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Page last updated at 06:10 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 07:10 UK
Singer aged to show sun's effects
Sandi Thom
The changing face of Sandi Thom as she is aged 30 years

Sandi Thom has been artificially aged 30 years to warn young people about the dangers of using sunbeds.

Cancer Research UK has published results of how the singer, 27, could look through overexposure to UV rays.

The charity said some sunbeds can be 10 to 15 times more intense than the midday sun.

One image shows Thom as she could look at 57 with severe skin damage, caused by overexposure to UV rays from sunbeds or regular sunbathing.

The 27-year-old is pictured with wrinkles, sagging skin, droopy eyelids, large bags under her eyes and skin discolouration, all associated with the skin losing its suppleness and elasticity.

Horrible image

Sandi Thom said: "I'm in a state of shock and 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.

Sandi Thom
Singer Sandi Thom issues warning over the dangers of sunbeds
"I hope the horrible image of me will make other young people think twice before they next use a sunbed."

Another image shows how the singer/songwriter could look aged 57 with natural age progression, with 70% fewer wrinkles and far less sagging skin.

Thom used to visit her local tanning salon up to three times a week while at university in Liverpool.

The age-modification technology used to make the images involved taking a recent picture of Thom and taking into account the singer's lifestyle, images of her parents and her typical UV exposure.

Skin cancer

Cancer Research UK commissioned the images for SunSmart - a UK-wide skin cancer prevention campaign.

This year it's encouraging young people to think twice before they have a sunbed next.

Caroline Cerny, SunSmart campaign manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "We want to provide young people with a shocking visual representation of how sunbeds and over-exposure to the sun can dramatically affect the way you look further down the line.

"While young people may be using sunbeds as they think they make them look good now, in the long term they are doing serious damage to their looks."

August is a key time for sunbed use in the UK because many people coming back from holidays try to keep their tans topped up.

Cancer Research UK says sunbeds damage people's appearance and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Using a sunbed before the age of 35 also increases the risk of skin cancer by up to 75%.

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