Can This Little Pill Really Tan Your Skin Without Ever Stepping Foot Outside?

TikTok is quickly replacing YouTube and Instagram as a way to get the latest news and information. Just a year ago, I doubt we’d say “heard about this on TikTok”, as we do now. However, if you want to get your questions regarding skin care and beauty treatment answered, social media is not always the most well-known source. And that’s why we’re here to verify the news.

For this episode of “Is this TikTok fact or fiction?” We’re exploring the fast-spreading rumors about an OTC supplement that tans your skin without stepping out. It’s called L-Tyrosine and here’s what we know.

“L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is converted in the body to melanin — the pigment-making cells in our skin — by an enzyme called tyrosinase,” explains Bay Harbor Islands, FL dermatologist Stacey Chimento, MD. “It can also be converted into another amino acid called phenylalanine which can play a role in improving mood and response to stress.”

So, do they really work? “Unfortunately, this is nothing more than a TikTok trend,” adds Jacqueline Habashi, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles, California. “There are no studies supporting the ability of oral L-Tyrosine supplementation to produce a tan. On the contrary, a study published in Comprehensive series in the sciences of images It states that it “did not stimulate or enhance UV-induced tanning.” In addition, a study was published in Journal of Clinical and Cosmetic Dermatology It states that tyrosine pills have not been shown to be effective and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers them harmful.”

“This is so good it’s hard to believe!” adds Miami dermatologist Dr. Deborah Longwill. “There are no reports or scientific evidence that L-Tyrosine has the ability to produce a tan. We know that melanin production begins with L-tyrosine but the production of a tan actually depends on several other factors.”

Dr. Chimento agrees to proceed with caution because the Food and Drug Administration has not approved it for this indication. Although some supplements contain additional antioxidants and ingredients that increase the response to L-Tyrosine, doctors usually do not approve of them for this purpose. Two popular ones are Pure Elixir Smart Tan—which contains antioxidants, vitamin A, C, E, and B6, lycopene, and copper to name a few—and Thorne L-Tyrosine.”

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