Last update May 16, 2019

Sunless Tanning preparation (DHA)

Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

A simple monosaccharide: a ketotriose resulting from the anaerobic degradation of glucose. It is obtained from sugar cane or beet or by fermentation of glycerol (Ciriminna 2018, Hauge 1955).
Applied to the skin, it reacts with the keratin, darkening it.
It is used, on its own or in preparations also containing erythrulose, in the treatment of vitiligo and in cosmetics for sunless tanning (Braunberger 2018, FDA 2018, Fu 2004).

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.

Systemic absorption is considered negligible (Huang 2017, HWA 2009), so its excretion in breastmilk in clinically significant amounts is very unlikely (HWA 2009).

Artificial tanning products should not be inhaled, ingested or enter into contact with eyes, lips or mucous membranes (FDA 2018, Huang 2017), so they should not be applied on the nipple and areola area to prevent them from coming in contact with the mouth or eyes of the infant.

See below the information of this related product:

  • Erythrulose (Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.)


We do not have alternatives for Sunless Tanning preparation (DHA).

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Sunless Tanning preparation (DHA) is also known as Dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Here it is a list of alternative known names::

Sunless Tanning preparation (DHA) in other languages or writings:


Sunless Tanning preparation (DHA) belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Sunless Tanning preparation (DHA) in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 90 daltons
pKa 13.49 -


  1. ABA - Australian Breastfeeding Association. Beauty treatments and breastfeeding. None 2021 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Ciriminna R, Fidalgo A, Ilharco LM, Pagliaro M. Dihydroxyacetone: An Updated Insight into an Important Bioproduct. ChemistryOpen. 2018 Mar 6;7(3):233-236. Abstract
  3. FDA. Sunless Tanners & Bronzers. 2018 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Braunberger TL, Nahhas AF, Katz LM, Sadrieh N, Lim HW. Dihydroxyacetone: A Review. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018 Apr 1;17(4):387-391. Review. Abstract
  5. Huang A, Brody N, Liebman TN. Dihydroxyacetone and sunless tanning: Knowledge, myths, and current understanding. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Nov;77(5):991-992. Abstract
  6. HWA - Healthy Western Australia, Department of Health. More about breastfeeding. Health Pamphlet 2009 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Fu JM, Dusza SW, Halpern AC. Sunless tanning. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 May;50(5):706-13. Abstract
  8. Hauge JG, King TE, Cheldelin VH. Alternate conversions of glycerol to dihydroxyacetone in Acetobacter sub-oxydans. J Biol Chem. 1955 May;214(1):1-9. No abstract available. Abstract

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