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10th Nov 2021

Experts say we are about to experience a global shortage of fake tan

Hair and skincare products could also be affected.

Experts have warned that a possible global shortage of fake tan is coming in the next few weeks.

Data uncovered by the team at Medicine Direct, a UK online pharmacy, suggests that the cosmetics industry will be heavily impacted due to the lack of availability of an essential ingredient called ethoxydiglycol.

The shortage is expected to not only affect fake tan production but also makeup, hair dye, and skincare supplies in the coming weeks.

Ethoxydiglycol is a clear, colourless liquid that allows cosmetic products to be applied to the skin. It also helps to improve the texture, function, and effectiveness of products.

According to researchers, the shortage has already impacted a number of UK and European cosmetic manufacturers.

The decrease in demand for the limited supply of ethoxydiglycol has seen its price increase from £12.10 (€14.10) to £103 (€120.50), with many suppliers now completely out of stock.

Big name brands that use the ingredient and could be hit hard include St Tropez, Bondi Sands, and St Moriz.

How long the shortage will go on is not yet known. Jon Higham, Managing Director of Medicine Direct, told Her:

“The manufacturers of the raw ingredient will not provide any date as to when it will be back in stock. That tells us that supply is not going to resume for a long time.

“When it comes to this sort of supply, delays are quite common and usually when this happens we are always provided of a date of when it is due back in stock, so we can plan production lines and re-ordering around those dates.

“When the manufacturer does not provide a date as to when it is back in stock, from my experience, the product is about to experience a long delay and may not be available again.”

Products without ethoxydigylcol pose all kinds of risks. Make-up would look patchy and crack with movement, hair dye would wash out after a few washes, fake tan would appear streaky and uneven, and certain skincare products would end up clogging pores and drying out the skin.

Medicine Direct’s Clinical Director and Superintendent Pharmacist, Hussain Abdeh, added:

“Ethoxydiglycol is almost single handily responsible for how cosmetics are applied to the skin. Without it, many cosmetic products as we know them would be unusable.”