Made-in-ChinaIs Orange caused because the DHA is cheap or poor quality, less “pure”, or Made in China ?

This is not really true, unless you mean an entire solution product is poorly blended or formulated. But this can be true of a cheap or an expensive blend. Made in the USA or anywhere else.

DHA “cheapness” does not mean orange coloration in the tan.

DHA has been in use in the consumer market since the 1960’s. The quality of the sourced DHA does effect overall potency/concentration of the base ingredient (i.e how difficult this DHA  is to formulate with, create and maintain correct tan developmental color and depth, how much is needed in the blend to create the result you expect etc.)

DHA consistency is also effected (how true the color and potency will be from batch to batch. How much variation you must account for)

DHA is directly related to an orange tan, but it’s the DHA percentage used for the skintype needs. (assuming application amounts and shower time are correct)

 If to a high a DHA level (for the clients skintype needs) is applied– no matter what quality of DHA used, bad tans can happen.

One result is poor color, which can develop into orange.

But you do not need to just take my word for this. The major labs who formulate DHA for cosmetic use also support this claim.

Upon reviewing a number of storage containers from the Industry recognized major suppliers of known high Quality DHA , each bulk quantity container for lab use listed the following type of caution label. “Using over 5% DHA in a finished product may create off color.”

Each of the well known labs that are recognized for the Highest Quality DHA for the marketplace, use the same or similar worded label on their DHA containers, as a warning to those formulating with DHA.

So a DHA mismatch between client skin tone requirements, and solution blend used is one well know cause of orange tans.

If orange tans were only caused by cheap DHA, we would not have any orange clients ever. Because the cheap DHA would be weeded out of the market, as clients would stop repeat purchases of products with cheap DHA.  Yet the market still continues to have both low and high quality DHA.

Manufacturers of High Quality DHA would not have the “use over 5% warning” on their quality products. (not just one company but the majority have this label)

Overall solution quality IS related to formulation practices within the formulation facility. So if a company is cutting corners to cut costs in equipment or properly trained staff, or ingredients in a blend, then a sub-par solution can result. And they may be using cheap DHA, or cheap ingredients.

And the overall product will suffer in many areas.

But this can be equally true of an expensive line, if the company’s does not hold to Quality standards within their line.

Cost would not provide this information for you. Nor would inquiring where ingredients are sourced.

No country has the “best” or “worst” DHA out there. DHA is an ingredient much like any other that can be grown, or processed in any location worldwide. The origin is not the proof of a perfect product.

One can have orange results from High Quality DHA, or a cheap DHA. It is not as straight forward as the DHA origin country or cost.


Where confusion can occur, is some clients skin does not fit standard DHA suggested range guides.

This is why an experienced technician learns to know their clients skin and unique needs and can make adjustments as needed. A DHA chart is a rough “Guide” not a tablet set in stone. It is a only a guide to help provide general education to a technician when using a product line.

You may have a client (myself for example) with a skin type of 2, which means she should stay with a DHA range of 7, possibly 8 or 9. But should not really use a 10 or above or she may turn orange. 12% would not usually be used on her.

Yet I can easily use up to a 14 % DHA, applied at about 4-5 oz, and leave on all night with no orange tones. I am a skintype 2C.  This is not normal for my skin type.

I am also an exception – rather than proof that DHA percent/skin typing rule does not matter. This is a small percentage of your clients. Not the overall average.The charts are based on the overall average cross section of clients.

But due to client skin uniqueness, a busy Tech will run into rule-breakers as well. (such as myself)

I am DHA Resistive. Which means I can use higher levels of DHA (and more amounts) then most others of my skintype, and not turn orange.  And in fact I need to apply more to receive a light to medium tan tone. (regardless of brand)

But I do notice my tan fade rate is faster, and my skin is dryer, and the tan fade off is more uneven with a higher DHA product. So I will normally opt for 9-10% product for daily use. I do bump up to a higher level product on occasion when I want more depth, but I do make plans for the faster fades off, that results.

You will also find clients at the other end of the spectrum who are DHA sensitive, and turn orange very easy, even with a low level DHA (even if it is the best quality)

Also be aware, not every companies 8% DHA is the exact same color depth. Some can be lighter or darker, as there is no industry standardization.  Which can make it harder to know the best percent for your client.

This is one reason you should find products you love, and stick with them so you are familiar with their performance on a variety of client types and situations.

If you shop around and have a new product every month, it can be more difficult to accurately gauge what product to use, for the client’s expectations. And it may also cause confusion with your clients, since they may not feel they have consistency from visit to visit.  This can prevent repeat clients.


Next on tap, ingredients within a blend that can help mask orange development, even when you have used to high a DHA level.So you may be orange, but can’t “see” it.

We will address this in a future post…. Next up – Clients Diet is making them orange or “not brown” Click image below

Thanks Vicki M