I use self-tanner on just about a daily basis, but I just can’t bring myself to slather sunscreen all over my body on top of it. I love that my skin looks darker, but is there a possibility of increasing the melanin to make it act darker by having more built-in sun protection?
Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital in Boston say they have discovered a cream that may prevent skin cancer by giving the skin a golden glow without sun exposure. Although tests have been limited to mice, unlike self-tanners that change the color of the skin, this cream alters the skin’s pigment similarly to the way the sun produces a suntan, without altering or damaging DNA. After being applied for more than a week, some mice were nearly black. The article, which appeared in a recent Nature journal, suggests that the cream may be used to trick lighter skin into acting more like darker skin, which is less prone to skin cancer. The effect on humans-including any side effects-has yet to be determined.
While this is an exciting development for sun worshippers and sun shunners alike, much more time and research are necessary to ensure this cream’s effectiveness and safety on humans. In the meantime, wear your sunscreen every day, and get a golden glow from a bottle, not the sun.
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