Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Put This Viral TikTok Nasal Tanning Spray Up Your Nose
With the Northern Hemisphere deep in the dreary pale hues of winter, a bizarre new beauty trend from TikTok is making us reconsider our desire for a summery sun-kissed glow.
Glow Getter, a U.K.-based tanning products business, is making heads turn with their nasal tanning spray.
Yes, you read that correctly — nasal tanning spray, as in you spray it up your nose!
Nasal tanning spray is just what it sounds like: a tanning solution administered via the nasal cavity, similar to Flonase.
The brand behind this particular viral beauty fad purports to promote a bronze glow from the inside out — as long as you use it alongside UV exposure, i.e. a tanning bed.
"For the best results, use our tanning sprays every day, 2-3 pumps up each nostril alongside uv exposure ... we recommend 2-4 sunbeds a week to build your tan, gradually increasing your minutes," Glow Getter's FAQ page reads.
According to the business, their nasal sprays are "guaranteed to give you your dream tan by enhancing the melanin cells in your skin, when in exposure to UV light."
As much of the U.K. is currently experiencing cold winter weather, there seems to be nothing some TikTokers want more than an easy golden tan.
Is nasal tanning spray safe?
Likely to the surprise of no one, according to experts, using a nasal spray that claims to boost your tan via internal melanin production can be harmful.
"Unfortunately, nasal sprays that promote tanning 'from within' simply don't have enough science demonstrating safety for me to get behind them," New York-based dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe tells StyleCaster.
"When you stimulate melanin production, you are basically tickling and stimulating your melanin-producing cells, called melanocytes, to pump out pigment," Bowe adds. "Theoretically, you could actually overstimulate one of those cells in such a way that it actually encourages a tumor to form, such as melanoma."
Most nasal tanning sprays contain melanotan, a lab-created chemical stimulant that helps produce additional melanin, the pigment that determines skin and hair color.
"Melanotan is a man-made chemical similar in substance to the naturally occurring melanocyte-stimulating hormone," Merry Thornton, skincare expert and founder of Element Medical Aesthetics, tells HuffPost.
Additionally, while melanotan is known for increasing one's ability to tan, studies suggest it may also stimulate penile erection.
Another issue is that melanotan is not FDA-regulated.
There is no regulation in how manufacturers use the substance in terms of concentration and/or interactions with other ingredients. Testing of the product is also limited at this time.
Here's what we do know:
The use of melanotan can lead to side effects including nausea, flushing, changes in blood pressure, headaches and spontaneous erections.
According to Thorton, "It can also make moles and freckles darker. At this time, we don't know if the melanocytes could be overstimulated, leading to melanoma. Using melanotan could lead to misdiagnosis of skin cancer, as well."
That said, add nasal tanning products to the list of things you should not try at home.