What Is It?
Dihydroxyacetone is a white crystalline powder. In cosmetics and personal care products, Dihydroxyacetone is used in the formulation of self-tanning products.
Why Is It Used?
Dihydroxyacetone imparts a color to the human body. It also enhances the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness.
Dihydroxyacetone, is a color additive used in self-tanning or sunless tanning products. It darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids in the skin’s surface.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists Dihydroxyacetone as a color additive exempt from certification. It may be safely used in externally applied cosmetics “intended solely or in part to impart a color to the human body” provided that it conforms to FDA specifications. Dihydroxyacetone may also be used in externally applied drugs. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) has deferred evaluation of this ingredient because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.
All color additives used in foods, drugs and cosmetics in the United States must be approved by FDA and listed in the Code of Federal Regulations. In some cases, FDA requires that each batch of color produced for use in regulated products can be used only if it is certified by the agency to meet strict specifications. FDA maintains a laboratory especially for this purpose and color manufacturers must pay a fee to support this activity. FDA only approves colors after extensive review of all safety data and publication of the basis for its approval in the Federal Register.
FDA comments regarding sunless tanner products
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Dihydroxyacetone
In Europe, Dihydroxyacetone is treated as a cosmetic ingredient rather than as a Ingredients that impart color to cosmetic products. In the United States, the FDA regulates which colorants may be used in cosmetics.. Dihydroxyacetone may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..
More Scientific Information
Dihydroxyacetone, or 1,3-dihydroxy-2-propanone, is an aliphatic A ketone is an organic compound characterized by the presence of a carbonyl group in which the carbon atom is covalently bonded to an oxygen atom. The remaining two bonds are to other carbon atoms.. In cosmetics and personal care products, Dihydroxyacetone functions as a colorant and as a skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous.