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What DHA Level Should I Use?

Determining Which DHA Tanning Level is Best for Your Clients

The active ingredient in most sunless tanning products is the color additive dihydroxyacetone, also known as DHA. Professionals often wonder what level of DHA is best suited for their clientele, so let’s look into DHA and determine what’s best for your business.


What is DHA?

The color additive dihydroxyacetone, also known as DHA, temporarily darkens your skin. When applied, it reacts with the dead skin cells on the surface layer, essentially staining your skin for a short period of time.

Since DHA binds to proteins in the top layer of the skin, it is completely safe to use, and is considered the best sunless tanning method when trying to achieve a natural looking tan. It carries far less risk than other tanning methods, such as UV tanning beds, where over exposure can lead to skin cancer and other health issues.


Offer a Range of Products

It’s important that if you are supplying a range of tanning products to your clients, that you supply products with different levels of DHA. There’s several criteria to consider for your clients.

  • Fairness of skin tone
  • Ability to burn
  • Skin undertone
  • Dryness of skin

Since no persons are the same, a range of tanning products is always recommended. It may also be useful to offer products that have color-correcting components, such as the Violet Dark Self Tan Mousse or Violet Dark Spray Tan Solution by Private Label. Violet based tanning products are great for clients who have a yellow to orange undertone, but a client with a pink or red undertone, would need to use a more caramel toned base.

It’s important to note that someone with fair skin and the ability to burn, for example, may only need 8-10% DHA for the tan to look natural. For a client with dark skin and no ability to burn, for example, a 8% DHA level would not be dark enough. For clients with dry skin, you want to supply a product with loads of hydrating ingredients! Consider the Coconut Water Self Tan Mousse or Coconut Water Spray Tan Solution that has several ingredients to boost hydration.


What is the DHA Level in Private Label Products?

The DHA level in Private Label products ranges from 8% to 14% (8% to 10% in the EU). Private Label considers the level of DHA to be a trade formula secret, so the scales featured are a guide for customers to understand differences between products. See below a DHA reference for each product category.

Spray Tan Solutions – DHA Level

Pro Liquid Light – low
Pro Liquid Medium – medium
Pro Liquid Dark – high
Pro Liquid Ultra Dark – very high

Pro Liquid Violet Medium – medium
Pro Liquid Violet Dark – high
Pro Liquid Coconut Water – high
Pro Liquid Argan Oil – high

Self Tanning Mousses – DHA Level (amount dependent)

Self Tan Mousse Gradual – medium
Self Tan Mousse Medium – medium
Self Tan Mousse Dark – medium to high
Self Tan Mousse Coconut Water Dark – medium to high
Self Tan Mousse Violet Dark – medium to high
Self Tan Mousse Violet Ultra Dark – high

Other Products – DHA Level (amount dependent)

Glowing Face Mist – low to medium
Sleep Gradual Drops – low to medium
Tan Drops – low to high
Self Tan Lotion – medium to high
Self Tan Bronzing Mist – medium to high


Private Label allows you to focus on branding and selling your beauty products with turnkey processes that involve easy sampling, low minimum orders, and fast shipping. Private Label covers all product development and manufacturing, so that you can enjoy low risk, branding control, and low startup costs with high profit margins. Create your brand, your way, with Private Label.



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