Perfectly tanned and golden skin is a wish of many individuals because of the rugged and handosme look that comes with it. If you are one of those people who like tanned skin, I am sure you would have tried sunbathing.
But spending excessive time under the sun can cause intense darkening of the skin (sunburn), dehydration, and even cataract formation if chronically exposed.
So, cheers to the recent advancements in the research that have led to the development of peptides called Melanotan I and II. Melanotan I and II mimic the action of an endogenously occurring hormone, which plays a role in skin color.
However, as ideal as it sounds, it isn’t as simple, and there is an increased risk of side effects that one needs to consider before using it.
Don’t worry though because I got you!
This article is all about Melanotan I and II, the differences between the two versions, how they work, the prospective benefits as well as any adverse effects, and importantly if these peptides are legal to use.
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What Is Melanotan I and II?
Melanotan I, also known as Afamelanotide, is a peptide comprising 13 amino acids. It is sold under the brand name Scenesse. It is a synthetic peptide analogous to the endogenous hormone called alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (a-MSH) (1).
Although initially developed as a tanning agent, the clinical trials suggest other effects on the body, such as preventing phototoxicity and influencing the central nervous system activity.
Melanotan II, on the other hand, is a synthetic peptide constituting 7 amino acids. It has a widespread effect on the body but primarily targets melanocortin receptors (2).
Melanotan II not only causes tanning of the skin but also enhances overall energy and the sexual performance of individuals.
The pharmacokinetics of Melanotan I suggest that it has a longer half-life relative to Melanotan II. Perhaps, Melanotan I also seems to be a safer option compared to its other version.
How Does Melanotan I and II Work?
Because both peptides work by mimicking the action of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (a-MSH) from the hypothalamus, the latter is known to have a high affinity for the different melanocortin receptors located in the body.
Research suggests that there are five Melanocortin receptors found in the body, such as MC-1R, MC-2R, MC-3R, MC-4R, and MC-5R.
Melanotan I primarily targets the MC-1R, which drives the process of melanogenesis. The subsequent binding stimulates melanocytes to release melanin, which causes the pigmentation/darkening of skin and hair (3).
Although a little unclear, some evidence suggests that Melanotan I also targets the MC-3R. This action is known to regulate appetite and hunger.
Melanotan II acts as a non-selective agonist of Melanocortin receptors. It also binds with MC-1R to initiate the process of melanogenesis (4).
Because Melanotan II can cross the blood-brain barrier, the surprising finding of clinical studies suggests that Melanotan II also targets MC-4R. Overall, the association between Melanotan II and MC-4R helps in homeostasis.
Melanotan II weakly targets MC-3R as well, just like Melanotan I.
Melanotan is known to target MC-5R, which is primarily located in the endocrine glands, specifically sweat and pancreatic ones.
Benefits Of Melanotan I and Melanotan II
Perhaps one of the major reasons why Melanotan I was developed is for skin tanning so that you could have golden and ever so natural-looking skin.
In one of the studies, 75% of the subjects administered Melanotan I experienced skin tanning compared to the controls.
With the right dosage, Melanotan I can help you achieve tanned skin without really exposing yourselves to the UV rays of the sun for a long time (5).
Melanotan I is also used as preventive medicine for phototoxicity in patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria (6). Erythropoietic protoporphyria is a disease characterized by abnormal amounts of protoporphyrin in red blood cells.
Because Melanotan I binds to the MC-3R, it aids in the metabolism of stored fatty acids. This not only helps in regulating hunger but also assures the availability of energy.
Mice-based studies suggest that Melanotan I can help manage high blood pressure (hypertension) and improve other cardiovascular parameters. It helps keep the mean arterial pressure and heart rate to the normal baseline (7).
Perhaps some of the clinical trials performed in rats suggest the effects of Melanotan I on the neuro-functioning in humans. There was an improved connection between neurons, a faster recovery process, enhanced neuroplasticity, and minimal brain damage.
Melanotan II works very effectively in making your skin tanned according to your requirements if taken in optimal dosage.
Melanotan II offers a lot of supplemental benefits besides just tanning your skin. Because it binds to MC-4R, it plays a substantial role in the homeostatic mechanism.
It regulates your body’s energy requirements and regulates your appetite/hunger cycles. It does this by reducing fat storage, essentially mimicking the role of the leptin hormone (8). This can be linked to Melanotan II’s potential treatment for diabetes, but so far it is just a hypothesis.
Research suggests that Melanotan II strengthens libido in individuals and enhances sexual performance, primarily affecting males as it improves male erectile functionality. This was confirmed by one of the clinical trials involving 10 men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. Out of 10 men, 8 men had a reversal of erectile dysfunction (9).
Last but not the least, one of the mouse-based studies gave evidence of Melanotan II reversing some of the autistic features (10), but this aspect of study needs more research.
Where Can I Buy Melanotan I and II?
You will find many online stores claiming to sell the authentic versions of Melanotan I and II. As the peptides are still declared unregulated by the FDA, you need to be very careful in choosing the right vendor for your purchase.
I would recommend buying it from Pure Raw considering their established brand and genuine products that they offer.
At Sports Tech Labs, you can either buy 1 vial containing 10mg of Melanotan II or a complete kit of 10 vials constituting 100mg.
Sports Tech Labs are the leading supplier of Melanotan II and promise 99% purity of the peptide in their assessment. Perhaps they also offer their customers complete transparency, due to which they have made the reports of HPLC public on their website.
Keeping aside the product for a second, Sports Tech Labs are quite famously known for their customer services as well. They offer same-day shipping, a money-back guarantee, and secure payment options.
With an average rating of 5.0, I truly believe that there can be no better place for you to buy Melanotan other than Sports Tech Labs.
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Is Melanotan I and II legal?
This is a very important question that needs to be cleared because you will find many online stores selling Melanotan I and II.
Melanotan I and II are illegal to be purchased in the US. But, because Melanotan I also holds some medicinal aspects, it is now allowed to buy Melanotan I or Afamelanotide to prevent phototoxicity in patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria.
Who Should Use Melanotan I and II?
If you are looking for a sunless strategy to achieve tanned and golden-looking skin, Melanotan I and II should be your go-to options.
You can pick Melanotan II to improve your sexual performance and overall energy.
And importantly, Melanotan I can be prescribed to patients to prevent skin cancer ensuing from phototoxic effects.
Forms Of Melanotan I and II
Melanotan peptide is currently available in a variety of forms.
You can buy the injectable form of the peptide, the lyophilized version, and even nasal sprays of Melanotan, depending on your choice of intake.
While all the forms are effective, a lot of people prefer the injectable form of intake.
How To Use Melanotan I and II
Based on your dosage guidelines, you will have to prepare the solution by reconstituting the peptide with bacteriostatic water (1-2ml).
Make sure to follow the instructions listed on the back of the vial. Note that the greater the dilution, the more precise the dosage is. You will have to refrigerate the mixture to ensure Melanotan doesn’t lose its efficacy.
Melanotan is usually administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly, which means under the skin or in the muscular region, respectively.
Melanotan I and II Dosage
The dosage requirements will depend on various factors, such as the intensity of tanned skin you want, your skin type, body weight, and, importantly, metabolic activity.
Research suggests that the optimal dosage range of Melanotan I is 0.25mg to 2mg a day for skin tanning. However, if you are planning to use Melanotan I because of its medicinal efficacy, I would suggest you consult a doctor for a prescription.
On the other hand, Melanotan II can be used anywhere between 0.1mg to 1mg.
My recommendation is that you start experimenting and find an adequate dose that gives you the desired results because it will be different for everyone!
Make sure that you don’t exceed the upper limit, as it can not only darken your skin but also cause other significant side effects.
Melanotan I and II Cycle
It may take weeks to a month to get the perfect tanned skin that you have been wanting.
I couldn’t find any scientific literature that could suggest the precise cycling durations, but considering how the peptide works, I think once you have gotten the gold-textured skin, to persist with the skin color, you may have to use your dose every 2 to 3 days.
Melanotan I and II Stack
Because Melanotan I and II both individually help individuals achieve their tanned skin aspirations, not many people have been seen using any stack.
I wouldn’t recommend you stacking the peptides, but if you really want to have a stacked version, then you can go for Melanotan I and II together, as both can synergistically aid in your journey.
Melanotan I and II Reviews
As both peptides are unregulated, it is important to know the real experiences of people who had used the Melanotan I and II.
Holly W. says,
“I never could really tan. But with Melanotan 2 I get a great tan and keep my color year-round without burning! I don’t even have to stay outside very long or very often to get a great tan!
This has been a lifesaver for me because I love to tan.”
An anonymous user said,
“Both my husband and I have been using melanotan 2 on and off for 3 years now. We both love the results. If you start off with low doses and inject just before you go to sleep you won’t feel any side effects. Go in the sunbed as much as possible to kick start it and then just enjoy the after effects! Absolutely worth it!”
“Great product melanotan 1, it’s easy tanning with a great look that lasts and effortlessly works. My pigmentation is darkening even going for half an hour walk on patchy days.”
But that’s just one side of the story. Some people had mixed views, while some didn’t bother to recommend the peptide.
James F said,
“Didn’t get much tanner than normal. Did have spontaneous erections all day.”
One of the anonymous users of Melanotan 2 said,
“I have used it and it caused me to develop skin hyperpigmentation in my face ( melasma). I have been battling this condition since then.”
Best Time To Take Melanotan I and II
Although there is no fixed time for the peptide intake, getting a little bit of sunlight after Melanotan injections may accelerate the process of skin tanning (5).
Side Effects Of Melanotan I and II
These unregulated peptides definitely hold the concern of causing adverse effects.
Because Melanotan I is generally considered safe compared to its counterpart, it is only known to cause mild and temporary symptoms like nausea, reduction in appetite/hunger, and a feeling of lethargy.
Some users also reported headaches and migraines. Rare symptoms reported were stomach pain and diarrhea.
On the other hand, Melanotan II is quite well-known to cause spontaneous erections (priapism) (11). Users demonstrated excessive yawning, loss of appetite, flushing, and nausea too.
It is important to note that one of the Melanotan II users experienced systemic toxicity due to overdose. One of the case-based studies also suggests that Melanotan II can also potentially trigger rhabdomyolysis (12), the breakdown of skeletal muscle.
A review of 2020 also suggests that Melanotan II can cause a renal infarction (13), which can be life-threatening at times.
You will have to carefully consider the decision of whether to use these peptides or not, owing to the potential side effects they can cause.
Melanotan I and II Pricing
Buying 1 vial (10mg) of Melanotan II will cost you $31.3 after the cash-back offer has been applied. On the other hand, if you buy the whole kit containing 10 vials (100mg), you will have to pay $282.1 on checkout.
Pure Rawz believe in customer retention, due to which they offer an additional percentage of discount as you buy more quantities of the peptide.
Melanotan I and II vs. Other Compounds
Melanotan I and II vs. PT-141 Bremelanotide
While you must have a good understanding of Melanotan I and II by now, it is time to compare them with a similar peptide called PT-141 Bremelanotide.
PT-141 Bremelanotide is a modified derivative of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (a-MSH). Melanotan primarily helps in the tanning of the skin, but this synthetic derivative revolves around treating sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
PT-141 Bremelanotide essentially works in improving libido and helps women in sexual arousal.
The sexual aspect of PT-141 Bremelanotide can be understood by its mechanism of action as it not only activates Melanocortin receptors but also upregulates the dopamine release.
Is Melanotan I and II Legit?
While the decision to use the peptide lies in your hands after learning all the aspects, I feel it is still important to give my opinion.
The experiences of people may compel you to use Melanotan I and II for skin tanning, but one may not forget that both of the peptides are still unregulated and illegal to be used for other than medicinal purposes.
The adverse effects should also be considered because there have been individual cases where the peptides didn’t go well with the users.
However, if you plan to use Melanotan I to prevent phototoxicity and with a medicinal perspective, I would totally recommend it but make sure to consult with your doctor.
Is Melanotan 2 harmful?
Melanotan II can cause adverse side effects, such as systemic toxicity, rhabdomyolysis, renal obstruction, and priapism. But these side effects have been identified in case-based studies.
How long does Melanotan 1 take to work?
The onset was within minutes of Melanotan I injection, and it typically resolved within 30 to 60 minutes.
Is Melanotan 2 permanent?
When delivered by injection throughout the week, Melanotan has the effect of (semi-permanently) darkening the skin, as though tanned by the sun.
Is PT 141 the same as Melanotan 2?
Bremelanotide (formerly PT-141) is a synthetic analog of α-MSH and is the active metabolite of Melanotan II (MT-II).
Does Melanotan make freckles darker?
Melanotan-II is a product not approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and is known to produce significant side effects, including abnormal tanning of moles and freckles, which may interfere with a skin cancer diagnosis.
Does Melanotan cause Melanoma?
Long term, there is concern that Melanotan II may increase the risk of Melanoma – a potentially serious form of skin cancer.
Does Melanotan protect your skin?
Melanotan I and Melanotan II have both been tested in small clinical trials. These have generally found that they can increase melanin levels, as they are meant to do. One study even found that it could protect against sunburn and the DNA damage that accompanies it.