The combination of summer and beer can produce unwanted results… but most of the time your head suffers.
But not content with sipping a refreshing pint of beer, a new fad is young people smothering themselves in the stuff as a bizarre alternative to sunscreen.
The ill-advised ‘beer tanning trend’ is making the rounds on TikTok, with influencers claiming it’s the ‘best color ever.
One such influencer, who goes by the name @imracim, advises his 25,000 followers to “buy the cheapest beer, take a beer shower,” and then “enjoy the suuun.” [sic]’.
While ‘The Sfeir Family’ TikTok account, with nearly 320,000 followers, shared the ‘Mommy Sfeir’s tanning hack’ video of a young woman screaming while being doused with two glasses of cold beer.
Health experts are far from convinced, suggesting the practice could lead to heat stroke or sun poisoning ? or at the very least turn you into a sticky fly magnet.
Some users combine their beer with Sun Protection Factor, but skin experts have fully warned against this trend.
Skin experts warn against participating in the new ‘beer trend’ that users say gives the ‘best color ever’
The bizarre trend is for users to trade sunscreen for beer and sunbathe until they turn bronze
The dangerous trend could have serious consequences, according to experts, and could lead to heat stroke or sun poisoning
The NHS says there is no safe way to get a tan and sunbathers should protect themselves between peak sun hours
Kathryn Clifford, co-founder of the skin cancer charity Skcin, shared The sun: ‘I can hardly believe that this madness exists. This is an extremely dangerous so-called ‘trend’ with potentially very serious consequences.
‘Sun damage is cumulative, irreversible and the direct cause of 90 per cent of the most common cancers in the UK.
“People of all types seeking a tan are at high risk of developing all types of skin cancer, and skin burning is strongly linked to the development of melanoma – the most serious life-threatening form of the disease.”
Ms Clifford warned that skin cancer is disproportionately prevalent in young adults and is one of the biggest cancer killers in the 15 to 34 age group – the same category that seems to be embracing the trend online.
?As one in five of us in the UK develops skin cancer, this kind of harmful content should be banned and TikTok should use it as an opportunity to educate their users and raise awareness about a global public health issue. “
Other skin experts shared the same concerns about the “unthinkable lengths” sunbathers will go.
A skin expert said ‘I can hardly believe this madness exists’ and warned of the damage it could do to your skin
UK searches for ‘beer tan’ are reportedly up 137% since March, some participants in the trend are pairing the beer with SPF
Skin experts warn that being in the sun without SPF takes just 10 minutes to start burning and suggest sunbathers need an SPF of 30 or higher
Jason Goldberg, director of SpaSeekers, warned that browning in beer can leave you vulnerable to sun poisoning.
Stefano Pietrini warned: ‘Using beer to tan, especially without SPF, increases the risk of sunburn, sunstroke and, with prolonged use, premature aging.’
He said it takes just ten minutes in the sun without SPF to start burning and over time could increase the risk of skin cancer from sun damage.
However, according to Metro, online searches in the UK for ‘bear tan’ have increased by more than 137% since March, suggesting that the cost of low-cost tanning products is on the rise.
How to stay safe in the sun
The GGD advises the following:
- Spend time in the shade between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m
- Never burn
- Cover with suitable clothing and sunglasses
- Take special care with children
- Use a minimum factor of 30 sunscreen
But, Stefano warned, “Any method used to speed up tanning actually does more harm than good and will lead to permanent skin damage.”
The NHS website states: ‘There is no healthy way to get a tan’, and sunbathers should do their best to protect themselves from the sun, especially between peak hours.
Sunbathers should also use sunscreen with a minimum factor of 30 and ensure that the product has a UVA star rating of four or more.
UV exposure is a proven contributor to skin cancer, the most common cancer in the UK, and can be prevented.
The disease kills more than 2,500 a year and more than at least 100,000 people are diagnosed each year.
Cancer Research UK recommends applying sunscreen evenly and thickly and reapplying it regularly and throughout the day – including ‘water resistant’ and ‘once a day’ products.
The charity also advises checking the expiration date on the product before using it. You can find this by searching for the letter ‘M’ and a number that indicates how many months the product will last.