A new drug developed at Massachusetts General Hospital could allow you to develop a tan without experiencing the damaging UV radiation that usually goes along with sunbathing.
It works by “tricking” the skin into producing melanin, which is what gives you a lovely brown tan – and researchers claim that it will EVEN WORK ON GINGERS, who normally turn red after fourteen seconds in the sun. Finally, justice.
The discovery, which has been reported in the journal Cell Reports, could help prevent cancer and have anti-ageing benefits, too.
The drug works by mimicking the effect of the sun’s rays, exposure to which is how melanin production is normally kicked off. Unfortunately, this also comes with a series of health risks – skin cancer, for one. With the drug, however, the harmful section of melanin production is skipped entirely – meaning you get a tan without having to risk your health. Or go outside at all, to be honest.
Dr David Fisher, who led the research, told the BBC that the drug has a “potent darkening effect” and that it would be a significant boost in preventing skin cancer – an area that he says causes “significant frustration” due to the lack of progress in fighting it.
“Our real goal is a novel strategy for protecting skin from UV radiation and cancer,” he said. "Dark pigment is associated with a lower risk of all forms of skin cancer - that would be really huge."
"Many people would say the obvious and most dramatic sign of ageing is what skin looks like and even casual UV damage over the years causes damage. Medically it is very difficult to focus on, but if it is tremendously safe then it could keep skin healthier for longer."
For now, though, you’re going to have to stick to the St. Tropez.
The drug has only been used on mice so far, and further research is needed to test its efficacy on humans. Bet those mice look GREAT and extremely beach body ready, though.