Alongside injections and nasal sprays, tanning patches that claim to deliver melanin boosters into your bloodstream through the skin are also gaining popularity. Getting to the bottom of the ingredients contained within the patches is no easy task, with most manufacturers advising they simply "increase the level of your natural ability to tan" or "stimulate melanocytes", with little explanation of how exactly they do this. After a lengthy trawl through what are mostly hard-to-find FAQs, I learned that most tanning patches rely on a combination of hyaluronic acid and the amino acid tyrosine
, which helps the body produce pigment for hair and skin. "It’s very difficult to know the exact ingredients in these patches," Dr Wedgeworth says. "Some claim they are 'Melanotan II-free', while some seem to contain amino acids such as tyrosine, which can help stimulate melanin production." Either way, she says, there’s no safety data to support tanning patches. Plus, Dr Wedgeworth adds, "They too encourage UV exposure, which we know can be detrimental for the skin."