Sun protection

Unraveling the Mystery Behind Tanning Cream

The Chemistry of Tanning Cream

It seems almost magical. You squeeze out a seemingly ordinary lotion into your hand and do your best to apply it evenly and quickly in an attempt to become tan without exposing yourself to the deadly UV effect of the sun. Some of us make the mistake of putting on multiple coats, as we can’t see the effects of the tanning cream. Unfortunately, that is a mistake. Why? Because tanning creams work a lot like a developer. It takes time for the reaction in the chemical components of the cream and the receptive cells of your skin to occur. The active ingredient in tanning cream is dihydroxyacetone,DHA and is often used in combination with erythrulose. When the cream contains erythrulose, it takes longer for the tan to develop. These chemiclas react with the amino acids in your dead skin cells on the surface–the stratum corneum or outer most layer of the basal layer of your skin. DHA can be found in concentrations ranging between 1% to 15% but is most commonly sold over the counter at 5%. Most tanning creams contain a sunscreen with low level, normally around the level 3.

Getting That Healthy Glow

Getting that healthy glow is as easy as one, two, three:

  • Step One–Apply the cream evenly
  • Step Two–Wait two to four hours for the reaction to proceed
  • Step Three–Enjoy your tan for three to ten days

A Little More Chemistry

The reaction will continue to darken the tanned appearance of skin for 24 to 72 hours after application and will last anywhere from three to ten days, depending on how quickly your body rids itself of dead skin cells. The tanning reaction is the same one that occurs when baking or roasting food and is known as the Maillard reaction. During this reaction, a chemical called melanoidins is produced, causing the coloring in the skin to change. So this begs the question, if the reaction is the same as that which occurs in baking and roasting, what is happening to the skin? Is it dangerous to tan using tanning cream?

Possible Side Effects and Dangers Of Using Tanning Cream

Studies have shown that after using tanning cream, the skin becomes more sensitive to UV rays for at least 24 hours after application, increasing the risk of sunburn. Studies have shown an increase in UV absorption of an astounding 180% higher than subjects who did not use tanning cream. When getting a spray tan in a booth, inhaling the chemicals may result in unwanted side effects. DHA has been known to be a mutagen in certain concentrations in the laboratory experiments, but not at concentrations used in tanning creams. DHA may be absorbed by living tissue, which at this time has not been fully studied so the effects remain unknown. Unlike a real tan in which the melanin is produced and affords a bit of UV protection, a chemically induced tan produces melanoidins that do not provide any protection. An odd note is that one study found that Mexican Hairless dogs have an allergic reaction to tanning creams, so if you have one of these dogs, be extra cautious to ensure none of the product accidentally gets transferred to the dog. Self tanning creams appear to be safe to use during pregnancy. Although there have been no reports about the effects of using self tanning cream while breast feeding, it would probably be a good idea to keep the product away from breasts, as it can be absorbed by the skin.

What To Look For In A Self Tanning Cream

There are a number of self tanning products on the market today. You can find them with moisturizers and sun block. They also have varying percentages of DHA. Some are formulated with erythrulose, and some without it. It is best to avoid sunless tanning creams that have oils in them to help accelerate tanning as these can easily lead to burning. Whatever type of tanning cream you choose, you should always wear sunscreen when going out for some sun.


Available Tanning Drugs

With so many dangers associated with sitting in the sun for long periods of time or using tanning beds to get a tan, people have begun to seek out other ways to get a great tan. The latest is a series of new drugs that can be used to give people that even, bronze look all over their bodies without ever needing to use sunshine or tanning beds. The following is a list of some of the most popular drugs people all over the world have begun to use to get the long-lasting tan they want. The list also includes some of the side-effects of using those drugs.


Trisoralin is a drug that is growing in popularity among weightlifters. Trisoralin is a drug that has primarily been proscribed to treat a skin pigmentation condition called Vitiligo. This is the condition with which singer Michael Jackson said he suffered. The drug quickly produces darkened skin color. Users say when they take Trisoralin for two weeks it gives them a deep, dark tan that makes them look like they have been lying out in the sun for about three months. Many weight-lifters like the tan they get from Trisoralin because it lasts a good long time.

There are some dangers associated with using Trisoralin when it is not proscribed and monitored by a physician. Chief among the side-effects is liver damage. Trisoralin also darkens moles rapidly and in some cases have been known to give people’s skin an orange tint.


Canthaxanthin is a relatively popular tanning pill. The scientific name for Canthaxanthin is Beta-carotene-4,4′-dione 1. It is commonly called roxanthin red, carophyll red, Food Orange 8, or tanning tablets. The pill is used by many people because it gives the skin a beautiful, natural-looking tan. It is recommended that people not take more than 25 milligrams of canthaxanthin a day. Many companies use the drug as the primary ingredient in their tanning pills and lots of people feel safe using it because it is naturally occurring in some plants and fish.

There are some negative side-effects related to the use of Canthaxanthin. Overuse can lead to liver damage, urticaria (severe itching), and canthaxanthin retinopathy, an eye disorder characterized by yellow deposits in the retina. The FDA does not recommend the use of Canthaxanthin for tanning.


Melanotan is a new drug that is used by a growing number of people who want to get a great tan without sitting in the sun. It seems to be preferred by women. So many women use it that people often refer to it as the Barbie Drug. When injected about once a week, it gives women an even, golden tan. Melanotan is a synthetic hormone. It works by tricking the body into increasing its level of melanin, the chemical which gives skin its dark pigmentation. The result is within a week the user looks like she has been on a Caribbean cruise.

Although Melanotan works with the body’s natural system to create the dark pigmentation tanners love, it can lead to numerous negative side-effects. Some of the short-term side-effects of Melanotan include depression, high blood pressure, panic attacks, headaches, nausea, facial flushing, and suppressed appetite. Some people have reported heart and stomach problems and disorders of the blood and eyes. But scientists say skin cancer is one possible long-term effect.

It seems like people will do almost anything to get that deep, dark, tan with golden overtones. For many years that has meant spending hours lying out in the sun or on tanning beds. More recently, people seeking a quicker, easier way to get than rich-looking copper tone tan have begun to use spray tanning products. Still, many are unsatisfied because the spray tan products have a very unusual smell and can stain clothes, towels, and other items. That has lead a growing number of people to experiment with tanning drugs.

But tanning drugs are dangerous. Many contain ingredients that are hazardous to people’s health. Plus those tanning drugs have horrific short and long-term side-effects. Still, people continue to take these drugs and risk their health in the name of vanity. They risk life and limb in pursuit of the perfect tan.


Restricting Teens Use Of Tanning Beds Is Critical To Prevent Cancer

States ban the use of tanning devices.

Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure is pretty even with all ages, it is more apt to happen in the teen years. When skin blisters or gets overexposure when in childhood, the risk of developing skin cancer later in years greatly increases. Due to this being such a damaging condition, policymakers are now regulating minor’s use of tanning devices. The states which have already put a ban in place for all minors under the age 18 are:

  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Illinois
  • Delaware
  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Texas

The District of Columbia and 41 other states are regulating their use and some counties and cities such as; Chicago and Howard County in Maryland have put their own jurisdictions in place.

The sun’s source of UV exposure.

The main source of UV exposure is the sun. The sun’s quality and quantity; however, changes as the sun path changes. There is also a different amount or level of UV exposure on individual receives depending on; where one is, the time of day, the time of year, and the amounts of clouds in the sky. Amounts of exposure in some areas are also affected by air quality- air pollution amounts.

Artificial UV exposure.

The use of UV radiation in artificial sources emit wavelengths specific to each source. Various lamps used in business, medicine, industry, research, domestic and cosmetic purposes are sources of this radiation. A tanning bed is a tanning device that uses UTV artificial light. These lamps have under gone a lot of testing and changes since marketed as tanning devices in the 1960’s. During the 1980’s and 1990’s concern began to grow regarding the tanning beds connection to skin cancer. High pressure lamps being marketed produce large quantities of long wave UVA. These lamps give off up to 10 times more than is present in the sunlight.

Melanoma is a greater risk with UV exposure.

People of all ages use tanning bed. Research indicates young, non-Hispanic; white women are the most frequent users. If under the age of 35, exposure to UV rays makes getting melanoma much higher. This is the worst form of skin cancer due to how aggressive and deadly it is. A study done in 2012 by The American Cancer Society, estimated 76,000 new cases developed and almost 9,200 deaths were related to melanoma. The risks for developing this deadly melanoma are:

  • age- being burned or blistering from over exposure in childhood
  • fair skin- moles and freckles
  • genetics- history in family of the disease

The FDA has also made requests for restrictions and labeling on tanning beds. Their executive director says it is crucial for all; parents, family doctors, school teachers, and advocates for public health promote the dangers of using tanning beds. Even one visit to a tanning bed increases the chances of developing melanoma by 59 percent. Since radiation is cumulative, the risk increases with each visit. A direct connection has been proven, through scientific studies, between indoor tanning beds and cancer. According to the World Health Organization they are a level 1 carcinogen- the same as cigarettes.

Restrictions are critical.

With new predictions in on the number to develop skin cancer, policy makers are putting restrictions on the use of tanning beds. There are approximately 2.2 million teens in the United States that tan indoors annually. Putting restrictions on teens is critical to preventing skin cancer

The Melanotan Phenomenon

What is the Melanotan phenomenon?

The Melanotan phenomenon is the best thing for tanning yet. Do you want to achieve that desirable tan and bronze look but without looking like you have a fake tan? Then, this is the product for you! By using Melanotan, you avoid skin damage that comes from those harmful UV rays in real sun light or even tanning beds. You can achieve the exact same look, or even better without harming your skin. This product contains Melanotan 2 which really is a phenomenon. You may be thinking that there must be a catch, that the tan must look fake or have streaks. It really does not! This is what makes it such a phenomenon. This way to tan is the safest way to tan and it looks just as good or even better than a sun tan or one from a tanning bed.

This product is the first one to contain Melanotan 2 and there is nothing else like it on the market. The ingredient is like a wall against harmful UV rays and it actually enhances a wonderful bronzed tan. Melanotan 2 darkens the pigments of your skin in a completely natural way that looks beautiful. Any skin type can used Melanotan 2 and most people find that after they use it, they would rather do this than anything else because nothing can achieve this gorgeous look. This is the result of the Melanotan phenomenon!

The best thing about Melanotan 2 is that it is 100% safe. It even protects the skin and skin cells to avoid any skin damage if you are out in the sun. Tanning beds are no longer relevant because even though they can be a preferable alternative to sun tanning, they are very dangerous over a long period of time or even one time if the bulbs in the tanning bed are brand new. Using Melanotan 2 is a very healthy way to tan and is actually much more clean as well. You are not sitting in other people’s sweat every time you visit the tanning salon. They say they clean those beds but have you ever seen them do it? One spray and one wipe and then it is good to go? I don’t think so.

Benefits of Melanotan 2:

  • No harmful UV rays are involved what so ever!
  • Absolutely no tan lines or streaks so you can have a gorgeous full body tan that everyone wants.
  • 100% natural looking tan that everyone will be jealous of.
  • Acts as a sunscreen as well and protects against the sun while displaying a bronze and beautiful tan.
  • Melanotan is very hygienic.
  • The tan will be completely even and will not rub off or smudge on clothes.
  • The safest way to tan by far!

How does Melanotan 2 work?

Once you have used Melanotan 2, the bronzed tan will develop gradually. How dark it gets and how fast it develops all depends on what your skin tone is like and how much you take of Melanotan 2. If you have fair skin, think about upping your dose but if you already have a dark skin tone, stick to the normal doses. The good news is, no matter what your skin tone is, you will end up with a beautiful natural sunless tan with the use of the Melanotan. It truly is a phenomenon.

How to get Melanotan 2?

Melanotan 2 is available all over the internet on many credible websites. You do not need a prescription to purchase the product. One of the best parts about Melanotan 2 is that it is extremely affordable and it beats getting skin damage or wrinkles any day. Reviews about Melanotan are all positive and people that are used to never getting tan because they are so white actually got a lovely bronze tan! Usually, they would just go from red to white but not with Melanotan 2! This will give anyone the desirable tan that they are looking for! This is all because of the Melanotan phenomenon. This name definitely gives the product justice because the results are unreal!