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White Christmas Experts warn we could be facing a fake tan shortage

Issues to ingredient supply chains mean that Irish women might have to forgo our faux glow this Christmas

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We could be facing a shortage of fake tan this Christmas - that’s according to manufacturers who cannot get their hands on one of its key ingredients.

It comes as the global supply chain of Ethoxydiglycol has been affected.

‘Ethoxydiglycol’, which is an ingredient used to leave tan streak free and even when applied to skin is also used for different purposes in shampoo, hair dye, moisturiser, deodorant and make-up.

A number of suppliers in the UK and Europe do not have any of the chemical in stock and are unsure when they will be able to source it. Some experts have put the shortage down to the chemical’s sudden popularity in China.

Irish tan brands Bellamianta and Iconic Bronze have assured fake tan lovers that they will not have to go bare this winter.

A rep for the brands told the Sunday World: “Tan lovers can be rest assured there is plenty of Bellamianta & Iconic Bronze to go around this festive season and afar to keep us all glowing and gleaming.”

Medicine Direct, a Pharmacy in the UK have investigated the issue and reported how exactly fake tan could be affected.

Clinical Supervisor and Superintendent Pharmacist, Hussain Abdeh said:

“Ethoxydiglycol is almost single-handedly responsible for how cosmetics are applied to the skin. Without it, many cosmetic products as we know them would be unusable. Essentially, without Ethoxydiglycol, cosmetics could end up causing more damage than good for a number of skin conditions,” he explained.

Without the ingredient, some tans can be streaky and uneven and would wash away if it came into contact with water.

Their report states that production of tan may be forced to grind to a halt before the end of the year.

“The shortage is likely to hit once current batch productions and supplies of Ethoxydiglycol have been used, which could be as soon as the end of the year. This means that the production for cosmetic products that include Ethoxydiglycol would have to be scaled down to preserve current supplies of the key ingredient or will grind to a halt once those supplies have been used which would have a huge knock-on effect to the global cosmetics industry.”

“The supply of Ethoxydiglycol has already come to a complete stop, with no new supplies of the ingredient expected anytime soon in Europe.”

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Because of the shortage, demand is high, which has been reflected in the cost of the ingredient. Medicine Direct reported that the price of a kilogram of Ethoxydiglycol has risen from £12 (€14) to £103 (€120).

Speaking to Newstalk, Marissa Carter, CEO and founder of fake bake brand Cocoa Brown joked that she’d have to leave Instagram if her business was affected.

“If there is a fake tan shortage I'd have to leave Instagram.”

"It’s impossible for people in the industry to get their hands on the ingredients because there’s a huge shortage globally. Every manufacturer is having the same problem whether it’s the rising cost or waiting times.”

"We need to make sure we have at least seven months stock, it’s been really difficult to manage the supply chain,” she said.

"One of the reasons for the shortage is because tan has become really popular in China and that’s where our raw ingredients come from. As their market grows so does the demand for the ingredients.”

Carter said that Irish women will be the most affected.

"Irish women are the highest wearers of fake tan in the world. There is no other country that wears as much fake tan as Irish people. Women have been going out and stocking up, we’ve plenty of Cocoa Brown in stock and you will have a bronze Christmas."

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