Alternative Ways To Get A Tan

Is it true that sunbeds are bad for you?

Under 18's are banned from using sunbeds in Scotland by law.

Sunbeds give out UV rays which damages our skin cells. Over time, this damage can build up and may eventually lead to skin cancer.

Young people are particularly at risk of the damaging effects of sunbeds – sunbed users under the age of 35 increase the risk of developing skin cancer by 59%

Sunbeds can increase the speed at which your skin ages.

Find out more about the truth about sunbeds from Cancer Research UK.

How do I spot skin cancer?

It is easier to treat skin cancer if it is caught early. Make sure you know what your skin looks like and watch out for any changes.

If you notice any changes or are worried then go to see you doctor as soon as possible.

Gemma Merna from Hollyoaks first used a sunbed when she was 15 and quickly started using them once or twice a week. She told Cancer Research UK:

When I was younger, I didn’t realise the damage I was doing to my skin by using sunbeds. I just wanted to look tanned and to fit in with everyone and didn’t give any thought to the risks I was taking or the fact that it would actually make my skin look worse as I got older. When I realised how dangerous sunbeds were, I stopped using them and started using fake tan instead.

How can I stay tanned but not use a sunbed?

Using fake tanning products is a much safer way of getting a tan than lying in the sun or using a sunbed. Some fake tans, like bronzers, wash easily off the skin. Others are made with a substance called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA reacts with the skin so the colour stays longer.

You have loads of options when it comes to getting a sun kissed glow, without any harmful rays affecting your skin.

You could build up a natural looking tan using moisturisers with built in fake tan. This will allow you to gradually build up to your desired tan, with less risk of getting a colour you don't like.

You could go for a professional spray tan. This is where you stand in a booth and they spray you with tan or they apply it by hand. This can create a great look but it does cost a bit more, alternatively you can buy a bottle of self tan from the shops and apply it carefully, to avoid streaks, yourself.

For those wanting an instant and short lasting tan, then wash off tan is the best thing to use. You apply it yourself and you are ready to go as soon as it's dried! Wake up the next morning, jump in a shower, and it should all wash away.

Top tips for a great fake tan:

  • Prepare your skin by exfoliating and moisturising regularly.
  • Apply the tan with latex gloves or thoroughly wash your hands after applying the tan to avoid tell tale orange palms.
  • Wear loose black clothing while you let your tan develop.


It's okay to be pale. Just be yourself.