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Sun Beds

Sunbeds are used when your holiday tan (if you ever had one) is beginning to fade. They’re useful because you don’t have to take time off work and rent a villa in Spain just to get a golden glow but, like natural sunbathing, they carry risks. Because the UV rays are focused into one small chamber, your skin is absorbing much higher amounts than if you were lying on a beach, which is why sunbeds have time-limits. If you’re a first-timer or just want a gentle tan, try a few sessions at just 3 minutes. For a darker tan, work your way up from 3 to 6 minutes. For the most determined of bathers, there are 9 and sometimes 12 minute options, but extended use of these longer sessions greatly increases your chances of scarring, rosacea (an irreversable condition where the skin on your face erupts into acne-like lumps- for more information see ‘Skin Conditions’) and cancer.

If you’re planning on using a sunbed, remember these key facts to keep your skin safe:

Apply moisturiser an hour or so before you go on a sunbed. Ideally, apply sun cream (minimum factor 15). This will mean your skin takes longer to take on any colour, but its worth it to avoid health risks in the future.

ALWAYS cover up any moles or scars you have. These are extremely sensitive and the UV rays will do far more damage to these vulnerable parts than they will to the rest of you.

Try not to let going on the sunbeds become a habit. We all like a bit of colour now and again, because let’s face it, we all look prettier when we’ve got a healthy golden glow. However, repeated use can do significant damage both now and in the future. And besides, we’re British. If we were meant to be brown-skinned, we’d have been given a better climate.


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