Singer-songwriter Sandi Thom has agreed to have pictures released of how she could look in 30 years through over-exposure to UV rays to help raise awareness of the damage it can cause.
Using age-modification technology, the images show how Sandi at the age of 57 with deep-set wrinkles, sagging skin, drooping eyelids, large bags around her eye area and skin discolouration, which are associated with the skin losing its suppleness and elasticity – and the result of regular sunbed use or sunbathing. In contrast, one of the images shows how Sandi might look at 57 with natural age progression. It depicts a more fresh-faced look with 70 per cent fewer wrinkles and far less sagging skin. Sandi used to be a regular sunbed user and would visit her local tanning salon up to three times a week while at university in Liverpool.
Using a recent picture of Sandi, the images were created taking into account Sandi’s lifestyle, images of her parents and her typical UV exposure. Sunbeds not only damage skin's appearance, they also significantly increase the risk of skin cancer. Using a sunbed before the age of 35 increases the risk of skin cancer by up to 75 per cent. And August is a key time for sunbed use in the UK as people returning from their holidays attempt to keep their summer glow.
Sandi said: “I’m in a state of shock. The thought of looking like this at 57 is terrifying. Having seen these images I can honestly say I am never going to use a sunbed again. You can so easily get brown from a bottle these days, there is just no point in ruining your looks and risking skin cancer by using sunbeds. I hope the horrible image of me will make other young people think twice before they next use a sunbed.”
Caroline Cerny, SunSmart campaign manager at Cancer Research UK added: “While young people may be using sunbeds because they think they make them look good now, in the long term they are doing serious damage to their looks.”
For more information on SunSmart please visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/sunsmart