Members of the public desperate to get a sun tan for the summer have been resorting to using cooking oil instead of sun cream in a misguided attempt to tan quicker.
A study of 2,000 people by supermarket Asda found that more than a fifth of people in the UK risk burns and skin cancer by smearing vegetable, olive and coconut oil on their skin before sunbathing.
It found that men are worse than women for doing this, with 38 per cent of men surveyed admitting to using the cooking oils, compared to 23 per cent of women.
Sunburn is not taken seriously
The figures also revealed that a large number of British holidaymakers do not take sunburn seriously as a health risk. More than a quarter of those asked said sunburn does not bother them, and some even incorrectly believe it will turn into a tan.
Shockingly, a third of sun worshippers have purposely not applied sunscreen in the bid to tan quicker. This is in spite of the fact that more than three quarters have suffered sunburn and 13 per cent have been burned so badly they had to go to a doctor.
With the popularity of shows like Love Island, it is perhaps unsurprising that many Brits are tempted to throw caution to the wind in pursuit of some relaxation in the sun.
And attitudes towards protection from the sun differ according to where we are, with the research finding that more than half of people will not apply sunscreen when in the UK.
Reasons for this aversion to sun cream include people being put off by the price.
Love Island contestant warns of health risk
Love Island’s Dr Alex George – an NHS doctor who famously suffered bad sunburn in last year’s series warned, “We are a nation of sun-worshippers, but it’s worrying to see that so many Brits are using cooking oil to get a better tan and are unaware of the importance of UV protection – especially when buying sunscreen.
“Whether at home in the UK or holidaying abroad, we need to take sun protection and damage seriously. We all have a friend that burns quicker than others, risking serious skin damage and even melanoma skin cancer to achieve a tan is simply not worth it”.