Sunday, 10 September 2017

I am Officially Giving up Sunbeds.

My name is Claudia and I am addicted to sunbeds. Well, was. As of right now.

I am OBSESSED with being brown. And if I had a pound for every time someone said 'just use fake tan!!' I would have probably replaced all the bulb in my house with UV ray lamps and installed a sunbed salon extension onto the back of my mum and dad's house. FAKE TAN IS NOT THE SAME. 100000000000000%. It either stinks, goes on streaky, is orange, goes patchy or goes all weird on your fingers and knuckles. Plus, when I'm mid-way through a spin class I don't want to look up and see dark brown streaks pouring down my neck and back. Neither do I want to wake up and my beautiful cream bed sheets stained orange. No ta.

I dread to think how much money I've frittered away on buying minutes and courses for the sunbeds. I used to work in a sunbed shop when I was 16, so I would go on before, or after (or sometimes during...LOL) every shift, but I would pretend to my mum that it was spray tan. I go on at least twice a week- more if I've got a big night out that weekend, and even MORE if I've got a holiday coming up. In the run up to Marbella last summer me and the rest of the girls were going on 5 times a week. It was insane. But it turned into a competition, who would be the brownest, and the risks of using them so frequently didn't even enter my head, I only cared about the deep, dark colour of my body.

Equally as dangerous as sunbeds, I  bought a course of tanning injections when I was in college, so I just have been about 18. I'm not gonna lie- they worked! I was so brown, and I developed that colour in such a short amount of time, I think it was about a month. I would inject my stomach once a day for 7 days, and then once a week for 7 weeks. It sounds absolutely ridiculous typing this out now, because I bought those injections from a dodgy hair salon in town, I had no idea what was in them, and the woman who sold me them (for £40) didn't tell me any of the side effects or risks, she just took my money and I ran out the shop absolutely buzzing to get started. The only side effect I noticed was that I got big black dots all over my face- they weren't obvious enough to make me stop using them though, because I was so brown I didn't care.

I later learnt from a documentary that Gok Wan did, it was called something like 'The Dangers of Tanning' (or something equally as imaginative) that tanning injections are extremely dangerous- some even contain CEMENT. So I could have literally been injecting cement into my stomach. What. The. Fuck. Another side effect is that you can't have children. Brilliant. Safe to say I didn't purchase another course!

Tanning Injections in 2009
I've got moles and freckles all over my body, and I always check them religiously. I've been fine for my whole 25 years on earth, until now. I'm one of those people who pushes eeeeeeverything to the total limit. For example, I need something bad to happen for me to actually stop doing something I enjoy doing. Ridiculous, I know. Anyway, I recently read in the Daily Mail (the epitome of reputable news sources, I know) that Tamra Judge from the Real Housewives of Orange County discovered a sign of Melanoma from a large, dark mole that appeared on her ass cheek. A few days later, I found a similar looking one on my back, so I booked an appointment with my GP to check it out, just for peace of mind, cos it would be nothing, right? Wrong. She gave me an urgent referral to the skin clinic at the hospital for it to be looked at in more detail. 


Skin Cancer. I know it's only a possibility, and there is only a very small risk I might have something, but I never thought I would ever be in this position. I'm 25, do I really want to throw away the best years of my life for the sake of a bit of a tan on my skin? I made the decision there and then, I am NEVER using a sun bed ever again, even when I'm given the all clear next week. I'm saying 'when' because I am so terrified that I just want to flood my brain with positive thoughts and stop expecting the worse.

I'm not writing this post for sympathy (so pleaaaase don't message me about it when you've read this because I don't want to talk about it IRL) and nor am I writing it to tell everyone to stop using them immediately. As always, I'm sharing my experience for you to take what you want from it, I'm not going to be standing outside your local salon and squirting everyone that tries to walk in with factor 50 and shout about what terrible people you are.

When it comes to fake tan (huge-sigh-and-eye-roll-but-I'm-gonna-have-to-put-up-and-shut-up) I've tried them all- St Tropez, Bondi Sands, Rimmel (everyones favourite back in 2008!) Sally Hanson (if you want golden Barbie legs- stock up) Cocoa Brown, Vita Liberata and St Moritz. I'm not gonna lie, Bondi Sands has been my saviour recently whilst I've been going cold turkey, (they even do an ULTRA dark bottle!) but it's still EFFORT to apply every couple of days when I used to just nip on the beds for 9 minutes after work. But if it's going to maintain my health, and let me live to the normal age a girl like me should, then it's a no-brainer. 

If anyone has any decent fake tan they can recommend to me, PLEASE drop me a message! and if you have moles, or use sunbeds, please check out this guide to know what signs and symptoms of melanoma to look out for. 


  1. Claudia, i always click on your posts when I see them on my twitter timeline and I'm really glad I caught this one. Im so happy and pleased to hear that you're quitting sun beds, although not a nice reason why! I truly believe your results will be just ok and I hope your future with fake tans is a successful one πŸ‘πŸΌ
    I'm extremely defensive and strongly opinionated when it comes to sun beds and putting your precious body at risk. I've been on the sun bed, once or twice? My whole life and when I just turned 18, I found a large lump on my leg. I'd never seen anything like it and people would just shout "ewwww" if I ever brought it up. I had it removed in an emergancy operation and lucky I did as it was that rare they didn't know enough about it themselves.
    I put my life at risk 1/2 times and it came to that. I'm still suffering from a little problem or two that came of that operation and I'll have a scar on my leg forever.
    People don't realise and it's sad that it doesn't give people enough of an opinion to stop until it happens to them, my best friend at the time carried on using sun beds all the time and I was at home crying about what I'd been through I knew it wasn't enough to change someone close to me mind!
    Sorry this is long πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ but doing what you have is a brilliant thing and sharing it too. Hopefully it gives some more people a heads up too πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Xx

    1. Thanks so much Debra! Everyone knows that sunbeds aren't good for you, but the same as drink, drugs, smoking- people just do them anyway! I'm annoyed I let myself be so naive to the fact I thought I would be invincible, but I know so many other girls and women were in my position, and I'm hoping this will make them think too :)

      Thank God yours was removed before things got scary! *runs to superdrug to stock up on Bondi Sands!* ;)


  2. Loved this post! So glad you shared it. I can completely understand how someone can get caught up on using them. When at school, I was traumatised by a poster about skin cancer, and while I hated seeing the photo on it, I'm so glad as it put me off for life. I feel lucky I never felt the need to use them.
    Hopefully others will see this and take it as a wake up call too xx

  3. I loved this post. I recently tried out White to Brown tan and it was actually fantastic and I usually hate fake tan! There was a slight scent but not as gross as usual and it lasted ages!

    My review on it is here:

    Also, to avoid ruining cream sheets (because I have white sheets I know this feels) I bought a sleeping bag liner from Argos (it was something like £7.99 so dead cheap).

    I woke up a nice brown colour with no streaks and my sheets stayed white!

    Molly xx

  4. I've used sunbeds twice this week, having not used them for over a year. I've recently had a break out of spots on my back and get married in two weeks. I know I really shouldn't be using them and feel guilty. My dad has had skin cancer too so I completely understand the dangers. Hoping these two will dry them out and I will use them no more!

    I think Fake Bake may be good for you, it's the darkest I've ever used.

    See you at Dine this eve! Xx

  5. Bizarrely - Asda's own fake tan is the best I've used (and I've tried them all!!) it's an absolute bargain find!!! I also used to love Sienna X but looking back maybe I was a little TOO brown when using it (but I worked at players and bared my body 4 nights a week so felt being super tanned made me look skinner ��) xx