Fifth of Britons using cooking oil dangerously to achieve perfect sun tan

Andy Millward, an Birmingham-based facialist, said it is surprising that supermarkets would need to go to such lengths to prevent something “that really should be common sense”.  Emma Shields, Cancer Research UK health information manager, said that any tans that happen after using cooking oil are “far from being a sign of health.””Getting a tan is actually a sign that your skin has been damaged. And over time, this damage can build up and cause skin cancer,” she claimed.  The 1970s trend of using of cooking oil as sunscreen is making a modern day comeback, according to a new survey.More than a fifth of Britons are now turning to their kitchen cupboards in a misguided attempt to get the perfect summer tan.A poll commissioned by Asda has found that a fifth of Britons use cooking oil instead of sun cream in a misguided attempt to tan faster. The poll found that a third of Britons don’t bother with sunscreen at all, even though one in ten had suffered such severe burns that they were forced to go to the doctor.Experts said that cooking oil provides no UV protection, and heat up when the skin is exposed to the sun, burning the skin and leaving tissue damage that could cause long-term scarring end even skin cancer.The push for oil as sunscreen took off in the 1960s, when the tanning furore hit Britain and people could afford to travel abroad on holidays, and peaked a decade later.Many people used baby oil, coconut oil and cooking oil to speed up their tans before scientists discovered that UVA rays damage the skin.  This trend still persists thanks to misinformation online, with dozens of beauty blogs falsely claiming that oil will speed up tans.  “Applying a cooking oil to the skin in the hope of promoting the tanning process is also false and illogical,” he said. “Ironically, you’d get a healthier looking and longer lasting tan by using a high protection SPF and small amounts of sun exposure over a longer period of time.”People with red and blonde hair are likely to struggle to tan because their bodies do not produce much melanin — something that cooking oil will not solve, experts claimed. Colin Cable, assistant chief scientist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said that people have long been taken in by the dangerous “urban myth” of using oil instead of sunscreen and that Asda’s move to highlight it is a “good start”.  “Using cooking oil is the same as going out without any sun protection at all, or any clothing or hats. It’s a very worrying trend,” he said.”With all stuff on the web, you have to be incredibly careful and make sure that they are supported by more than anecdotal evidence.”The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has been following the trend of people resorting to drastic home remedies to fuel the culture of “binge tanning”.In 2009, it released a report that claimed Scottish people were using chip fat to create their own homemade tanning solutions. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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