The quest for brown, sun-kissed skin has never been so prevalent in the digital age of posting, sharing, liking and subscribing.
Sporting a permanent tanned look all year round is part and parcel of creating an image online that you’re having the time of your life jetting around the world to far, flung exotic places.
The fake tan industry is booming with sales of products having rocketed by almost 40 per cent in the past year as selfie-obsessed Brits are determined to look their best at all time.
The obsession with looking picture-perfect ready at any given moment, has, however, led to new, questionable ways to achieve it.
Tanning injection or Melanotan injections are growing in popularity and even though they are technically illegal to be sold here in the UK, they are available online by a number of vendors.
Although Melanotan injections is not a licensed medicine in the UK and to sell the drug is a criminal offence, people are still able to purchase the unlicensed injections online via underground websites and sources. A lot of the top models and celebrities, for instance, are doing it and prefer this option over sunbeds as sunbeds cause skin ageing.
Melanotan injections increase the levels of the pigment melanin in the skin. This pigment is part of the body’s natural response to the sun, and increasing levels of melanin results in skin darkening or tanning. There are two forms available, Melanotan I and II, which are diluted in water before being injected.
Using Melanotan 2 as a tanning injection gives results quicker and are longer lasting. However, Melanotan 2 will not work without some form of UV exposure so getting a minimum of 20 mins of natural sunlight a day will help activate the melanin injections. Within 6 days you will begin to see your skin warming up to a natural-looking sun-kissed glow.
Melanotan is a peptide, which enables your skin to have natural protection against UV Rays.
As we know, melanin is the pigment that colours our skin, which acts as a light filter reflecting and refracting ultraviolet light and preventing it from damaging the skin the darker Melanin (new Melanin) is present in the skin and helps prevent the damage from ultraviolet light.
Melanotan 2 helps increase the body’s natural Melanin, which in turn gives the skin a greater ability to tan. It’s very important you understand MT2 itself won’t protect skin from burning, the tan you achieve will protect your skin. Until your base tan is achieved you should still take care, not to over-expose skin to UV rays.
The biggest worry with these injectables is that stimulating melanin production and cells can also stimulate dangerous changes in the skin.
Short-term side effects can also include facial swelling, nausea, flushing, vomiting and appetite loss.
Is there such a thing as ‘safe’ Melanotan injections?
There is no UK long-term research on the health impacts of the tanning injections and the NHS currently advises against use. With a plethora of tanning products readily available to purchase, I say fake it don’t risk it with injections. Yes, in the short term you may look fabulous and glowing but when the dangers of long term use isn’t known, it’s just not worth it.
This article was contributed by guest author, Lorena Öberg