There are a number of ways to get your dream summer-ready tan, you can use tanning beds, catch some sun outside (if the weather is on your side) or opt to use fake tan instead.
However, your options aren’t limited to just those as there has been a sharp rise in tanning injections as well.
You might have seen some news reports about tanning injections early this year but they aren’t exactly a new invention. Tanning injections, alongside nasal sprays, have been available in the UK for some time now and they come in fluid or powder forms and must be mixed with water before use.
But despite being somewhat widely available they are actually illegal to supply and sell. But this hasn’t stopped people using them to get their desired tan. But what are the risks and how do these injections even work? Well, let’s take a more in-depth look at them and find out.
The Barbie Doll Drug
Tanning injections have been dubbed the Barbie Doll drug in the UK and despite being illegal to sell, buying them online is relatively easy.
Let’s get to the crux of the problem right away, do they actually work or is it all a scam?
Tanning injections do in fact work in the majority of cases which is what has made them so popular despite their potential dangers. Tanning injections like nasal sprays contain Melanotan which is what gives them their tanning properties.
Melanotan is a cosmetic peptide that stimulates a natural increase in your skins melanin production. This is how these injections cause your skin to tan and when injected into your skin you get much quicker tanning than you would with most other methods.
They are even faster than their other illegal counterpart namely nasal tanning sprays because the skin is more absorbent than the nose. So, yes tanning injections do work and can work very well but does that mean you should use them?
The Melanotan Problem
This supplement comes in two forms, they can either have Melanotan 1 or Melanotan 2 in them. Despite what you might read on some sales sites or tanning injection descriptions, both types of Melanotan are potentially dangerous to inject into your skin. Although Melanotan 2 is the more dangerous of the two.
Melanotan 1 is weaker and therefore less likely to cause serious side-effects than Melanotan 2. This is because Melanotan 2 has been modified to increase its strength so it does carry an increased risk. Melanotan 1 injections are also notably more expensive than there Melanotan 2 counterparts because of this.
This means that the majority of people using tanning injections are more likely to use Melanotan 2 injections. However, let me reiterate that just because Melanotan 1 is less risky when compared to Melanotan 2 that doesn’t mean it is safe to use. Let’s take a closer look at the dangers, shall we?
Tanning injections of either kind come with some potential dangers and side-effects. Melanotan is not licensed for sale in many countries and as of yet, it has not been officially safety tested either.
However, because many people are using it we do know some of the potential safety risks and some scientific research has been carried out to monitor the potential side-effects of both Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2.
Below is a list of some of the potential risks that come with using both types of Melanotan.
Appetite Suppression – Both types of Melanotan have been shown to suppress the appetite which has caused some people to use these to not only get a faster tan but to also help them lose weight.
Skin Pigmentation – Some people have experienced a variety of pigmentation problems by using Melanotan tanning injections.
Sickness – Sickness, headaches, itching, fatigue, and facial flushing have all been reported due to Melanotan injections. These symptoms are generally worse with injections of Melanotan 2.
Melanotan 2 has also been reported to cause an increased libido in both men and women although men do suffer more symptoms, including spontaneous erections.
Some researchers also believe that Melanotan injections of either kind could increase the risk of skin cancer. Although at the moment there is no hard evidence to support this.
Should You Use Tanning Injections?
The UK law, when it comes to tanning injections say they are illegal to ship and sell, but not for customers to buy.
Some salons even get around the legal issues by using independent contractors to provide the injections so technically you can use them.
However, I would strongly recommend caution because of the potential dangers and side-effects. Until more research is carried out, using a tanning alternative like fake tan or tanning tablets will be the safer option.