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Fake it to make it (safe)

Tanning bed

Published: Wednesday, 5th June 2024

Young people in West Norfolk thinking of getting a ‘bronze glow’ for prom season are being advised to turn to fake tan instead of opting for a commercial sunbed.

It is illegal for tanning salons to allow people under 18 to use their sunbeds but the council is aware of approaches to them, and a small number of cases where this may have been allowed.

The council has reminded salons in the area that they must not allow underage use of their beds and is now hoping to spread the message among young people too.

Environmental Health Manager, Philippa Smith, said:

“We know that with prom season coming up, a lot of young people in West Norfolk and across the country are thinking about how they’re going to look their best on this special occasion.

“A lovely bronze glow may well be part of that look but unfortunately there is a wealth of evidence linking sunbeds to skin cancer.

“If young people want to ‘glow up’ their skin it can be achieved safely by using over-the-counter or salon fake tan products so this is one of those rare occasions when the council will be advising people to turn to fake options!”

Damage caused by exposure to UV rays is the main cause of skin cancer, with young skin being particularly vulnerable to its effects. Malignant melanoma, which is the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, is the second most common cancer in young people in the UK.

Allowing a person under the age of 18 to use a sunbed has been illegal in the UK since 2010.

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