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dihydroxyacetone Line breaks: di|hy¦droxy|acet¦one
Pronunciation: /ˌdʌɪhʌɪdrɒksɪˈasɪtəʊn/

Definition of dihydroxyacetone in English:


[mass noun] Chemistry
A synthetic compound with strong reducing properties, used in lotions for colouring the skin in sunlight.
  • Chemical formula: (CH2OH)CO
Example sentences
  • Artificial tanning products use chemicals such as dihydroxyacetone that react with proteins in the skin to create a brown color.
  • All self-tanners contain a chemical called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, which temporarily stains (within about an hour) the uppermost layer of your skin, called the stratum corneum.
  • Some beauty salons have recorded a 20% increase in sales of the treatment, which uses the colour additive dihydroxyacetone.


Late 19th century: from dihydroxy- (in the sense 'containing two hydroxyl groups in the molecule') + acetone.

Definition of dihydroxyacetone in:
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