Color Bases & Bronzers - A Follow Up to a Hot Topic at Summit

It has been brought to my attention that there is some "debate" as to what exactly was said at Sunless Summit 2018 during our Science Behind Sunless panel discussion...specifically when it comes to "color bases" and bronzers in solution.

So, with the approval of the panelists, we've decided to make the video of that single question, and the corresponding responses, public to allow everyone to hear for themselves the opinions that were shared.

But before we do that...a little backstory.

The Science Behind Sunless panel came to be when we had several solution companies sign on to sponsor Summit, also meaning that representatives from those brands would be in attendance. The idea for this panel was always in the back of my mind...we just didn't know how many solution brands would be attending. Once that became crystal clear, in early December, we invited EVERY solution company attending to sit on the panel. Those that ultimately agreed and were represented were (seen sitting left to right on the video):

Julie Nostrand, South Seas Skincare
Elysa Weissbaum, Pro Tan
Brandon Cardinal, Norvell
Vibha Makwana, AYU Sunless
Kylie Robson, SunFX

We posed five questions of the panelists. They were all questions that we see asked over and over again in Facebook groups and were the top five responses when we asked our attendees what they most wanted to know. They were...

(1) Do the different color bases in products (violet, green, chocolate, etc) affect the final after-shower tan result? If yes, how?

(2) What is the best timing for pre-tan shower and exfoliation (2 hours, 1 day before)? Why?

(3) Is prep/pH spray necessary? 

(4) Is DHA percentage cumulative? For instance, can 10% solution applied in greater volume  achieve a 12% or rapid-type result?

(5) Is sunless spray tan solution organic? 

The "hottest topic" of the five, though, was definitely "color bases" and bronzers and if they affect the final outcome of a tan (and let's be real...the "organic" label was a close second). We were well aware when posing these questions that our panelists may be of differing opinions, but surprisingly to us, and many in attendance...this was the one question that they all DID agree on. 

Watch this video to see their responses. (Sorry for the poor quality...we're spray tanners...not video production professionals!)


Now, to be clear, we are providing this video because there has been some misinformation and confusion about what exactly the responses were and from whom. That is the only reason we decided to make this single question public...because we don't want to see these people's words be twisted or misconstrued in any way. Everyone can now see for themselves exactly what was said and by whom and interpret it how they will.

ASTP doesn't have a dog in this fight. We are well aware, and respectful of the fact, that others may disagree with the stances stated by these five individuals. That's fine! We would actually encourage those with a differing opinion to share it in the comments so long as it is kept respectful in nature.

Respect for our peers is MANDATORY in our little corner of the sunless world and is the expectation we have for every interaction.

Ultimately, one of the main goals of ASTP is to provide a NEUTRAL and agenda-less place to share information about the sunless industry. Our goal with this panel discussion was to allow open discourse where people may professionally disagree on certain things and that did happen later in the discussion. But just as we had hoped and expected from this group of professionals...all was kept respectful.

I believe that ultimately all attendees walked away feeling as if we had learned something from this hour-long exchange that we didn't know or couldn't quite put our finger on before. And that was exactly the point.

HUGE THANK YOU to our panelists for participating and for allowing us to share!

We hope this clears up any misconceptions or misinformation that may be floating around industry groups as that is our only intent with making this public.

Because Brandon and Vibha were both inundated with messages asking about this after it was stated in industry groups that they had disagreed with the rest of the panel, we asked them to elaborate further on their stances, if they would like.

Brandon has since posted his response in a Live video on the Norvell University Facebook page. You can see that here.

Vibha provided the following response as well as posting her own Facebook Live video. It can be viewed here.

"Spray tanning solutions have two types of colors. One of them is DHA (Dihydroxyacetone), which is a tanning agent color additive that darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids on the skin's surface. The effects of DHA will last 5 to 7 days depending on an individual’s skin type, their skin condition, the concentration of DHA used, the other ingredients in the tanning solution, and the pre and post routine you follow.

The second type of color is the bronzer in the solution. Bronzers are used to apply temporary color to your skin and are created with various FD&C color blends to produce a desired color. This concept is similar to types of makeup like tinted moisturizers and brush-on powders that will wash off with water. Bronzers are used in sunless tanning products to give your skin a tanned appearance and gives your eyes instant gratification, when in reality your actual tan is just beginning to develop underneath that “bronzer first layer” and will continue to develop over a few hours. If you have ever tried using a sunless tanning solution without bronzer, you will see that without a bronzer added, sunless tanning solution is clear. This is because DHA is a white powder that completely dissolves when added to solution base. This means that once the bronzer washes away, all that is left on your skin is the clear sunless tanning solution that relies only on the percent of DHA used to tan your skin.

The final developed sunless tan from the DHA will be golden brown or a warm brown tan. This outcome of course still depends on the client’s skin type, their skin condition, and strength of DHA used in the product. Bronzers used in the sunless tanning product will rinse off mostly during the first or second shower therefore the final color and tone of the tan will depend upon the concentration of DHA, the client’s skin type and condition and how they have prepared for the tan. 

As a chemist and a manufacturer we work with our clients needs. We have clients who are like make up artists that wanted to treat bronzer like make up foundation and want to create products that will match with their client’s skin tone. We explained to these clients that we can make a bronzer to fit any skin tone, but after the first rinse, the only factor in your clients tan will be the concentration of DHA that is in the product. Following that line of thought we offer them solutions with different percent of DHA to try and see which one matches their client the best.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Vibha at AYU Sunless."