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Biddiscombe Sunless

The 3 Keys of Organic Spray Tan Solution

Posted by John Melville on

As part of our new Sunless FYI series, there are three key things that organic spray tan solution users need to understand:

Here is what is different about organic spray tan solutions:

  • The biggest and clearly noticeable difference is the cosmetic or guide color.Synthetic colors like FD&C Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 6, etc. (also designated CI colors) are totally forbidden from organic solutions.Only natural colors like caramel, beet juice powder, annatto and other natural colors are permitted.

    Natural colors have two characteristics that make a solution formulator’s life difficult.The colors are not very dark and they will cause solutions to be sticky if used in too high an amount.This is a major challenge and as a product is developed, a point is reached where you can’t get a darker cosmetic color without being unacceptably tacky.Using organic caramel to “get dark” makes a solution incredibly tacky once a certain percentage is used.Organic alcohol can be used to reduce the perception of tackiness, the trade-off being the added drying effect of alcohol.

    Expect that with organic solutions, the cosmetic color will be lighter or the product will be very sticky.


  • Other differences – Performance enhancers like the penetrating agent Isopropyl Myristate, Ethoxydiglycol and the odor suppressor Ordenone are not allowed in organic products. Also not permitted are fragrance, chemical preservatives like phenoxyethanol or parabens, polymers and polysorbates.These ingredients are seen in major brands claiming organic status and they immediately dis-qualify organic status for any of these products.


Here is what they have in common with standard spray tan solutions:

  • The DHA (dihydroxyacetone – the FDA approved tanning colorant) used in organic solutions is the same as used in most major spray tan brands. Remember that no DHA is organic.Sunless color development, the tan, from an organic product will be pretty similar to those that are non-organic.Tan life might be a day or so shorter with an organic solution as compared to solutions embracing synthetic ingredients.

    Many have seen the terms Ecocert certified DHA or Ecocert certified organic DHA.Both of these references are incorrect as Ecocert has only given specific permissions for use of DHA in certified organic product and has not certified any DHA as organic.


Use of organic products is very much a philosophical choice for sunless professionals and there are compromises required. Many are seeking maximum darkness in cosmetic color and tan duration and this is quite understandable.Many good non-organic solutions are available to meet that need, including some from Biddiscombe.

However, if you want to avoid chemicals in your solution, organic is the answer! Contact us for a free sample of Revive Organics TEN, America’s only organic spray tan solution.It clearly meets the requirements of an internationally accepted organic standard and is certified to prove it.TEN is a 10% solution and is made in small batches to ensure freshness.