Some people just love to worship the sun. Who can blame them? A healthy glow says “I’m outdoorsy and active” or in the case of George Hamilton, “I just spent the week cruising the Cote D’Azur on my gold-plated yacht.”
However; there is a downside, and it can be steep. Too much sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles and sunspots, none of which are sexy.
This is one of the reasons self-tanning products continue to grow in popularity. Beauty and fashion magazines tout the application process as being easy as 1-2-3. But the problem is that self-tanners fade rather quickly, providing only a temporary glow.
So what’s a born-to-be-bronze person to do?
Well back in 1991, it seemed that the problem had been solved. That’s the year the University of Arizona announced they had developed sun in a syringe, an injectable tanner that provided a flawless, all-body tan that lasted far longer than any cream or spray.
The star of their novel injectable tanning drug was a new peptide compound dubbed Melonotan, that stimulated the melanocytic cells to produce the body’s own melanin. The more melanin you have, the more bronzed you become.
While it sounds like a great scientific triumph, concerns have arisen over time about Melonotan. Recently, it’s been the subject of an urgent warning mostly due to concerns about it causing skin cancer. Which is exactly what it was supposed to prevent. This peptide has gone through extensive testing and research over the past ten years, but is still hasn’t been approved for use by the FDA or by foreign governments.
Nonetheless, injectable tanners are still available to the public (weight lifters love the year-round tan) and drug companies and others are eager to grow the market.
But the bottom line is this: top dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other medical experts, including myself, give them two big thumbs down. The risks are just too high.
Besides, if you look closely through the glamour magazines, you’ll actually notice that being pale is making a comeback. Just look at the anti-George Hamilton, Twilight’s Robert Pattinson.