The protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) is a seven transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptor that could be activated by serine protease cleavage or by synthetic peptide agonists. We showed earlier that activation of PAR-2 with Ser-Leu-Ile-Gly-Arg-Leu-NH2 (SLIGRL), a known PAR-2 activating peptide, induces keratinocyte phagocytosis and increases skin pigmentation, indicating that PAR-2 regulates pigmentation by controlling phagocytosis of melanosomes. Here, we show that Leu-Ile-Gly-Arg-NH2 (LIGR) can also induce skin pigmentation. Both SLIGRL and LIGR increased melanin deposition in vitro and in vivo, and visibly darkened human skins grafted onto severe combined immuno-deficient (SCID) mice. Both SLIGRL and LIGR stimulated Rho-GTP activation resulting in keratinocyte phagocytosis. Interestingly, LIGR activates only a subset of the PAR-2 signaling pathways, and unlike SLIGRL, it does not induce inflammatory processes. LIGR did not affect many PAR-2 signaling pathways, including [Ca2+] mobilization, cAMP induction, the induction of cyclooxgenase-2 (COX-2) expression and the secretion of prostaglandin E2, interleukin-6 and -8. PAR-2 siRNA inhibited LIGR-induced phagocytosis, indicating that LIGR signals via PAR-2. Our data suggest that LIGR is a more specific regulator of PAR-2-induced pigmentation relative to SLIGRL. Therefore, enhancing skin pigmentation by topical applications of LIGR may result in a desired tanned-like skin color, without enhancing inflammatory processes, and without the need of UV exposure.