It’s the constant battle of every summer – finding a way to get a good tan without overexposing yourself to the sun. Many amongst us have thought before now that it would be great to have a simple method of natural tanning that didn’t involve spending hours slogging it out in the baking sun. Well, those prayers may well now have been answered.
Researchers from the United States have reported that they have isolated a chemical which can be used to create a drug that helps tanning enthusiasts reach their goals more easily and without risking the ever-growing cancer risks associated with sun exposure.
It is being said by the researchers that the drug would be applied as a cream directly to skin and would work by stimulating cells that produce the darker skin pigment that absorbs ultraviolet light. It is this pigment that becomes a normal sun tan, as more of it is produced as a reaction to greater UV exposure.
Testing on mice has produced positive results, and now the scientists think they have found a way to ensure absorption with thicker human skin.
“Human skin is a very good barrier and is a formidable penetration challenge. Therefore, other topical approaches just did not work,” said David Fisher, chief of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, a professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, and one of the authors of the study.
“But 10 years later, we have come up with a solution. It’s a different class of compounds, that work by targeting a different enzyme that converges on the same path way that leads to pigmentation.”
So there you have it – our long hours spent fruitlessly chasing the sun in the hopes of a bronzed body may soon be at an end. There’s no sign of an official drug on the market yet, since it may well be some time before further testing and creation clear it for release, but we now have something to hope for.
In even better news, when it is publicly released, the founders are hoping they will not only be able to give us great tans without UV exposure, but also tie into the product the ability to absorb UV light, as with normal suncream.
So here’s a brighter future and darker skin!