies, and rejuvenates the skin to help create the most beautiful tan.

Our self-tanners each have a perfect blend of naturally-derived sunless tanning ingredients for a stunning tan, every time. Buy today and receive a free self-tanning applicator mitt with your purchase.