Do Melatonin Pills Make You Tanned?

Do melatonin pills make you tanned?

Do melatonin pills make your skin tanned?

Check out this answer from Consensus:

The evidence on whether melatonin pills can make your skin tanned is mixed. While melatonin can bind to receptors that increase melanin production, leading to potential tanning effects, clinical studies have shown variable results. Oral melatonin lightened hyperpigmented skin in one case but had no effect in others, indicating that its impact on skin color may depend on individual factors. Additionally, the potential side effects, such as the induction of lentigines and naevi, should be considered. More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between melatonin supplementation and skin pigmentation.


Melatonin, a hormone primarily known for regulating sleep-wake cycles, has been explored for various other uses, including its potential effects on skin pigmentation. This article examines whether melatonin pills can induce skin tanning, drawing on findings from multiple research studies.

Melatonin and Skin Pigmentation

Mechanism of Action

Melatonin peptides have been found to bind to melanocortin MC1 receptors, which are involved in the production of eumelanin, a type of melanin responsible for darker skin pigmentation. This binding can potentially lead to increased melanin production, thereby contributing to skin tanning1.

Clinical Observations

A study reported that melatonin used as a tanning agent could induce lentigines (small pigmented spots) and naevi (moles), suggesting that melatonin can indeed affect skin pigmentation. However, the study also noted the occurrence of these skin changes as potential side effects1.

Effects of Oral Melatonin on Skin Color

Study Findings

In a study involving the prolonged ingestion of melatonin (1 g per day) by five human subjects with hyperpigmented skin, the results varied. Melatonin lightened the hyperpigmented skin of one patient with untreated adrenogenital syndrome but had no effect on the skin color of three patients with idiopathic hyperpigmentation and one patient with treated Addison’s disease. This suggests that the effect of oral melatonin on skin pigmentation may be inconsistent and dependent on individual conditions2.

Hormonal Influence

The same study also observed that melatonin appeared to depress the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in serum and might have inhibited the release of growth hormone in some patients. This indicates that melatonin’s effects on skin pigmentation could be influenced by its interaction with other hormonal pathways2.

Topical Application of Melatonin

Antiaging Benefits

While the primary focus of this article is on oral melatonin, it’s worth noting that topical application of melatonin has shown significant benefits for skin health. A study on melatonin-based day and night creams demonstrated improvements in skin tonicity, hydration, and reduction in skin roughness, supporting the antiaging effects of melatonin when applied topically3. However, this does not directly relate to skin tanning.


Do melatonin pills make you tanned?

Christian Surber has answered Extremely Unlikely

An expert from University of Zurich in Dermatology

Systemic melatonin does NOT tan the skin. Melatonin is sometimes confused with Melanotan. Melanotan-II is given to produce erections in men with erectile dysfunction, tan the skin, and prevent skin cancers caused by sun exposure.

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