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July 2004

Sun Protection Effect of Dihydroxyacetone

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(7):886-887. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.7.886

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is used in cosmetic products to darken the skin chemically, providing sunless tanning. It is considered nontoxic and noncarcinogenic.

Previously, studies have shown that DHA induces concentration-dependent photoprotection against UV-A and visible light.1 Commercialproducts containing DHA are often labeled as having no sun protection. However, our laboratory has shown that DHA absorbs UV-B and delays photocarcinogenesisin hairless mice.2 We therefore examined whether DHA offers any protection against erythema in humans.

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