Nasal Tanning Sprays: Don’t Try This Dangerous TikTok Trend, Experts Urge

Due to the gloomy weather, the skin may appear more lifeless, dry, and harsh in the winter than in the summer. Hence, you might be looking for strategies to regain your summer glow. Health professionals advise against trying nasal tanning sprays, a popular and crazy treatment. Tanning nasal sprays can sometimes be risky since they are not authorized or regulated, and what is contained in them is only occasionally apparent. Instead of spraying a substance on your epidermis, they are designed to let you inhale the chemical through your nose and acquire a tan.

Their primary component, melanotan, is illegal in several nations, including the US and Australia. It has been known to cause major health problems like nausea, skin abnormalities, and uncontrollable movement.

You are already aware of the risks associated with the sun, tanning beds, and other sun-related activities, such as skin cancer and early aging. A new tanning method is currently being promoted by TikTokers and many other social media stars, but it's a fad you should never try.

The product is marketed as nasal tanning spray and includes Melanotan II, a synthetic substance called "the Barbie drug" because of its manufacturing process. The health dangers are significant, yet users claim that inhaling it provides them a perma-glow.

Additional information that you should know about this dangerous tendency, according to specialists, is listed below.

What are Nasal Spray-on Tans or Nasal Tanning Sprays?

Nasal tanning sprays are precisely what they sounded like Sprays that, after inhaling, cause a brief darkening of the skin to give the appearance of a tanner. Their main component, Melanotan II, is entirely artificial, which means it is created in a laboratory.

Melanotan II replicates a hormone that already exists in your body. Although it may seem safe and sound, Melanotan II is so dangerous that it cannot be sold in 50 U.S. states, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

What are the Workings of Nasal Tanning Spray?

The hormone called melanocyte-stimulating hormone, which itself is produced naturally by your body and is what gives your skin its pigment, is imitated by melanotan II. And Melanotan II has a direct route into your bloodstream when you inhale it using a nasal tanning spray. This is so because the mucosa, also known as a mucous membrane, makes up your nose's interior lining rather than the skin. Everything inside your nasal cavity will be absorbed into the circulation more quickly since mucosa doesn't provide the same sort of shield as the epidermis.

Melanotan II stimulates the body to produce melanin, a pigment that gives your skin, hair, and pupils their color. Melanotan II gets into the bloodstream. On its own, however, it doesn't color your skin.

It still has to be exposed to damaging UV radiation to function. Hence, once you've spent some time outdoors after taking Melanotan II, your epidermis will brown faster and more intensely than usual.

However, the results only remain as long as you continue using the nasal tanning spray. When you cease, your body will produce less melanin, which will gradually cause your tan to fade.

How Dangerous are They?

Unless your doctor specifically instructs you, snorting anything up your nose is not a good idea.

While there are certainly quick and terrifying hazards associated with Melanotan II, researchers have yet to know its long-term consequences.

Acne is just one of the many negative effects that Melanotan II may have. Also −

  • A decline in appetite.

  • Diarrhea and vomiting are symptoms of digestive problems.

  • Nausea.

  • Face flushing (redness).

  • Automatic erections.

These hazards are neither the only ones nor the most serious ones.

Heightened Sensitivity to The Sun

It's fascinating because Melanotan II medications are occasionally advertised as a way to prevent skin cancer, yet the opposite is true. In reality, utilizing it exposes you to the impacts of the radiation from the sun more.

When you spend time in the sun, you'll begin to tan considerably, which indicates an increased risk of solar damage.

Your body's moles and freckles may suddenly become more numerous due to melanotan II, which is also linked to melanoma, an aggressive skin disease with a high chance of fatality.

Additional Detrimental Health Hazards

The risk of developing several health issues, which may be life-threatening or fatal, is increased by melanotan II. These conditions include −

  • Painful, prolonged erections, also known as priapism. Scarring and erectile dysfunction that lasts a lifetime may result from this.

  • Decreased blood supply to your kidneys is a common but potentially fatal renal infarction disorder.

  • Your muscles' cells begin to break down when you have rhabdomyolysis. Acute renal damage, as well as mortality, are different outcomes.

It Is Impossible to Determine What You Are Inhaling

No matter what the labeling on your inhalation tanning spray says, you cannot know what's inside since the medical board doesn't control Melanotan II items. Although each seller claimed that each vial comprised 10 mg Melanotan II, a study discovered that the overall amount of the substance varied from around 4.32 to 8.84 mg.

According to the same investigation, "unknown contaminants" could make up as much as 5-6% of certain Melanotan II formulations. And once more, because you breathe them in through your nose, your bloodstream is directly exposed to these substances. Any of these compounds will now enter your body.

Want To Get A Tan? Follow Safe Procedures

For a temporary tan, don't put your wellness in jeopardy! Melanotan sprays simply are not at all safe; that much is obvious. There is, nevertheless, a tried-and-true, a great deal safer path you can choose in place if you are craving to get a shine.

Doctors recommend applying a spray tan or even a gradual tan that can be found in a cream or lotion. They do not enter your circulation; they only affect the stratum corneum, the skin's outermost layer. And they're secure.

More Risky Tanning Techniques to Avert

Nasal tanning sprays are indeed a dangerous option. Yet it's also crucial to remember that, per the Skin Cancer Foundation, no "safe" or "healthy" tan incorporates exposure to the sun. This is because exposure to ultraviolet radiation causes most skin cancers, such as the deadliest variety, melanoma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise against uncontrolled sun exposure and using tanning beds to reduce your chance of developing skin cancer.

Tanning beds are one of the riskiest ways to expose people to UV radiation. Contrary to the artificial sun, which has no advantages whatsoever, the sun at least provides nutrients like vitamin D. Tanning beds are made up of fluorescent lights that transmit primarily UVA radiation, which itself is approximately three times more potent than that of the UVA in natural daylight, straight into the epidermis for a long time. Any UVA or UVB rays that come from the sun or even a tanning bed reach deeply into the epidermis and are to blame for accelerating the aging and burning of the skin and boosting the possibility of developing skin cancer.


Doctors caution against using artificial tanning nasal sprays to achieve glowing skin, even though topical tanning lotions with DHA are considered a safe approach to tan without exposure to the sun. It's a deal-breaker that, at the most fundamental level, the medical board has neither approved nor regulated them.

With clinical evidence, approved, regulated substances, and medical board clearances, this could eventually become a practical, healthy self-tanning option. I'm sorry, TikTok in the meantime. It is without a doubt that you should not spray it.

Updated on: 13-Apr-2023


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