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10th September 2015

Frying for a tan

The ‘full-English fry up’ is one of life’s simple pleasures, but it seems to have taken on a new meaning with 60% of Brits admitting to frying their skin in the sun.

SunSense hit the road this summer to find out if Brits are ‘Dying for a Tan’. Throughout our travels, we photographed over 2000 people and surveyed over 1,200 and we found that a staggering two thirds genuinely believed that there was a safe way to tan naturally.

Our message was clear – tanning is not a sign of good health. Any change in the colour of the skin is a sign that your body is trying to repair damage caused by UV rays. Excessive UV can cause premature ageing and may lead to skin cancer.

With our trusty UV camera in tow, we set out to give people a wake-up call and show them the damage they have already done deep in the layers of their skin. What they saw looked like a normal photograph, but with hidden pigmentation that they wouldn’t be able to see in normal daylight.

You can see how people reacted to the camera in our round-up video or view the images for yourself in our Facebook gallery.

A lot of people don’t believe that the sun is strong enough in the UK to do any real damage and even if they do, they consider skin cancer as something that happens to other people when really it is the tan we are getting today that will cause cancer.

The UV camera helps to show the damage that may already be there and warn that if we don’t protect our skin, then we may have problems in the future. We’re proud to say that after seeing their skin under the UV camera, a staggering 70% said they would now think again before exposing their skin to harmful UV rays.

Whilst we still have a long way to go, the SunSense UK campaign is slowly but surely having a positive impact and changing attitudes towards tanning in the UK. Australia is the first country in the world to see a reduction in skin cancer rates following 30 years of public health campaigns, so if we are consistent with the message, we will see the benefit to people’s health.

The tour may be over for this year and the camera packed away, but things have never been busier at SunSense HQ. In fact, we’re already busy planning how we can convert more sun worshippers next year and provide more people with the facts they need to make an informed decision about their health. Watch this space!



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