A YOUNG woman has confessed to being obsessed with sunbeds and goes on for 20 minutes each time because having a tan boosts her confidence.
Katie Kent, 21, has been using sunbeds for more than a year and says that after her first time on a sunbed she knew she wouldn’t be able to stop using them.
Katie revealed she visits sunbeds up to three times a weekCredit: Caters
For Katie, it’s like a quick, 20 minute holiday somewhere nice and sunnyCredit: Caters
Katie, a care assistant from Cheshire, loves having a tan because she has naturally fair skin and it gives her a huge confidence boost.
She enjoys 20-minute tanning sessions up to three times a week which helps her feel great about herself, despite the associated risks – including skin cancer.
Katie said: “I was nervous to go on a sunbed for the very first time because I didn’t know what to expect, but I loved it immediately and I couldn’t stop going after that.
“I started off doing a much lower amount of minutes because I am naturally fair and I didn’t want to burn.
“But over the past year and a half, I have built the time up and I can now go on a sunbed for up to 20 minutes at a time.
“I can see the results immediately.
“When I have a tan it gives me such a confidence boost and I always come off the sunbed in such a good mood. It’s almost like a quick 20 minute holiday.
“I do think there is pressure on girls to look a certain way and like you always have a nice tan, but it does just make me feel so much better about myself.”
Katie says that she uses tan enhancing creams and gels to get the best results from her sunbed sessions.
She has also even tried using tanning drops, which are placed underneath the tongue before going on a sunbed to enhance the results.
Katie added: “I was very pale when I first started using sunbeds, so it took a couple of months before I started noticing a major difference.
“I always use an enhancing cream or gel when I go on the sunbed because it makes the results so much more obvious.
“I can’t imagine myself not using sunbeds in the future, because it is also so much easier than using fake tan because you don’t need to worry about scrubbing it off and applying a fresh layer each week.
“If I notice that my tan looks like it has faded a bit, I’ll go to the sunbeds to get it topped up as soon as I can.
“It definitely becomes addictive because once you’ve built your tan up, you don’t want to lose it.
“And it feels amazing to have a tan all year round.”
Like the sun, sunbeds give out harmful UV rays that damage the DNA in your skin cells and over time this may lead to malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – studies have shown.
The World Health Organisation says they are as dangerous as smoking, and can also cause sagging and wrinkling of the skin.
But Katie is unperturbed, saying: “People do ask me if I worry about the damaging effects and skin cancer and I know it can cause that, but so can sitting in the natural sunlight.
“So I think if it is used in moderation, it should be fine.
“It makes me feel good about myself and my self-confidence and self-esteem are much higher when I feel better about myself.
“I wouldn’t like to go without a tan now that I have built it up.”
ARE SUNBEDS SAFE?
Sunbeds give out ultraviolet (UV) rays that increase your risk of developing skin cancer, both skin cancer (melanoma) and skin cancer (non-melanoma).
Many sunbeds give out greater doses of UV rays than the midday tropical sun.
The risks are greater for young people. Evidence shows people who are frequently exposed to UV rays before the age of 25 are at greater risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
Sunbeds, sunlamps and tanning booths give out the same type of harmful radiation as sunlight. UVA rays make up about 95% of sunlight.
They can cause your skin to age prematurely, making it look coarse, leathery and wrinkled. UVB rays make up about 5% of sunlight and burn your skin.
A tan is your body’s attempt to protect itself from the damaging effect of UV rays. Using a sunbed to get a tan is not safer than tanning in the sun.
It may even be more harmful, depending on factors such as: the strength of UV rays from the sunbed, how often you use a sunbed, the length of your sunbed sessions, your skin type and your age.
Anyone can get skin cancer and Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK.
There are more than 16,000 cases a year and approximately 2,300 deaths.
Melanoma is caused by overexposure to the sun and sunbeds and this is why The Sun previously launched its Dying For A Tan campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of using sunbeds, which can raise your risk of skin cancer and cause premature ageing.
Katie is naturally fair and uses sunbeds to boost confidenceCredit: Caters
The 21-year-old fell in love with sunbeds after using them for the first timeCredit: Caters