A New Kind of Tanning Product

Gone are the days when sun-seekers need to spend countless hours in the scorching sunlight or in tanning beds to achieve the coveted golden glow. Nowadays, even those with type I skin can acquire a darker skin tone by the use of self-tanners. Of course, the “glow” acquired by these self-tanners is faux and not protective against UV light. It also can turn into a weekly messy hassle can that sometimes result in uneven, orange-looking skin.

If you read my previous article on self-tanners: Do Self-Tanners Age Skin? , you would also know that the DHA and erythrulose in self-tanners significantly exacerbate the damaging effects of UV light. Unless you plan to live as a vampire or spend extra money on high antioxidant-containing self-tanners and judiciously apply sunscreen daily (and even then some UV light will reach skin), self-tanners will lead to accelerated skin aging.

Fortunately, it was recently discovered that a combination of acetyl tyrosine and Chasteberry extract can be used to increase melanin content in the skin. (1) Unlike temporarily staining the skin with an orange-hued dye, which conventional self-tanners do, the tan achieved is a truly natural sunless tan. It is worth stating that the tanning effects from acetyl tyrosine and Chasteberry extract alone were barely perceptible on human skin after 1 month of use (2x per day), but more visible tanning effects can be seen around the 6-8 week mark. From there, with continued daily use, the skin can be expected to gradually continue to darken and darken.

Enter Melitane, chemically known as acetyl hexapeptide-1, a biomimetic peptide of our natural hormone α-MSH (α-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone). Applied topically, this peptide can also help produce a sunless natural tan by mimicking the biological tanning response. If you have used any kind of tanning accelerator or any type of suncare products, you may have seen Melitane or acetyl-hexapeptide-1 listed among the ingredients. The problems are that it may be added at less than ideal concentrations; it is rarely combined with acetyl tyrosine and chasteberry extract; and worst of all, it is almost always in a product containing preservatives that, along the lines of DHA and erythrulose, boosts free radicals produced by UV light (e.g., methylparaben (2)).

With the inspiration from discontented pale friends, I have developed a completely natural (melanin-derived) self-tanning product combining acetyl hexapeptide-1, acetyl tyrosine, and chasteberry with a paraben-free (and formaldehyde-free) preservative. With that said, this product won’t be ideal for someone looking to go from ivory to a deep bronze in a few weeks. The days when we can transform porcelain skin to Sub-Saharan skin without the need for any UV exposure might be as much as 10 years into the future, if certain methods can be proven safe (Lookin’ at you, SIK-inhibitors … (3)).

Until then, we can gradually darken the skin-tone independent of UV exposure. For purchase, see my product Sunless Tanner + Tanning Accelerator (with Melitane!) on:




*Although I do not recommend tanning, this product may also be used in conjunction with UV exposure to increase the tanning response.


  1. Schmid D, Belser E, Zulli F. Self-tanning based on stimulation of melanin biosynthesis. Cosmetics and toiletries. 2007;122(7):55-62.
  2. Handa O, Kokura S, Adachi S, et al. Methylparaben potentiates UV-induced damage of skin keratinocytes. Toxicology. 2006 Oct 3;227(1):62-72.
  3. Mujahid N, Liang Y, Murakami R, et al. A UV-Independent Topical Small-Molecule Approach for Melanin Production in Human Skin. Cell Reports. 2017 Jun 13;19(11):2177-84.

Osteoporosis: Beyond Diet and Lifestyle

In the first volume of Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis: The Complete Guide, I extensively discussed multiple dietary and lifestyle factors that impact the disease and how to modify these factors accordingly to significantly help prevent or reverse the condition. For most, this would be sufficient, but for many others, this will not be enough.

The body must be viewed as an interconnected unit. In other words, treating a bone disease does not stop at supporting the bones in isolation. Several other organs such as, but not limited to, the thyroid gland,  parathyroid glands, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract majorly impact the state of the skeleton. Dysfunction in any of the aforementioned organs, which can even be asymptomatic, needs to be carefully managed in order to support bone health.

An excerpt from the second volume, titled Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis: The Complete Guide: The Organ Function:

“As the second volume of Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis: The Complete Guide, this book focuses on organ function as it relates to bone health. If not already done so, it is imperative that the first volume, titled “Lifestyle and Nutrition”, is thoroughly read as necessary diet and lifestyle practices are still fundamental to achieving optimal bone health irrespective of any other secondary issue. In fact, in such instances, it will be even more important to maximize the bone-promoting benefits from diet and a healthy lifestyle.

A malfunctioning of even one or multiple major organ systems will in turn negatively affect bone metabolism, regardless of adequate dietary and lifestyle support, and the effects can be quite dramatic. For example, if the intestinal permeability barrier of the small intestine is compromised, nutrient absorption is obstructed and severe osteoporosis will result. Organ dysfunction is not always obvious; often, it can be asymptomatic, and therefore it is advised that even those who think they are completely healthy familiarize themselves with the contents of this book in the event that they may be affected. It will always be pertinent to pay attention to your own symptoms and get frequent blood tests and “check-ups” to look for anything abnormal. Worsening bone density results and continuous fractures after making multiple “pro-bone” lifestyle adjustments will be another suggestive sign that organ dysfunction is a possibility.

Treating organ dysfunction and/or adding specialized management regimes beyond that of a good diet and supportive lifestyle is needed to combat secondary osteoporosis resulting from impaired organ function. Some organ systems with a prominent role in skeletal health discussed here are the gut (small intestine), parathyroid glands, the thyroid, the kidneys, and the liver, to name a few.”

The new book is available on Amazon here.

Anti-Aging Supplements for Skin (“Internal Skincare”) Part II

Since the interest in improving skin appearance and preserving youth is increasing exponentially, and in line with the creation of new cosmetic treatments and topical formulations, it is as good a time as ever to highlight the internal means by which this can be achieved.Internal agents are woefully underwritten in skincare when in fact, unlike nearly all of topical agents, these agents are capable of acting on skin through the dermis after they are digested and taken into the bloodstream. Topical skin creams and such do not Continue reading

Before Money, Invest in your Bones

What is money without health? At present, even an unlimited supply of money cannot cure osteoporosis as there is no single and instant cure for the condition. Then, what good is wealth when you cannot live life to the fullest because you’re too fragile and constantly in pain? Then there is the chance that your life may be tragically cut short due to complications following fractures. Sure, there can be a cure in the future, but osteoporosis is a complex condition, and it also doesn’t just describe one condition. Osteoporosis may occur Continue reading

What are the Best Sunscreens to Protect Against Skin Aging?

First and foremost, forget about SPF when it comes to UV-induced skin aging. SPF, or sun protection factor, is simply a measure of how well a sunscreen can protect against UVB-induced sunburn. (1) While UVB does play a role in skin damage, it is not what is primarily responsible for the aging of skin. In other words, high SPF is not synonymous with high protection from photodamage. If a sunscreen prevents a sunburn yet allows for a “nice tan” (like many high SPF sunscreens), then said sunscreen is still allowing Continue reading

Common Myths about Osteoporosis

*As the first volume of the Osteoporosis book series (Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis: The Complete Guide Volume I: Lifestyle and Nutrition) is nearing release, I thought it might be appropriate to provide a free sample chapter: Chapter 1 – “Common Myths about Osteoporosis”.

**Hopefully, readers see that this condition is far from exclusive to old women, and more over, that prevention in both males and females should begin in youth. In the series, it will become evident that prevention and care of osteoporosis must be done holistically and below the surface, this book is also a prevention tool against Continue reading

Do Self-Tanners Age Skin?

Self-Tanners and Potential Aging Effects

Self-tanning agents work by producing an artificial “tanning” process from the reaction between the proteins on the surface of skin and the reducing sugars (such as dihydroxyacetone (DHA)) of the self-tanner. DHA has been known for awhile to be a color additive, but it was only until recently that DHA formulations  can act gradually and emulate a natural bronze-y tan without appearing too orange on most skintones. Their sweeping popularity is a testament to them being the obvious “no-brainer” choice for a substitute “tan” when it is now commonly known that real tans achieved by UVB and UVA exposure lead to skin wrinkling, sagging, and discoloration.

But what if self-tanners also age skin? How would that be possible? A keen eye and a Continue reading