Sunbed Advice

Question: Is sunbed use dangerous?

Answer: Sunbeds offer health benefits as well as some health hazards if not used sensibly. Before hiring a sunbed please take some time to read the information below.

The four main elements we rely on for our lives and wellbeing are air, water, earth and sunlight. If we take any of these forces away, then quite simply, we would not exist! There would be no life without the sun - but life with too much sun may not be good either.

Ultraviolet Rays

sunUVC, UVB and UVA - are emitted by the sun. UVC rays, the most dangerous to the human system, are filtered out by the upper atmosphere but some UVB (which can cause sunburn and eye damage) and UVA, reach the earth's surface. The intensity depends on the angle of the sun - ie the geographical position, season and time of day. UV levels can increase by up to 50% between 11am and 1pm!

UV is invisible. People outdoors are exposed to varying levels of UV and they are often unaware of the UV intensity. Unfortunately, warnings of sunburn often come too late. A survey in Denmark revealed that beach sunbathers exposed themselves for an average of three-and-a-half hours a day.

Sunbed lamps simulate the sun and emit UVA and UVB but they go a stage further and control the output with a balance of UV to minimise the risk of burning and maximise the tanning. As we know - no-one controls the sun! Sunbed lamp technology is subject to on-going research and development programmes to keep abreast of researched evidence on the effects of UV.

Sunbed Exceptions

Most people are able to use a sunbed but there are exceptions. If you answer YES to any of the questions below, you must NOT use a sunbed:

  • Are you aged under 18?
  • Do you always burn in natural sunlight?
  • Do you have a medical condition that becomes worse in sunlight?
  • Do you have an excessive amount of moles and/or freckles?
  • Do you have a history of sunburn, particularly from childhood?
  • Do you have skin cancer or does any member of your immediate family have/had skin cancer?

Also, if you are on any medication or drugs, please check with your GP or pharmacist before using a sunbed as certain drugs make the skin more sensitive to UV light. If you are pregnant, consult your GP before use.

So you've completed the above checklist and answered NO to all the questions and want to use a sunbed because looking good and feeling great is what having a tan is all about and why 70% of us in the UK want one!

Whether it's an all-year-tan, a pre-holiday boost, vitamin D boost or you simply want to look good for that special occasion, a tan has never been more accessible.

You can now hire a quality sunbed to hire at home, start searching now on this site for the perfect sun tan.


If you want further FREE advice on safe tanning or information on our range of sunbeds please send your question to us.

Check you skin type

1) Very Fair

Usually lots of freckles, red or sandy hair; blue or grey eyes

High burn risk; skin turns red and peels. Advised not to tan in sunlight. DO NOT use a sunbed

2) Fair

Possibly with freckles; blond to brown hair; blue, green and grey eyes

High burn risk. Great care should be taken in tanning. Tanning tends to be light

3) Fair to light brown

No freckles; dark blond or brown hair, grey or green eyes

Medium risk of burning. Capable of building up a moderate tan

4) Light brown

Dark brown hair and eyes

Burning is rare; tanning is rapid and deep. See additional note below

5) Deep brown skin

Dark hair and eyes

Burning is seldom; tanning is rapid and deep. This type of skin has its own natural protection. See additional note below

6) Very dark skin

Black hair and dark eyes

Never burns in natural sunlight. See additional note below

Skin Types 4, 5 and 6

Note: These skin types need to exercise precaution on initial exposure. Initial exposure should also be moderate. This particularly applies if living in the UK as natural skin protection factor is depleted through lack of regular exposure to sunshine.