melanotan2-chemicalstructureMost people confuse Melanotan II with Melanotan. However though having similar sounding names the properties of both these compounds are vastly different. Melanotan II is also known as Melanotan 2 or simply MT II. It is an analog compound of the peptide hormone called alpha-MSH (Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone). It is used all over the world as a popular compound that provides tanning of the skin without being exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. It has been proved effective in producing a natural looking suntan.
History of Melanotan II
Researchers at the University College of Arizona were the first to synthesize this product. Since then it has been used in providing a suntan without risking skin cancer. It belongs to a group of peptide hormones known as Melanocortins. The researchers at the Arizona University further developed and enhanced this product in the year 1998. Melanotan I is a peptide containing all 13 amino acids and is a full length chain, while Melanotan II is a shorter chain and here the amino acids are arranged in a circle rather than as a chain.
Melanotan II is a synthetic product meaning that it does not occur naturally but synthesized in laboratories. It has been proven to cause the darkening of the skin. Before you understand the properties of Melanotan II it is essential to have a basic knowledge of the working of the group of hormones known as MSH. When you skin is exposed to the rays of the sun, you skin produces a hormone known as Melanocytes. These Melanocytes are produced by your body as a natural defense mechanism against the harmful UV rays of the sun. The Melanocytes in protecting your skin from the sun also cause the darkening or tanning of your skin.
Melanotan II is a peptide that mimics the action of the MSH hormone in your body. Hence it is considered as a safe solution for sunless tanning. When exposed to Melanotan II the pigments in your skin initiate the defense mechanism thereby causing darkening of skin without actually being exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Scientists involved in the study knew the process by which the skin produced the tanning compound melanin. They then tried to inject this naturally occurring hormone into the body to find out if it caused tanning. However one drawback of this method was that the naturally occurring hormone was not stable enough to be used for the process. Hence there rose a need for a stable compound that had to be synthesized.
A team of researchers and scientists under Dr.Victor Hruby spent several years testing different peptides that could be used for this process. Finally they discovered a peptide that was not only several times powerful than the naturally occurring alpha-MSH but also was safe and highly stable. This new peptide was known as Melanotan. Since then several studies have been done on this product and till date no side effects of using this product has been discovered.
Hence Melanotan II is considered as a safe solution for sunless tanning.