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UK faces a shortage of FAKE TAN over winter due to supply problems with a key chemical


Now UK faces a shortage of FAKE TAN over winter due to supply problems with a key chemical used in skin creams, hair dye and make-up (spelling doom for Christmas party season)

  • Ethoxydiglycol is used because it is soluble in both oil and water-based products
  • The shortage has already seen a near ten-fold price hike in recent weeks
  • Medicine Direct said shortage expected to have huge impact on cosmetic supplies 


Britain faces a fake tan shortage this winter due to supply problems with a key chemical.

Cosmetic manufacturers are struggling to import an ingredient used in everything from tanning lotions to skin creams, hair dye, make-up and shampoo.

The ingredient, ethoxydiglycol, is widely used in cosmetic products because it is soluble in both oil and water-based products. 

The shortage has already seen a near ten-fold price hike in recent weeks and many suppliers are out of stock. 

Britain faces a fake tan shortage this winter due to supply problems with a key chemical

Diane Higham, director of Sunjunkie.com, said: ‘This is a total nightmare.

‘We are still desperately trying to source the ingredient from major UK and European suppliers, which is already impacting our production line.

‘For fake tan to remain on the skin and be resistant to water, the product must be able to absorb into the skin effectively. Without a good solvent, this may not be the case.’

Sunjunkie is a fake tan supplier based in Stockport which manufactures its own brand of self-tanning products.

Online pharmacy Medicine Direct said the shortage is expected to have a huge impact on cosmetic supplies and could hit the makers of medical products used to treat eczema. 

Hussain Abdeh, clinical director and superintendent pharmacist at Medicine Direct, 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.’

‘This problem can also cause serious problems for medical treatments, particularly for conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis. 

‘Without an effective solvent, topical treatments will be hindered in their absorption,’ he told iNews.

The ingredient, ethoxydiglycol, is widely used in cosmetic products because it is soluble in both oil and water-based products

The ingredient, ethoxydiglycol, is widely used in cosmetic products because it is soluble in both oil and water-based products

Medicine Direct also found the price of ethoxydiglycol had rocketed from £12 to £103 a kilogram.

Nitin Sethi, the managing director of the chemical distribution firm Ascot International, said other ingredients found in fake tan are also in short supply.  

‘A month ago I placed an order for 10 metric tonnes of DHA and I only got four tonnes between now and the end of the year.

‘Our turnover is down because we are not able to sell what we need to sell because of lack of stock, and the price is high and some people are not willing to pay the price,’ he told the Guardian.

Boots said its suppliers had not raised concerns about the supply of ethoxydiglycol and Superdrug declined to comment. 

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