Cream that gives you natural tan

October 17th, 2010 - 3:23 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 17 (IANS) Where to find fake tan that doesn’t streak and smudge or give an orange glow? Doctors could have the answer, in the form of a cream that triggers the skin’s natural tanning mechanism without the need for any sunlight.

Rubbed into skin, the cream kickstarts the production of melanin, the dark pigment needed for tan. And activating the natural system should mean that the bronzing effect looks as good as the real thing.

The ‘fake tan’ protects the skin from damage from the sun, cutting the odds of cancer, reports the Daily Mail.

Researcher David Fisher of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston said: “The primary goal of inducing melanin production in human skin would be the prevention of skin cancer, since all the common forms are known to be associated with ultraviolet exposure.

“Not only would increased melanin directly block ultraviolent radiation, but an alternative way to activate the tanning response could help dissuade people from suntanning or indoor tanning, both of which are known to raise skin cancer risk.”

Fisher’s research centres on the chain of chemical reactions that cause the skin to produce melanin, leading it to brown in the sun, according to the journal Genes and Development.

Experiments on ‘red-haired,’ sensitive-skinned mice revealed that a molecule called cAMP triggers the production of melanin.

Fisher then searched for drugs that would stop cAMP being broken down in the skin, so boosting its levels. Rubbing the drugs into the creatures’ skin caused it to darken significantly after just five days of treatment.

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