Artificial tanning is becoming more and more popular by the day. This is because ultra-violet rays from the sun can have a damaging effect on the skin. Ultraviolet rays can cause the formation of fine lines, wrinkles and even skin cancer. People who desire a golden glow without having to expose themselves to the destructive effects of ultra-violet rays from the sun have resorted to tanning. The main tanning techniques currently in use are tanning pills and tanning injections. However, which one is more effective and most importantly, which of the two is safer to use?

tanning pills

Tanning Pills vs Tanning Injections

Let us now compare the two tanning techniques are popularly used in society today.

Tanning pills

Tanning pills basically contain canthaxanthin, a chemical that is naturally occurring in several animals and plants. This chemical is a colour additive used for foods as it provides an orange or red tint.

Canthaxanthin is known to colour food and it works the same way for the skin. This is because it dissolves inside lipids that constitute the tissue that is located directly under the epidermis. The colour attaches to the cells below the skin and provides with a darker tint.

 High quality tanning pills such as Rio actually work but they require time to do so. This is because the dye needs adequate time to build up i.e. about 2 weeks of regular use. The results are always evident after then. The two weeks allow for enough pigment to be deposited in the skin in order to indicate a noticeable change in colour.

 Tanning pills can be dangerous if consumed in large quantities as it will provide the user with a false orange-brown glow that is unnatural and dark. The side effects range from cosmetic to fatal if consumption is in large amounts.

Tanning Injections

Tanning injections

Some people resort to extreme techniques to achieve their ideal complexion such as tanning injections. The popularity of their use is because of the search for a constant tan. Tanning injections mostly contain a synthetic hormone referred to as Afamelanotide (commonly known as Melanotan). The hormone is responsible for causing the skin cells to produce additional pigment. The functionality of Melanotan is quite similar to that of melatonin.

 Injecting the hormone to the human body gives it an even tan all over. This is because it stimulates the skin cells to produce melanin responsible for skin pigmentation. However, its effectiveness lies in cumulative dosing. It should be utilized on a cycled basis in order to maintain enhanced ability to tan.

 Melanotan is not considered to be safe by all means. This is because it exhibits some negative side effects such as depression, panic attacks and nausea. However, the most adverse effect of tanning injections is that they increase the chances of a person of developing skin cancer. This is why it is recommended that people refrain from using them lest they fall victim.


It is very clear that the use of tanning tablets is recommended compared to tanning injections. This is mainly because of the negative side effects associated with the synthetic hormone called Melanotan. Tanning pills vs tanning injections? Be the judge.