DHA Resistive

By Darla
In Blog
Mar 18th, 2014


When seen in darker skin types, this is not usually true DHA Resistance, but rather the misuse of too low a DHA level for that clients skin type, since darker skin types do better with 11% DHA and above products.

Light level products of 5% DHA and below often give the DHA Resistive skin no color or only a very yellowish or peachy look. They may be able to get colour on hands and feet with this depth, but rarely on the body skin. For this reason many Tan Extender or “Daily Use/Glow” lotions will not work well. The DHA level is to low.

6%-7% may give a little to no colour

8%-10% pro solutions tend to give good colour, but the tan is often lighter then what would be normally expected for their skin type.

11%-14% ranges often give good colour, though its often lighter than one would expect. Poor fading, orange or brassy colour may occur with darker depth ranges on the fairer skin tones.

You are not DHA resistive in one area but normal in another. If you are truly DHA resistive, this is for the entire body.

It is normal for a person to tan lighter or darker in different skin areas due to differences in skin thickness, texture, oiliness, moisture levels, skin exposure to outside elements, UV damage levels etc. Faces, lower legs, chests, backs or torsos often tan lighter, where hands and feet tend to tan darker.

This client often needs extra coats of product applied, until they have build their tan with repeated applications, and skin saturation,  over a few weeks. 4-6 ounces of solution applied on the initial coat to a small pale women that is untanned is not unusual.

Once they have build some color, they can usually get by with 2-4 ounces per application to maintain a good medium tan.


DHA Reactive

The opposite of the DHA Resistive client is the DHA reactive type. They turn orange very easily. Dark bronzers or products left on the skin surface to long can increase the tendency for the tan to skew into the orange coloration family.

Pre moisturising skin, using lower DHA level products, and/or showering products off sooner can all help this client achieve a more natural looking tan.  Think of their skin as similar in reaction to skin type one when selecting products to use.

Apply less product can also be helpful with this client, 1 ounce of product may be enough to give them a nice medium tan.

Daily Use or Glow lotions work well on this client, but they should be careful not to over apply or they can look orange.

What makes you DHA Resistive or Reactive , and how is it fixed?

You cannot “fix” DHA receptiveness, as it is not a disease or illness, rather it is simply a rough classification in the normal way your individual body operates chemically durning the self tanning process. The tanning coloration is linked to the way DHA creates its browning action in reaction to oxygen exposure and the unique chemistry and amino acids (protein bits) in the surface of your skin layer. This is unique to each person, and diet, genetics, health, lifestyle, climate and other unknown factors all play an often unidentified role.

You do not “become” DHA resistive with time. However changes in the body due to climate, illness, medications, age can all cause changes in how the body reacts to self tanning products.


Oily Skin

Skin that is oily often will tan lighter then surrounding skin. The face, chest and back often are oilier and clients with oily skin will have lighter coloration in these areas.

Make sure all skin is well exfoliated, with no lotion soap, moisturizer, exfoliate scrub residue or hair conditioner or shave product residue on the skin (any of which can limit tan penetration)

Prep sprays or astringents applied to the skin surface pretannig, will remove the excess surface oil, but the skin often will relubricate itself within 20-60 minutes. So this client may still find they have excess oil on the skin during the sunless tan chemical reaction stage stage (1-8 hours after being sprayed)

Spraying extra product in the oily areas often works well. But if clients still find these areas are lighter then preferred, they should apply a home use self tanning products to these areas 24 hours after they have been initially sprayed. Oily skin area may fade faster than surrounding skin. Use of a home applied product to refresh color will even out the tan.

Younger clients especially adolescents are more likely to be oily skinned. This can also be more of a concern with the larger sized, voluminous client, who may find their body temperature runs “hotter”, or they sweat more easily.

During humid times of year clients will perspire more often and more easily, which can also lead to temporary “oily” skin issues.


Dry Skin

Dry skin tends to absorb solution more quickly, develop more darkly, and in some case more unevenly. The skin is dry and can act like a dry sponge absorbing any moisture (in the form of liquid tanning solution) quickly.

In some areas this is a normal reaction, for example:  ankle bones, and knuckles, hands, feet, knees and elbows or other thick skin areas.

It can also be more common on legs for female clients that shave regularly with drying shave products or depilatories.

Some clients are dry skinned all over, ether from genetics, age, health issues, medications or hormonal issues. Older skin or stressed skin will be prone to dryness.

Skin tends to be much dryer in Winter Seasons, especially in areas with very cold winters.

Switching to milder cleaners and moisturising often can benefit, as well as using heavier moisturising self tanners.

Because the skin is so dry, the client my find they become orange easily, or dry or scaled very fast. A lower depth DHA product is recommended in these cases as darker products will make the tendency worse. Dark bronzer can make any poor fading more visible, so use lighter bronzed products or clear if available.

Use caution not to over saturate skin.  Like the DHA Reactive client less solution applied to the skin may work well for this client, assuming you have the correct spray technique and equipment is properly adjusted for complete and even coverage.

….contributed by Vicki Mayhew

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