March 15, 2004 12:58 AM   Subscribe

Is there such a thing as a permanent tan? If so how do you get one? My Googling only leads to salons that offer tans which don't last very long.
posted by timyang to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
Well, since ultraviolet causes skin damage, you could get a sort of "permanent tan" by baking so much in the sun that you damage all of your skin so much as to turn it all to a precancerous state, like a freckle but all over your body!

Australia has the highest skin cancer rate in the world for it's large number of light skinned citizens. If it were somehow possible to get a permanent tan, the light skinned Aussies would be the ones achieving this.

But I don't think it's currently possible, though I suppose it might be possible to make a drug which increases levels of skin melanin. The guy who wrote the book "Black like me" turned himself 'black' by somehow dyeing his skin. A few years later, he got an obscure skin disease or skin cancer which - killed him.

So, in short, no (not yet, anyway).
posted by troutfishing at 5:54 AM on March 15, 2004

Dying the skin? How about giving yourself a light-brown tattoo all over? I haven't heard of tattoos causing cancer...

How about taking a summer job as a farm hand? Sure to get you a nice tan. Bonuses include a salary and a nice workout. Possibly also a herniae.
posted by fvw at 6:02 AM on March 15, 2004

Are you asking for yourself? Your profile says Malaysia. Presumably there's enough sunlight in Malaysia during a good portion of the year for you to get a decent tan if you stay outside. But is your skin type capable of tanning naturally?

Maybe you're asking about artificial tan methods. I can't imagine there's anything which is permanent yet safe or realistic-looking.
posted by skylar at 6:22 AM on March 15, 2004

Not yet, but very soon
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:19 AM on March 15, 2004

There isn't any such stuff like that available. Only a few of us were born lucky I guess (<--is a mocha).
posted by Stynxno at 7:56 AM on March 15, 2004

More Melanotan discussion here with people experimenting with peptides. If you can get M-II it looks risky. Injecting something that at high doses causes 4 hour erections and vomiting does not seem easier then paying $40 to get a tan in a booth.

In further threads it says that if ordered in large quantities it's about $200 a cycle with a cycle every 3 months.
posted by geoff. at 11:00 AM on March 15, 2004

Is there such a thing as a permanent tan?

Yes, work outside for 25+ years. My father, a road construction foreman, has a "permanent tan."

No sarcasm, he really does...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:06 PM on March 15, 2004

Response by poster: Skylar, yup, there's plenty of sunshine here. I'm tanned, but I have to renew it every couple of months or so with a trip to the nearby islands or to Thailand. I'd actually like to try going somewhere different for my next holiday without sacrificing my tan.

Thanks for the Wired link Fupped Duck! Can't wait for that!

Steve@linnwood, I believe you, there are lots of people where I'm from that have that sort of permanent tan. But I can't imagine myself doing construction work -- with my really bad eyesight, I'd probably build a house that looks like this.
posted by timyang at 6:33 PM on March 15, 2004

Response by poster: I just went to the Melanotan.com website. Sob. They are discontinuining it! They're developing it for its VIAGRA-like properties instead.
because Melanotan had (*labido enhancement and ) spontaneous erections as a side effect, it is not being further developed as a tanning agent. It is now being evaluated as a (*sexual ) /erectile dysfunction drug
posted by timyang at 7:00 PM on March 15, 2004

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