Melanotan 1 and 2 are alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormones (α-MSH) which induces skin pigmentation and thus can reduce UV damage to skin over time.
Generally peptides come in lyophilized (freeze-dried) form and will appear as a white powder, either as a pellet, small chunks, a ball or as a powder.
Melanotan, and most peptides in general are legal to import, export, own and to use.
However, the domestic sales of most peptides are restricted to universities and government approved clinical trials.
This is true for Europe, USA and Australia - other regions may vary.
Another thing to note here is that bacteriostatic water is a prescription only item in many countries. This includes the UK, some countries in Europe and the USA. Again, I'm unsure about the other countries at this time.
While not always enforced, and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't go very far, it's worth noting that it is illegal to own.
Sterile waters, like sodium chloride, are legal in most places.
Travelling with Melanotan is a frequent question for holiday goers and backpackers, and while slightly more difficult it isn't impossible.
The first thing to take note of is the fact that carrying Melanotan, as above isn't illegal in many countries, but it is worth checking google first. This also goes for needles and sterile water.
If you can transport all of your supplies its best to prepare it while in your hotel/apartment and store it in a minifridge or similar there, in accordance with the information below. Always pack this into you checked/hold luggage, rather than your carry on/cabin bag.
If however you can't transport it all or you are backpacking you have a few other options.
First, you'll have to use bacteriostatic water when mixing at home, sodium chloride is completely unsuitable for this application.
This should be suitable for travel to a lot more places, if asked just state it's normal sterile water (legal) rather than bacteriostatic water (illegal).
If the area you are travelling to does not allow Melanotan then you become slightly more limited again. However, the most used option is to transfer the contents of your Melanotan vial into a Vitamin B12 vial. B12 injections are legal in many more countries, again, check first. If B12 is illegal you can search for another similar option.
Lastly, you will have to go down the nasal route. Purchase a standard nasal mist spray from a supermarket, prepare it as stated below and put it into your hold luggage. If this gets picked up they can look at it, smell it, spray it and test it - it'll be okay.
Airports don't have the equipment to test for peptides, they are looking for things like amphetamines, barbitrates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methadone, methaqualone and opiods.
For the sake of continuity;
Room temperature = (21 - 24C) OR (70 - 75F)
Refrigerated = (2 - 8C) OR (36 - 43F)
Freezer = (<-18C) OR (<0F)
When in freeze dried form they can be stored in many ways;
Room temperature – 12 months
Refrigerated – 48 months
Freezer – 48 months+
When reconstituted with sodium chloride it can be stored either;
Room temperature – Not recommended*
Refrigerated – 1 month
Freezer – 48 months
When reconstituted with bacteriostatic water it should be stored;
Room temperature – 2 months
Refrigerated – 48 months
Freezer – Not recommended**
* Sodium chloride contains no bacteriostatic agent and thus bacteria can flourish in this environment and become toxic within hours.
** Some bacteriostatic agents can be denatured from low temperatures and as such should not undergo freeze-thaw cycles.
You should store any unopened sodium chloride and bacteriostatic water in the refrigerator. Opened sodium chloride should be disposed of after first use.
Syringes and alcohol swabs can be stored in any location.
Melanotan 1 has a half life of ~1 hour, this means to get the most out of it you should inject twice daily, once in the morning and then again midday or before UV exposure. It is also better to dose every single day - this adds up to a lot of injections.
Recommend dosages starting from 1mg (500mcg twice daily) for Melanotan 1 due to the lower side effects associated with it. After 2-4 days increase to 1.5mg (750mcg twice daily) and stick at this point. If you wish to increase the dose further, do so slowly.
Melanotan 2 has a half life of ~33 hours, this allows you to be very flexible with dosing. However, it will always be better to inject in the morning or midday if getting natural UV exposure. If you are using sunbeds then inject about 20 minutes before exposure. Recommended dosages start at 250mcg every day to help your body acclimatize to the peptide and minimize the side effects. You can continue with this dose indefinitely if you are intending to do a low dosage regimen.
If you want to dose higher, after 2-4 days, whenever you feel comfortable, up the dose to 500mcg and stick at this point. You can increase the dose as far as about 1mg but any higher is generally not advised.
Sun exposure is recommended to start off slow to ensure that a tan develops before exposing yourself to long intensive sessions. The goal here is to be patient, know your skins limits and to never burn.
If you live in a sunny area then you can begin slowly exposing yourself outside from the day you begin dosing. Remember to use suncream if you need it and be cautious.
If you live in an area with low UV exposure or its winter you can visit the sun beds once or twice weekly, depending on your goals. Normally 5-10 minutes is adequate, again follow the advice above and don't push it too far.
Once you have reached your desired level of tan then you can enter what is known as the 'maintenance phase'.
Although the level is different for most people it levels out at around 500mcg every 3 or 4 days and a sunbed session with every or every other dose.
This will allow you to maintain your tan through winter without much work.
If you notice at any point you're becoming darker, reduce the dose. If you notice you are getting lighter, add in an extra dose or take up the second sunbed session if you didn't already.
Generally the side effects fall into the mild category, however there are a few side effects which can be severe but you should only encounter these if you are overdosing.
If at any point you believe the side effect to be severe, check you didn't overdose. If you didn't then lower your doses slightly and see if that rectifies the issue - your body will react differently based on many things such as an increase/decrease in weight or hormones.
If they still do not subside then discontinue use. If problems persist then seek medical advice.
The most common side (from about 50mcg onward) is facial flushing. This is an antibody response to a foreign body and will subside quickly. Generally the effects become unnoticeable after about a week of usage.
Most of these effects can be mitigated by antihistamines.
Anything listed below in 'common' is fine to experience, you should keep checks on moles and freckles, though.
Anything in the 'uncommon' generally means you've overdosed. You can try lowering your dosage or inject half as much twice a day, spreading out the absorption of the peptide.
Although people class nausea from MT2 as a common thing, it really shouldn't be. Generally this is because people dose too much too fast.
You may get a slight unease but if it is unbearable to experience through the day, lower your dosage. Injecting before bed is a last resort but can be an effective way of minimizing the nausea if you have no other options.
Common: Flushing, appetite suppression, darkening of moles.
Uncommon: Lethargy, nausea, dizziness.
Common: Flushing, appetite suppression, increased libido, facial hair darkening, darkening of moles.
Uncommon: Lethargy, nausea, dizziness.
As hair darkening is a very important side effect of melanotan I've given it it's own section.
Many people will try melanotan for this effect on its own, however, it can be difficult to maintain good results.
After starting melanotan you'll start to notice results in about 2 weeks.
I'll reference the Fitzpatrick scale here.
Type 2+ will get consistent results when injecting upwards of 500mcg per day.
Type 1 will normally need upwards of 1mg per day.
This will obviously lead to you becoming very tanned which you may not desire.