Nasal Tanning: The Danger Behind TikTok’s Latest Craze

Sometimes when it sounds too good to be true – it is. 

Image via Freepik

Most Irish women love a good fake tan.

Every week all over the country, tanning rituals are taking place. The tedious routine of lathering, scrubbing, moisturising, tanning, calling out for someone to do your back, waiting to dry, wearing dark pyjamas and washing off the residue in the morning. It’s a monumental task!

It’s no surprise, then, that interest was piqued when a new product popped up on the market, promising to cut this lengthy practice down to nothing but a sniff of a bottle.

You heard that right; the invention of the nasal tanning spray has occurred – and it’s blowing up all over TikTok.

Advertised as a “fast-track ticket to an authentic tan with minimal effort”, nasal tanning sprays work by using a hormone called Melanotan 2 to stimulate the production of melanin (the pigment in your skin that makes it darker). The products suggest that all you have to do is breathe in these sprays once a day and your skin will get deeper in tone.

So, what’s the harm of a little daily melanin sniffle?

It turns out it’s a lot more than you might think.

Image via Freepik

The HPRA (Health Products Regulatory Authority) recently issued a statement condemning the use of nasal tanning sprays as a “significant health risk”.

Melanotan 2 is a “synthetic, hazardous substance”, and is banned in Ireland, the US, the UK and Australia, due to “grave concerns about its safety”. The HPRA cite it’s many “well-documented side-effects” as including “rapidly accelerated skin ageing, vomiting, diarrhoea, kidney damage and potentially failure, sexual dysfunction and skin cancer.” 

In their report they write, “Perhaps most disturbingly, there have been multiple reports of the swift onset of skin cancer linked with the use of Melanotan 2, with one account involving a girl as young as 16 years old.

“Adding to the concern is the reality that these sprays have managed to completely sidestep all required testing and safety regulations. Consequently, the potential long-term health effects remain unknown.” 

Sounds like this beauty hack is seriously dangerous.

Chiming in on the chorus of concern is Linda Stinson, CEO of Irish luxury fake tanning brand Bellamianta.

Linda is all about advocating for safe, clean tanning, and asserted that “You can enjoy the confidence of a glow without cutting corners that pose a risk to your health.”

Backing up the HPRA, she concurred, “Let’s be clear here – nasal tanning sprays laced with Melanotan 2 are a shortcut to disaster.” 

Linda pointed out that the safest way to tan your skin is with your standard tanning lotions, mousses, and sprays. She explained that topically applied tans “don’t sink into your blood stream, and are thoroughly tried and tested.” 

Linda added that her brand in particular is “leaps and bounds ahead of ensuring our products are merely ‘safe’. All our products are free from Parabens, Harsh Chemicals, GMO’s, Parfum, Alcohol, Animal derivatives, Petrochemicals, Sulphates and Silicones. We have heavily invested in the development of formulas that use natural, skin-loving ingredients to support its overall health.”

Well, we’ll definitely be sticking to our Thursday tried and tested tanning routine – no matter how long it takes!


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