Are tanning tablets, pills or injections safe?

Posted on the 25 April 2014 at 10:19

There are various ‘tanning’ tablets around (with different ingredients such as PABA, L-Tyrosine and Copper) that claim to be able to ‘improve’ your tan. But increasing our tan shouldn’t be a goal at all. I can’t recommend taking any of them, if your underlying aim is to get a deeper tan or a quicker tan, due to the inherent risks of excessive sun exposure. We should just be happy with our natural skin colour!
 
Another type of ‘tanning’ pill contains a carotenoid (canthaxanthin), which can temporarily give your skin an orange-browny hue (independent of sun exposure). I don’t consider taking excessive amounts of carotenoids as safe and would not recommend them either.
 
One of the worst types of ‘tan enhancers’ are unlicenced tanning injections, containing a derivative of pigment cell activating ‘alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone’ (α-MSH). The safety of these is completely unknown and we have now idea yet whether they might possibly lead to activation of moles or transformation of moles to melanoma skin cancer. So under no circumstances get tempted to buy these injections online!
 
However, if  you want to take a supplement to help protect your skin from the sun in summer (always in addition to SPF50 cream!), then I recommend taking an antioxidant supplement such as Heliocare Ultra capsules. But the aim should really not be to get a deeper or quicker tan, but to want to add to your protection.

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