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Read by Anne Thestrup Meimbresse

Pharmacist, Varde Pharmacy

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Risks of Using Sunbeds

Using a sunbed can lead to sunburn, wrinkles, and prematurely aged skin due to the artificial UV radiation. There is also an increased risk of developing skin cancer, including melanoma, related to frequent exposure to sunbeds.

Sunburn, Wrinkles, and Premature Aging of the Skin

UV radiation from sunbeds can damage your skin. This radiation accelerates the aging process of the skin, meaning your skin may begin to show signs of aging such as wrinkles and loss of firmness earlier than usual.

This is a direct consequence of the deep impact UV light has on the skin’s structure.

Using a sunbed before the age of 35 significantly increases the risk not only of sunburn but also of early signs of aging. This is because your skin loses its ability to repair itself effectively when regularly exposed to artificial UV radiation.

Your skin has a memory. Every ray counts.

Increased Risk of Skin Cancer

Using a sunbed increases the risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Cancer organizations point out that each time you tan in a sunbed, your risk of developing this disease increases.

Sunbed light has a radiation intensity that can be as harmful as the midday summer sun at its peak. This is because artificial UV lighting in sunbeds often has an ultraviolet index of around 12, which is significantly higher than the maximum UV index of 8 typically found in the United Kingdom.

It’s important to understand the seriousness of using sunbeds regularly. Melanoma often affects young women between the ages of 15-34 and is the most common form of cancer in this age group.

Reducing your exposure to artificial ultraviolet light or completely avoiding sunbed use can be crucial steps in reducing your risk of skin cancer. Choices like these are essential in the fight against cancer and in protecting your skin from unnecessary damage.

Link Between Artificial UV Radiation and Melanoma

Artificial UV radiation from sunbeds increases the risk of developing skin and melanoma cancers. People who regularly use sunbeds before the age of 35 face a 60% higher risk of developing melanoma.

This figure shows how dangerous exposing the skin to artificial sunlight can be.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized all radiation from sunbeds as carcinogenic. This means that every time you use a sunbed, you are exposing your skin to something that can cause very serious health problems.

Avoiding sunbeds entirely or using them with great caution can help significantly reduce your risk.

Safe Sunbed Use

Use sunbeds cautiously to avoid skin damage. Protect your skin by not spending too much time in the sunbed and using sunscreen. Monitor the condition of the sunbed and the replacement of bulbs to ensure a safe experience.

Limit your visits and the duration of time in the sunbed

Sunbed visits should be limited to avoid sun damage and the risk of skin cancer. Research shows that frequent use of sunbeds increases the risk of melanoma. It is recommended to follow these guidelines:

1. Limit visits: Do not use a sunbed more than once or twice a week.

2. Reduce time: Avoid staying in the sunbed for more than 20 minutes at a time.

3. Use protection: Apply a high SPF sunscreen before use and avoid the sunbed if your skin is already red or sore from previous sun exposure.

By maintaining a moderate and protected relationship with sunbed use, you can minimize the risk of harmful long-term consequences.

Using sunscreen during and after sunbed use

Using sunscreen during and after sunbed use is crucial to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Here are some important steps for the safe use of sunscreen in a sunbed:

1. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 before you go into the sunbed.

2. Make sure to thoroughly cover all exposed areas of the skin with sunscreen.

3. After the session, reapply sunscreen to the exposed areas for extra protection.

4. Choose a non-greasy, oil-free, or non-comedogenic sunscreen, which does not clog pores.

These steps will help you protect your skin from harmful UV radiation and minimize the risk of skin damage from using a sunbed.

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Alternatives to Sunbeds

Get a sun-kissed glow without using a sunbed. Consider spray tans or natural sunbathing with the right protection and moderation. Want to know more?

Spray Tan

A spray tan offers a natural and radiant bronze color without exposing the skin to harmful UV radiation. This artificial tanning method can help avoid sunburns and skin damage while providing an even and healthy glow. By choosing a spray tan, you can dodge the risk of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer while maintaining a youthful appearance. This safe alternative allows you to achieve a sun-kissed glow all year round without worries about sun damage to the skin.

Natural Sunbathing with Protection and Moderation

Natural sunbathing with protection and moderation is essential to avoid damage from the sun. It includes protective measures that can help minimize the risks associated with the sun's rays:

1. Use high-factor sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, and reapply it every two hours and after swimming or sweating. This protects against harmful UVB and UVA rays.

2. Seek shade during peak times: When the sun is strongest between 12 PM and 3 PM, you should stay in the shade to reduce exposure to harmful UV rays.

3. Wear protective clothing: Cover your body with lightweight clothing, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and wide-brimmed hats to reduce direct contact with the sun's rays.

4. Protect your eyes: Wear sunglasses with UV protection to prevent eye damage from long periods in the sun.

5. Keep children covered: Children should always be well-protected from the sun, as their skin is particularly vulnerable to harmful UV rays.

6. Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are outdoors for extended periods under sunny conditions.

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Regular price £16.99
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Optimize Your Sunbed Experience

Choose a high-quality sunbed to ensure even and effective tanning without unnecessary damage to the skin. To learn more about tips for optimizing your sunbed experience, continue reading below.

Choose a High-Quality Sunbed

When selecting a sunbed, ensure it is of good quality to avoid unnecessary exposure to dangerous UV rays. Make sure the sunbed is equipped with the latest safety features like timers and automatic shut-offs.

Choose a sunbed center that adheres to national safety and hygiene guidelines, where the staff is well-trained in the use of tanning equipment. These measures will help minimize the risk of sunburned skin, wrinkles, and even skin cancer, while providing a safer and more enjoyable tanning experience.

Using Light Therapy

Light therapy is often used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. The therapy involves exposure to artificial light that mimics sunlight to stimulate the production of serotonin and regulate sleep, mood, and energy levels.

Light therapy has proven effective in reducing symptoms of winter depression and can be a great alternative to sunbed use for maintaining positive mental health. Regular use of light therapy can enhance well-being and reduce the risk of developing negative health effects associated with sunbed use.

It is important to note that light therapy should be conducted under the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure proper dosage and effectiveness of the treatment. Additionally, it is crucial to use the recommended amount of light and avoid excessive exposure, as overuse of light therapy can lead to uncomfortable side effects such as headaches and eye irritation.

Using Sunscreen for Sunbed and Outdoor Use

Using sunscreen is crucial to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, whether you are in a sunbed or outdoors. Here are some key guidelines:

1. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen: Use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 before using a sunbed or going out in the sun. This will help protect your skin from damage caused by UVA and UVB rays.

2. Reapply sunscreen regularly: Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming, whether you are inside a sunbed or enjoying outdoor activities.

3. Choose the right sunscreen for sunbed use: Ensure that the sunscreen you use for sunbed sessions does not contain oil, as oil can damage sunbed equipment.

4. Invest in additional protection: For optimal protection against harmful rays, consider investing in a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective clothing.

5. Consult a dermatologist: If you have questions about choosing sunscreen for different skin types or about appropriate SPF levels, consult a skin specialist for professional advice.

Always prioritize your skincare and take necessary precautions to avoid potential damage from UV radiation.

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Perfect for dry skin – Water–resistant and nourishing
+15.000 reviews
Regular price £16.99
Sale price £16.99 Regular price
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Check your tanning salon for special promotions and deals

 Take the opportunity to save on your tanning sessions. Keep an eye out for any exclusive discounts that can make your sunbathing experience even more affordable.


Is it dangerous to use a sunbed?

Yes, using a sunbed can be dangerous as it exposes the skin to high levels of UV radiation, which can increase the risk of skin cancer.

Should you apply sunscreen in a sunbed?

Absolutely, it is important to use sunscreen in a sunbed to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation, even though many believe it's not necessary.

Can you get a tan after just one sunbed session?

To achieve a visible tan, you typically need to go to the sunbed multiple times, as a single session rarely produces noticeable results.

Is it safe to use a sunbed during pregnancy?

It is advised not to use a sunbed during pregnancy as the UV radiation can have harmful effects on both mother and baby.

Do you get vitamin D from using a sunbed?

Yes, you can get vitamin D from sunbed light, but it's important to weigh this against the potential risks associated with UV exposure.

What does 20 minutes in a sunbed equate to?

Twenty minutes in a sunbed can be equivalent to about 1-2 hours in direct midday sun, depending on the intensity of the sunbed device.

How many times do you need to use a sunbed to get a tan?

Typically, you need to visit a sunbed 3-5 times to begin seeing noticeable tanning, depending on your skin type and the strength of the sunbed.

How high is the UV in a sunbed?

The UV level in a sunbed is very high, often 3-6 times stronger than the midday sun, which could correspond to a hypothetical UV index of 20+.

What does 10 minutes in a sunbed equate to?

Ten minutes in a sunbed can be equivalent to about 30-60 minutes in direct midday sun, also depending on the machine's UV strength.


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