Key Self-Tanner Ingredient in Short Supply

By November 14, 2021 November 15th, 2021 News

UK-based pharmacy Medicine Direct said Monday, November 1st, that global shortages of “one of the most essential ingredients” in the beauty industry is expected to impact the self-tanning industry internationally.

The ingredient is ethoxydiglycol and it’s responsible for giving some—but not all—self-tanners their streak-free and even color tone application.

Without it, fake tan products would produce a “streaky and uneven tan which would wash away if it came into contact with water,” Medicine Direct’s superintendent pharmacist Hussain Abdeh says.

After dihydroxyacetone, the harmless but vital ethoxydiglycol is the third most prevalent ingredient in this St. Tropez self tanning mousse.

The shortage has sent prices of the ingredient soaring and dried up the reserves of suppliers throughout Europe and the United States.

St Tropez, Bondi Sands, and St. Moriz are among the cosmetic companies that use ethoxydiglycol in their fake tanning products.

We quietly manufacture some of Europe’s largest fake tanning brands. As of yet, we are still desperately trying to source the ingredients from major US and European suppliers.”

  • Diane Higham, Managing Director, Sunjunkie
  • On its 1-10 safety scale, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates ethoxydiglycol a safe 1-2, depending on its usage and concentration in formulations.

    Self-tanners that don’t use ethoxydiglycol

    Among the self-tanning lotions that don’t use ethoxydiglycol, the ingredient in short supply globally, are Beauty by Earth’s organic face and body self-tanners and Botanic Tree’s organic bronzer.

    In July 2021, Ireland-based Research and Markets placed the year 2020 global market value for sunless tanners at $1.4-billion USD.

    What is causing the ingredient shortages isn’t yet known. Market demand, rising costs, and fewer truck drivers are among the possible causes.