Sefl-tanners help to give you a rich, sun-kissed tan without spending time in the sun or in a tanning bed, and one of the main ingredients in self-tanner that does this is dihydroxyacetone (DHA).
DHA reacts with your skin cells and the oxygen in the air to develop a darker tone and give you a tan, but it can also cause allergies, sensitivity, and irritation. To cater to sensitive skin, there are DHA-free self-tanners!
Which are the best DHA-free self-tanners? The best DHA-free self-tanners would be suitable for sensitive skin, but they would still work to give your skin a beautiful sun-kissed tan, just without the harsh chemicals. DHA can cause sensitivity and irritation, so picking out a good DHA-free self-tanner can really benefit your skin.
As most self-tanners contain DHA, it can be difficult to find one that is not only gentle on your skin, but which effectively gives you a gorgeous tan.
To help out, we have found the best DHA-free self-tanners for you to choose from, as well as some helpful tips on how to pick out the best one for your skin!
Self-Tan Without Dihydroxyacetone
The one ingredient in self-tanner that helps to turn your skin a darker color is dihydroxyacetone, DHA. DHA is a sugar molecule that goes through a chemical reaction with your skin’s amino acid, to darker the color of your skin, forming a tan.
DHA can also be naturally sourced from plants such as sugar and beets, but it can be chemically derived too. It is approved by the FDA to be used externally on the human skin, but it is not advised to be used on sensitive areas, such as the face, as it can cause adverse reactions.
Those with sensitive skin or allergies might experience skin irritation or sensitivity when using DHA, so finding a self-tanner without this ingredient can be great to give you a tan without the added problems.
Another bonus of using a DHA-free self-tanner is that it will not have the usual DHA scent, which can be unpleasant, and which can be a giveaway that you have just used a self-tanner!
DHA Vs Natural DHA
It is quite rare to find a DHA-free self-tanner, but if you still want to stay away from DHA, the next best option is to choose a self-tanner that is made using naturally derived DHA.
Naturally derived DHA comes from sugar cane or beets. It works just like the chemical DHA, where it reacts with the amino acids in the outer layer of your skin to produce a golden tan.
The benefit of using naturally-derived DHA is that it is much gentler on the skin, and it will not cause the same type of irritation as normal DHA would.
Naturally derived DHA also does not leave behind that tell-tale DHA scent, so it makes the tanning experience more enjoyable overall as well.
How To Choose DHA-Free Self-Tanner
There are some considerations to keep in mind when picking out a good DHA-free self-tanner to use on your skin.
Here are some of the things to look for in a good DHA-free self-tanner, and what to consider to make sure you choose the best self-tanner for your skin:
There are hardly any completely DHA-free self-tanners on the market, and the few that do exist might not be the right option for you. In this case, you can choose a naturally derived DHA self-tanner instead.
These are still gentle on the skin and should not cause sensitivity and irritation, and they would still give you a gorgeous tan over time.
If your skin is sensitive or prone to allergies, then naturally derived DHA might be a great option, if you cannot find a good DHA-free self-tanner.
Type Of Self-Tanner
There are many different types of self-tanner that you can choose from. You could use a lotion, a mousse, a spray, a gel, or even self-tanning drops that you add to your own moisturizer.
These all have their pros and cons, and it would be a personal choice as to which one you would prefer to use.
For beginners, a mousse or a lotion might be better. If you are looking for a very light, gradual tan, using tanning drops that you add to your own moisturizer might also be a good idea. Sprays can also offer a good coverage – it just depends on what you are comfortable using.
You would be choosing a DHA-free self-tanner, or one made with naturally derived DHA because you do not want to irritate your skin or cause any sensitivity.
You also need to have a look at the other ingredients included in the self-tanner. Make sure that there are no added dyes or fragrances that might irritate your skin, and that the self-tanner contains caring, natural ingredients that will care for your skin.
A gradual self-tanner might be a better option for your skin if you are worried about skin sensitivity.
Gradual self-tanners contain fewer tanning ingredients, as they are made to be used over time to build up a tan, instead of giving you a dark tan straight away.
As gradual tanners contain fewer tanning ingredients or smaller concentrations, they will not be as harsh on the skin and hopefully not cause any irritation. It also gives you better control over how dark your tan turns out to be!
Some self-tanners include a bronzer, which gives you an instant tan while the rest of the ingredients work to develop the proper tan over a few hours.
A bronzer can help as a guide to see where you have applied the self-tanner and any spots you have missed, to avoid streaks and patches. However, you might not want the fake-tan look that bronzers give, and you can choose a self-tanner without bronzer if that is the case.
The Best DHA-Free Self-Tanners
There are not too many DHA-free self-tanners on the market, so above we have listed the few good options you do have, as well as some naturally derived DHA tanners, which are just as gentle on the skin, while still giving you the most gorgeous, natural-looking tan possible!
Choose to use a DHA-free self-tanner, or a naturally derived DHA self-tanner, if you want to avoid irritation and sensitivity, and avoid your skin drying out while it develops a beautiful tan.
Below are the best DHA-free self-tanners on the market, or self-tanners that are made with naturally derived DHA, which are all gentle on your skin, while still giving it a beautiful glow.
|1.||Glimmer Goddess Organic DHA Free Self-Tanner||DHA free, nourishing ingredients, dark tan|
|2.||Ed Hardy Butter Me Brown DHA-Free Bronzing Lotion||DHA free bronzer, dark tan, protects skin|
|3.||b.tan Darkest Self Tanner 100% Natural||100% natural DHA, use on face and body, darkest tan|
|4.||St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist||Natural tanning actives, a hydrating boost to facial skin, natural ingredients|
|5.||Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self-Tanning Mousse||100% natural DHA, tropical scent, color guide for even coverage|
|6.||Bahama Tan Self-Tanning Lotion Organic & Natural||Eco-cert DHA, organic and natural ingredients, no chemicals|
|7.||MineTan Coconut Water-Based Self-Tanner||100% natural DHA, coconut-water based, fast-drying|
|8.||Miami Gorgeous Self Tanning Mousse||Organic DHA, streak-free tan, suitable for all skin types|
|9.||Skinerals Onyx Self-Tanner Mousse||Organic and natural ingredients, no orange tones, no streaks|
1. Glimmer Goddess Organic DHA Free Self-Tanner
The Glimmer Goddess Organic DHA Free Self-Tanner will give you a healthy golden glow, without using any chemicals!
It is an all-natural, vegan, organic tanning cream that gradually builds up your tan over 24 hours, free from toxins and irritation.
Your skin will love the caring ingredients in the self-tanner, such as hydrating almond milk and almond oil, shea butter, sunflower oil, avocado oil, and vitamin E. These will all nourish your skin as it develops a darker tan,
Natural erythrulose, which is from fermented raspberries, helps to develop a darker tan on your skin, in a much kinder and gentler way. The tan developed with this self-tanner will be dark.
Enjoy the anti-aging properties that the self-tanner brings too, from the organic shea butter, which restores elasticity and moisture, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and boosting collagen production too.
Your skin will not only look tanned and glowing, but it will be nourished and cared for, more youthful-looking, and free from irritation caused by DHA!
2. Ed Hardy Butter Me Brown DHA-Free Bronzing Lotion
Ed Hardy has this Butter Me Brown DHA-Free Bronzing Lotion on offer, for those who want a delectable brown skin tone, but without the harmful chemicals that might come along with it.
Made with macadamia nut and almond oil, your skin will be left nourished and protected from drying out, giving all the nutrients it needs to glow and be radiant.
Along with these two oils, caffeine and green tea extracts help to firm and tighten the skin, giving it a more youthful appearance, showing off your new tan better.
To get a darker tone, MelanoBronze stimulates melanin activity to give you a darker tanning result, helping build up a tan over time. The tan achieved with this bronzer is very dark, so it is suited for those who already have darker skin tones.
Your tan will be streak-free and your clothes will be stain-free thanks to the special formula, which also has a delicious sweet brown sugar scent!
3. B.tan Darkest Self-Tanner 100% Natural
Give yourself the darkest tan possible with the b.tan Darkest Self-Tanner.
Your tan will be free from orange tones and that fake tan smell, leaving you to enjoy your darkest, flawless tan possible.
There are no added chemicals in the formula, which is cruelty-free and vegan.
It is made with 100% naturally sourced DHA, which means that it will not irritate or harm your skin. It is also free from parabens and sulfates, further benefiting your skin.
The 1 hour express formula means that you will notice results in a short amount of time, but also keep in mind that the longer you leave the formula on, the darker your tan will be, so it is all in your control.
This self-tanner is gentle enough to be used on your body and your face, and you can enjoy nourished, glowing skin all over thanks to the hydrating formula.
Use this self-tanner for the darkest tan possible, and control your tan with how long you leave it on, and enjoy the gentle effect it has on your skin!
4. St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
Not only with the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Face Mist give you a natural-looking sun-kissed glow, but it will also give your face an instant hydration boost in just one application, while still feeling lightweight.
It is infused with a 100% natural tanning active, to give your skin a darker tan without any nasty chemicals.
It is also made with hyaluronic acid and non-pore clogging ingredients, which means that your skin will be cared for, without any breakouts.
Hibiscus extract in the formula has antioxidants that help protect the skin against free radicals and harm, and green mandarin helps to refresh and revive the skin for a natural glow.
Using this face tan mist, you will be left with an even tan, without streaks or transfer, and without that tell-tale self-tanning smell!
It is 100% clean, vegan-friendly, and made with natural tanning actives.
5. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self-Tanning Mousse
Coco & Eve use only the best ingredients to make their self-tanners, which means that you are not only given the best tanning results, but you are using products with the best ingredients, free from phthalates and parabens.
This self-tanning mousse is developed with a green-grey base for a natural golden glow without any of those unwanted orange tones.
It is made using 100% natural DHA, so it is gentle and non-irritating on the skin and is packed with skincare benefits.
So many nourishing ingredients are used to create this special formula, such as raw virgin coconut, papaya, Bali cocoa, mango, fig, banana, and mandarin.
Orange and lotus flowers included also help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Tropical Balinese Mango and Guava Scent leave your skin smelling absolutely incredible, and you do not have to worry about any of those self-tan odors, or those very fake-smelling scents that some other self-tanners have.
Color guide technology helps with the application, so your tan is even all around, and so that it works perfectly with your skin tone.
6. Bahama Tan Self-Tanning Lotion Organic & Natural
The Bahama Tan Self-Tanning Lotion helps you develop your own personal tan color, going as dark as you want while remaining free from streaks and orange tones.
This is a gradual tanner that you can use for a few days in a row to develop your preferred color, so you can match it to fair or medium skin perfectly.
It is made with pure, natural, and organic ingredients which have been blended together to create a rich and natural-looking tan, without needing any time in the sun. Eco-cert DHA is included in the formula, which is naturally derived and suitable for sensitive skin.
The formula is free from parabens, mineral oils, alcohol, petrochemicals, and other toxic chemicals that might cause irritation.
Instead, the self-tanner is packed with nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, argan oil, and monoi de Tahiti, which will deeply moisturize your skin to give it a beautiful radiance while showing off its darker tan.
The lotion is really easy to use and apply to your skin, and it can be used on your body and face!
7. MineTan Water-Based Self-Tanner
Made with real coconut water, the MineTan Water-Based Self-Tanner is a one-of-a-kind bronzing treatment that is packed with antioxidants to restore skins hydration and to revitalize skin, while giving it a gorgeous tan.
The MineTan Water-Based Self-Tanner is a 1-hour express tan formula, containing 100% natural DHA fast tanning actives, with Quad Bronzing Technology, to speed up the tanning process, allowing you to enjoy your tan quicker!
Being made with 100% natural DHA, your skin will not experience irritation or sensitivity, and you won’t have to walk around with that fake-tan smell either.
It is also cruelty-free and vegan, ticking all of the right boxes. The self-tanner will leave your skin with an even tan, free from orange tones and streaks.
As it is water-based it is really easy to apply to your skin, and it is fast-drying so you can carry on with your day as normal.
Gentle and beautifully effective at nourishing your skin and giving it a new tan, this is definitely a product worth trying!
8. Miami Gorgeous Self-Tanning Mousse
Infused with argan oil and coconut oil, the Miami Gorgeous Self-Tanning Mousse is so kind to your skin, nourishing it from deep within, and giving it an instant natural bronze color too.
Formulated with pure vitamins and natural oils, your skin will be left smooth and streak-free, and perfectly tanned.
Organic DHA is used to alter the color of your skin, but it does so much more gently than other self-tanning products.
Ingredients such as argan oil, coconut oil, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, olive oil, jojoba oil, and elderflower extract, all give your skin a radiance that will help it show off its new darker tone.
As only high-quality ingredients are used in this self-tanning mousse, it is safe to use for sensitive skin and all skin types, and it can be used on the body and face too.
Each bottle contains around 10-12 full-body applications, so you can get so much from just one bottle!
9. Skinerals Onyx Self-Tanner Mousse
Achieve a natural-looking dark tan in the safest way possible with the Skinerals Onyx Self-Tanner Mousse.
It is a green-based solution that works to counteract the fake orange tan look that often comes with other self-tanning products.
You simply apply the product at night, and shower it off the next morning, to achieve a natural, bronze glow without any blotches, streaks, or orange patches.
This is a great option for light, medium, and olive skin tones, as you can build up your tan to the tone that suits you best.
It contains as many natural and organic ingredients as possible, to better nourish and protect your skin.
Use this one product for your face and body, as it is non-greasy and non-comedogenic, so it will not clog up pores or cause breakouts. It can even be applied underneath makeup!
The bronzer contains antioxidants such as acai berry and fig extracts, to even out skin tone and give skin a more youthful appearance. There is also no bad odor with this self-tanner, thanks to only using natural ingredients!
Give yourself that ‘back-from-vacation’ look with this nourishing self-tanning mousse, containing all of the good ingredients and none of the bad ones!
Can DHA age your skin?
DHA can end up aging your skin over time, as it can cause drying, which could lead to fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. It is best to use DHA-free self-tanners or those which are made from natural DHA sources to avoid this.
Can you be allergic to DHA?
While the chances are low, you can develop an allergy to DHA. It could cause rashes, sensitivity, and irritation to your skin, and if you experience any of this when using a self-tanner, then it is best to wash it off straight away and contact your healthcare provider for further advice.
There are other products you can use in its place, so you can still enjoy a darker tan.