Still think sunbeds are the best way to get a fake tan? Think again, says Ayesha Muttucumaru

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The dangers of sunbeds have been well-documented over the years; however for anyone still in need of a reason to stop deep-frying their skin, just show them these images.

Skin experts Sk:n and Cancer Research UK have teamed up this month to raise awareness of the risks of sunbed use in a campaign called R UV UGLY. Taken using the latest high-tech facial skin scanner, 30-year-old Kelly Hughes’s face displays clear signs of premature ageing and can be seen to be almost completely covered with heavy pigmentation, all due to her excessive use of sunbeds since the age of 16.

Figures reveal that even just using a sunbed once or twice a month could increase the chance of developing skin cancer by an alarming 50 per cent. It is hoped that these pictures will deter the growing number of young people still seeking out sunbeds to top up their tans, especially with malignant melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer) being the second most common cancer among 15-34 year olds.

According to Caroline Cerny, senior health campaigns manager at Cancer Research UK, “This initiative will allow people to see the cosmetic damage from sunbed use, showing that every time someone uses a sunbed they are damaging their skin, making it look worse in the long run and making skin coarse, leathery and wrinkled. No one wants to look older before their time, so we hope the skin scan will really help to change people’s minds about using sunbeds.”

The campaign offers the public free skin assessments at Sk:n clinics across the UK, and Cancer Research UK will also be travelling around the country this month at major shopping centres in Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Essex to spread the word.

Hopefully, this initiative will finally drive home the message that no tan is worth the risks involved. Only time will tell.

Claim your free skin assessment at Sk:n clinics by calling 0800 028 7222 quoting R UV UGLY SKIN SCAN. Visit  for further information.