A cream for tanning? No, it’s not a new self-tanner. Scientists have just developed a substance capable of acting on the proteins that manage the synthesis of melanin. In short, it allows you to tan, without
the exposure to the dangers of the UV.
As the big holidays approach, swimsuit and sunscreen are part of the journey. A sun bath by the beach, a swim by the pool … The skins tan under the rays of the sun. A little pleasure for some, which can however have consequences. Each year in France , more than 11,000 new cases of melanoma are reported, and about 70,000 carcinomas, the two main categories of skin cancer .
” In men and women, the incidence of this cancer has increased sharply since 1980 ” reports The BBC. WHO recalls that “the main predisposing factors for this cancer appear to be related to exposure to the sun in the context of recreation and a history of sunburn “. Published Tuesday, June 13 in Cell Reports , a study by David Fisher, head of the Department of Dermatology at the American Hospital Massachusetts General and Professor at the Harvard Medical School, reports a substance capable of penetrating the skin and Make it tan. The big advantage? There is no exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun,
Also effective on light skin
Unlike traditional self-tanning creams, which only color the surface layer of the skin, this molecule acts by stimulating cells that produce pigments whose role is to absorb ultraviolet radiation, researchers say. Small molecules inhibit SIK protein kinases, which themselves regulate an MITF protein, which manages the synthesis of melanin, the pigments that cause tanning. Applied as a cream, the substance also makes it possible to brown the epidermis of red-haired mice which, like humans, are more likely to develop skin cancer under the effect of ultraviolet radiation.
This work stems from a study published in 2006 in the British scientific journal Nature, which showed that another substance, forskolin, produced by the plant known as India’s Coleus, could induce browning of red-skinned mice without exposure Ultraviolet radiation. But scientists quickly discovered that this molecule could not penetrate the human skin, 5 times thicker than that of the mouse. Not protected by a thick layer of hair, the human epidermis has evolved over time to develop protections against, among others, the cold, heat and ultraviolet rays of the sun. ” Human skin is a formidable barrier, difficult to penetrate ,” says Dr. David Fisher. ”
Prevention of skin cancer
Tested on mice and human skin samples in the laboratory, the artificial tan lasted several days. ” The activation of pigmentation by these small molecules and physiologically identical to the tanning of the ultraviolet rays without the damage they cause, ” explains David Fisher. ” The potential importance of this study will ultimately lie in a new strategy of Skin protection and skin cancer prevention , “he said.” The skin is the largest organ in our body that can be affected by cancer and the majority of cases are related to exposure to ultraviolet radiation . ” The new molecule has yet to undergo further pre-clinical testing before determining its safety in humans.