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:

Etsy

and

Ebay

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

References:

  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.
Advertisements

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

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

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

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

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 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 bloodstream. Topical skin creams and such do not permeate past the epidermis. If the face can be thought of as a house, internal skincare helps to improve skin appearance by repairing the foundation and improving the look of the exterior by re-structuring the interior.

The presented oral anti-skin aging supplements and compounds detailed below can be used alone or used as additives to topical skincare for possible synergistic benefits.

Continue reading