Sunbed Users Twice as Likely to Use Anti-aging Products

More than 43% of people in the United Kingdom who have used sunbeds, which have been proven to prematurely age the skin, are using anti-aging products. This compares with only 20% of those who have not used a sunbed, according to a new Cancer Research UK survey.

The research from the charity has been released during its sunbed awareness campaign R UV UGLY. The campaign highlights the cosmetic damage lurking beneath the skin’s surface, such as pigmentation caused by overexposure to UV from sunbeds or the sun. As well as making people look old before their time, UV rays can also damage the DNA in skin cells. This DNA damage can build up over time and lead to skin cancer.

The results also show that more than 68% of sunbed users are concerned about sunbeds aging their skin. Nineteen percent start to use anti-aging products by the time they are 25, compared with just 5% of those who don’t use sunbeds.

And when it comes to how much money people spend on anti-aging products, sunbed-users are more likely to splash the cash. Of those that use anti-aging products, 30% of sunbed users spend over £20 a month, compared with just 8% of non-sunbed users.

The research also sheds some light on why people continue to use sunbeds, despite the warnings about how much they damage your skin. It shows that:

  • 41% claim to use sunbeds to get a base tan ahead of a holiday.
  • 24% said they used sunbeds to "look more attractive."
  • Approximately 11% use them to stay tanned over winter.
  • 8% said it was "what all my friends did."
  • 7% claimed using a sunbed helped them feel younger.
  • 8% of sunbed users are paying over £30 a month on sunbeds in an attempt to stay brown.

Rates of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, have more than quadrupled in Britain over the last 30 years, and it is the second most common cancer among 15-34 year olds.*

Experts have warned that using a sunbed just once a month or more could increase the chance of developing melanoma by more than 50%, while also contributing to premature wrinkles and pigmentation.

This is why Cancer Research UK’s R UV UGLY campaign is calling on people to face some of the cosmetic damage being inflicted on their skin in pursuit of a tan, by offering free skin assessments at sk:n clinics across the UK. Visit

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