heart-raspberryErythrulose is rated as a skin-safe non-toxic cosmetic self-tanning ingredient similar to DHA (Dihydroxyacetone)

It will normally be found blended in DHA/E blend sunless products.

What is it?

Erythrulose is a yellow to reddish sugar found in red berries, most commonly raspberries. Like DHA, it tans the skin due to a reaction with the amino acids (proteins) in the skins dead surface layer, producing a brownish tint.

It works in much the same manner as DHA. Neither ingredient uses the skins normal pigmentation or UV exposure to produce the tan coloration. But rather works as a chemical reaction on the skins dead surface cell layer, and changes the dead skin cells to a brownish tone.  This is a similar reaction to how cut fruit can turn brownish when exposed to air.

brown fruit

Tan Fade:

With any self tanner, as the skins colored (tanned) dead cells flake off (millions a day) the lighter un-tanned skin appears, which is what causes a sunless tan to fade or lighten.

This can take anywhere from 2-10 plus days, depending on skin condition, products used, DHA level used, and skin care practices before and after tanning.

Erythrulose when blended with DHA can help the tan tone appear “richer” deeper and more even. Depending on the client, the tan fade rate may be slower, and smoother.


The sunless tan coloration may be more visually pleasing and “natural” looking, as an Erythrulose tan is a slightly different tonality than DHA. It can add a warmer/redder tone to the final sunless tan. Though this can vary depending on the individual client, as each person’s unique skin may differ in how it reacts.

Erythrulose is a slower working tanning agent, that can be less drying to the skin. When used alone, the tan developed is lighter in color than a DHA based tan.

Erythrulose generally takes 2-3 days to develop a tanned color, and reaches its maximum intensity after 4-6 days.

DHA takes 8-24 hours to completely darken, and intensifies for 2-4 days.

E/DHA blended products can make the tan appear darker on days 2-4 of application. This can also contribute to a slower fading tan, as the coloration peaks later in the tan development cycle.

So as the DHA tan is starting to begin its initial fade cycle, the Erythrulose is at its darkest range.

Many find a combo product provides a deeper more attractive tan. That wears more evenly, fades slower, and looks more “natural”.

Not a perfect match on everyone:

But not all clients react to Erythrulose, or react positively. This is true of any ingredient.

Some users may find that they may have uneven fading or blotchiness with a DHA/E blend product.  It is not a common occurrence, but does occur on from time to time.

If a client is sensitive to the Dihydroxyacetone ingredient, they may also react negatively to Erythrulose as well, due to their similarities.

If you would like to try an Erythrulose/DHA blended product, pickup a bottle of any of the below items in the Tampa Bay Tan line.

Current DHA/E blended products in the Tampa Bay Tan line are:

Have a great September!


tbt model