A young mum who is ‘addicted’ to tanning leaves friends in shock of her appearance every time she sees them, but said she ‘didn’t care’ about the health risks.
Lauren Nicole Thompson, 22, began tanning when she was still in school and said her obsession left her classmates shocked.
Lauren’s habit started by watching her mum use sunbeds – and she would look forward to when she could use them too.
At one point, Lauren was using sunbeds every single day and wouldn’t go on a night out without a tanning session, and would be on there for at least ten minutes a day.
Lauren said: “When I was young my mum would use the sunbeds constantly and I would always go with her and sit on the little chair by the sunbeds while she was under it.
“I always thought, ‘God I can’t wait until I can do that’ and then when I could obviously you feel delighted with yourself.
“At one point I was using the sunbed every day for 10 minutes every day. I would go into school and my friends would say ‘oh my god’.
“It goes to your head where you feel like you need one. If I was going out for a night out I would never go out without having a sunbed the night before and it becomes addictive.”
Lauren, mother to three-month-old daughter Aveya, appeared on the BBC programme Tanorama about tanning addicts.
Now Lauren uses spray tans more regularly, but at the height of her tanning addiction she also turned to dangerous tan injections which she claims left her with kidney infections.
The 22-year-old said she is aware of the dangers of using sunbeds but added: “When you’re tan you don’t really care, as bad as that sounds.
“I started tanning when I was 18 or 19. I’m naturally very pale so I just like a bit of colour about me. I like a bit of a glow.
“There’s times when I would go a bit heavy and be a lot darker and I’ve been a bit tan shamed a couple of times in front of the mirror.
“I have seen photographs of me before and thought ‘uhh’. It was just ridiculous but at the time I didn’t think I was that dark.”