This. Is. Huge.
Here’s a novel idea: What if there was a product that could help you both naturally tan and stop UV damage in one go? Well, this could soon be a reality. Yes, really. Be still our golden glow-loving hearts...
It’s been revealed that scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a new drug – which is rubbed into the skin - that can make a person's skin tan without being exposed to the sun. The drug tricks the skin into producing the brown form of the pigment melanin, AKA the body's natural sunblock. Unlike fake tans that essentially just paint the skin.
Even better news? Evidence suggests the breakthrough drug will work even on redheads, who normally burn in the sun.
Professor David Fisher told BBC News of his team's excitement at their findings: ‘It has a potent darkening effect. Under the microscope it's the real melanin, it really is activating the production of pigment in a UV-independent fashion.’
He goes on to explain how they are not motivated by making a new cosmetic: ‘Our goal is a novel strategy for protecting skin from UV radiation and cancer.
‘Dark pigment is associated with a lower risk of all forms of skin cancer - that would be really huge. Skin cancer rates in the UK are going through the roof... any research into ways that we can prevent people from developing skin cancer in the first place is to be welcomed.’
It could also delay signs of ageing by keeping the skin healthier for longer. ‘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.’
While there has ‘been no hint of problems’, more testing is to be carried out before making it available. Dr Fisher says everyone should ‘absolutely’ still use SPF cream, but says its weakness was it ‘keeps you pale’.
We need this in our lives, stat.