Erythrulose, a white powder, is a natural keto sugar produced by aerobic fermentation. Erythrulose is used as a self-tanning agent. In combination with dihydroxyacetone (DHA) it produces a brown color on the skin. The tanning is induced by the Maillard reaction of the keto group with free amino groups of the amino acids on the top layer (stratum corneum) of the epidermis. In combination with dihydroxyacetone a faster effect and a reduction of skin drying is achieved.
The recommended dosage is 1-5% in self-tanning products.