All health care professionals regardless of their specialty emphatically stress the importance of sunscreen and avoidance of sun exposure. There is an unfair advantage for fair skinned individuals that wish to achieve darker skin. By doing so, they may increase their risks for sunburn and skin cancer. Darker individuals or ones that easily tan, do not have the same risks as fair skinned blondes or redheads. In reality, fair skinned individuals who desire to be tanned, spend more time exposing themselves to UV rays that can ultimately be harmful. MSH may give fair skinned individuals the protective benefit of having a tan without going through the hazards of getting one.


Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH) is a peptide protein that stimulates the production and release of melanin by the melanocytes in skin and hair. The increase in MSH leads to higher levels of melanin which leads to darker skin coloring. It is a safe alternative to sunless tanning. Having more melanin is believed to be photoprotective and reduces the risk of sunburn.

Synthetic analogues of MSH were developed and are currently being used for their photoprotection in the treatment of actinic keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma. In addition to achieving safe, sunless tanning, there are many benefits to MSH including a decrease in risk of UV cancer exposure, aging, burning or drying of the skin, as well as a decrease in sunburn injury by up to 50% and can be combined safely with UV tanning.


MSH has also been observed to have aphrodisiac effects, enhancing sexual function/libido in both men and women. MSH may not be a circulating hormone for humans, but it has been shown that with the injection of it for sunless tanning, it can act in the brain as an appetite suppressant.  

  1. Weight Loss: increased fat loss, appetite suppressant.
  2. Sexual Function: increased libido, aphrodisiac- physical sexual arousal, increased erections in men.