Self Tanner Analysis: Monitoring Color Formulas with Spectrophotometric Technology

With spring just around the corner, I am starting to gear up for some nice sunny days and pulling the warmer weather clothing out of the back of my closet. My pasty-white skin is still a far cry from shorts and t-shirt wear, but luckily there are some quick-fix options for my milky-white complexion. Self tanner’s are available in a variety of color formulas that are designed to match nearly any skin tone. New advancements in color formulas have made self-tanning the choice of the future, especially in a day and age where the damaging effects of the sun are very well known and real.

Spectrophotometric Technology
Sunless tanners provide a better alternative to the damaging rays of the sun. New color formulas are designed to create a natural and even looking tan without the risk of sun damage.
Image Source: Flickr user Evil Erin

Monitoring color formulas in self tanners

Long gone are the days when the only option for self tanners were the ones that gave you that hideous bright orange glow that clearly resembled one of the Oompa-Loompa’s from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Today’s self-tanners are comprised of specific color formulas that are carefully monitored with color measurement technology. Spectrophotometric technology allows for precise quantification of the active self-tanning ingredient, DHA (dihydroxyacetone). The chemical compound in DHA directly affects pigmentation changes in the skin. These changes are measured by percentage of DHA, and a higher percentage value relates to a darker, tanned appearance. Spectrophotometers are a simple and effective method of DHA analysis, which provides the quantifiable data needed for proper labeling and regulations required by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for cosmetic products.

With more and more consumers turning to sunless tanner as an alternative to the damaging UV rays of the sun, the market competition has increased significantly over the last several decades. In fact, according to CNN Money, self-tanning is one of the fastest growing markets today. With competition rising, companies are working hard to create the best self-tanning color formulas in order to outmatch their competitors. Spectrophotometers are essential when measuring natural skin color tones to skin tones where artificial tanning products have been applied. The consumer desires a “natural look” and will spend extra on a product that provides this need. Not only do spectrophotometers measure skin tones and create accurate comparisons, but they also provide the numerical data needed to recreate these color formulas repeatedly. Customers demand this level of quality in their products and trust brands that provide consistent results every time.

Quality and purity

The active ingredient in self tanners is still DHA, but new additives such as UV skin protectants and alpha-hydroxy acid are now being added to the color formulas to increase functionality of the product. With these new additives come the risk of other unwanted products making their way into the formula. According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), “the regulations listing DHA as a color additive also require it to meet tight specifications, with strict limitations on impurities.” Spectrophotometric technology meets the standards in impurity analysis and is highly effective in measuring chemical compounds for unwanted substances, making it a valuable tool in self tanner formulation monitoring and quality control.

Spectrophotometric Technology
The skin is a crucial part of the human anatomy and any products that come in contact with this area must be free of impurities and safe to use.
Image Source: Flickr user Jessica Rabbit’s Flickr

More than just a measurement tool         

Spectrophotometers are versatile tools for a variety of color measurement needs and applications. Both affordable and practical, this instrumentation is a necessity for monitoring color formulas in self-tanning products. HunterLab is a leader in spectrophotometric technology and works closely with industry leaders and researchers to develop the best tool for each specific need. Our instrumentation is uniquely adaptable to the changing industry needs, and our friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to help you find the perfect product for all your color measurement requirements. Contact HunterLab to learn more about color measurement and monitoring color formulas today.

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