Jamie McBride shocked many when she revealed the secret to her golden glow – snorting fake tan through a nasal spray. McBride has been having sun bed sessions lasting up to 15 minutes since her teens.
She never used tanning injections since they are illegal in the U.K. But, two years ago she started using a special nasal spray designed to deepen tans – which is similarly banned and unlicensed in the U.K. – insisting she has not suffered any negative side effects and that her bronzed glow is worth the worry.
Jamie (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I first found out about nasal tanners when a few friends tried them. They recommended them, since they know I don't like needles and would never inject myself," she said. “Like using anything you don't know much about, putting it into my body does worry me, but everyone else I know who has used them has been okay, so I'll be fine. I feel more beautiful and glowing with a tan, but I hate false tan, the smell of it, and how patchy it goes. With a nice tan, you always feel better – I think everyone can agree on that."
Jamie showing off her tanned legs (PA Real Life/Collect)
Before discovering nasal tanners Jamie darkened her skin by using sun beds. She also used fake tan, although she hated the smell.
Initially, hitting the tanning salon for sun bed sessions twice a week, over the years, that increased to three or four times a week.
Jamie during a sunbed session (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I can now do 15 minutes at a time on the lie down beds, and don't burn," she said, although her tanning spray means she has cut back to just one sun bed session a week. “Between buying nasal sprays and block minutes on the sun beds, I must have spent a fortune on tanning over the years. I wouldn't even be able to guess how much. It's not that I feel bad when I'm pale – it's more I'll see someone with a lovely tan and think, 'Oh my god I need to go for a sun bed,' and think I'm pale when I'm not."
Around two years ago, after hearing about them through friends, Jamie decided to give nasal tanners a go for the first time.
“They come in a small bottle with a nasal spray top. I keep them in the fridge and take one spray up each nostril once a day for a few days to let it build up in my system," she explained. “Then, if I'm having sun beds too, I'll up it to two sprays a day – once in the morning, and once before bed."
Jamie's nasal tanners and tan cream (PA Real Life/Collect)
“At first, I thought they were giving me headaches, so I stopped using them, but the migraines continued. In the end, it turned out I needed stronger glasses, so I wouldn't say I have personally had any side effects," she added.
Like tanning injections, nasal tanning sprays are widely available online, which is where Jamie gets hers for £20-£25 (around $25 USD) each.
Jamie (PA Real Life/Collect)
“In this day and age, everyone has, at some point, used a sun bed or tried a spray or injection, just to see what all the fuss is about," she said. “If anybody did try to criticize me, I wouldn't listen anyway, because at the end of the day, it's my body."
Jamie's tan lines (PA Real Life/Collect)
“People are quick to judge, but everyone I know who has tried them loves them, and has had great results. Plus, I haven't had any side effects that would make me think otherwise," she continued. “As with everything, there is always a risk, so if you feel it isn't right, then fine – don't do it. But don't judge others for wanting a tan to feel better about themselves. Everyone has their own opinion, and this is mine."
Jamie after a sun bed session (PA Real Life/Collect)
A spokesperson for the Government's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warned against the use of tanning injections and related products containing melanotan II.
“Melanotan II is not a licensed medicine and therefore its quality and safety has not been tested; no information is held on where or how it is made nor what it contains," they said. “The fact that it is injected also raises serious questions. Anyone injecting themselves with an unlicensed product is risking their health. It may cause serious and long-term side effects. Our advice is not to use it and if you have used it and suffered side effects, speak to your doctor and report it to us through our Yellow Card Scheme."