With the public's awareness of the potential health implications of sunbathing such as skin cancer, sunless tanning methods have become more popular. Generally this will involve the application of a product to the skin surface to darken the visible appearance of the skin tone. There are other sunless tanning methods which some people undergo, such as tanning pills or the injectable peptide Melanotan, but these methods are not recommended.
Sun lotions which contain the substance DHA are very popular, with various products available across the counter. The browning of the skin colour is caused by a reaction between the DHA and the dead skin which lays on the top surface of the skin. This method requires no UV exposure and is therefore chosen due to its ability to cause a tanned appearance when there is little sun, and also the reduced need to be exposed to damaging UV rays. A tan from such a lotion will typically last several days, so the application needs to be maintained for a long lasting tanned appearance.
So called "spray on tans" are also popular. These applications tint the skin and are applied by professionals in health spars and shops. Some of the lotions contain DHA, which has the added benefit of giving the user a longer lasting tan. Spray on tans will gradually fade over time as the skin is washed, brushes on clothes and ages.
Melanotan is a peptide which has become very popular over the past few years. The peptide is injected and increases the secretion of melanin which causes the skin to darken. The injectable substance does have some notable side effects such as nausea, skin flushing and headaches, but these are just the side effects noted by users.