Research for the Teenage Cancer Trust has also revealed that young people believe covering up on holiday is “uncool”.
The charity found one-in- eight people, aged 16 to 24, don’t use any suncream on holiday and almost a fifth never cover up with sarongs or long-sleeved tops because they want maximum sun exposure.
And of those who stayed at home this summer, a staggering third didn’t bother with suncream.
When they were asked about their attitude towards tanning, almost half said they think people look healthier with a tan and 40% said they’d be disappointed if they came back from holiday without a tan.
Teenage Cancer Trust has teamed up with Hollyoaks actress Jorgie Porter to highlight the importance of sun protection among young people.
Simon Davies, the charity’s chief executive, said: “It is the sun damage done to your skin when young that could lead to skin cancer in later life.
“We know that holidays should be all about having fun and relaxing, but it is vitally important to not let your skin burn in the sun. It takes just a few moments to apply suncream or wear some form of a cover up. Those few moments could save someone the heartache of a skin cancer diagnosis.”
Rona MacKie, professor of dermatology at the University of Glasgow, said: “Strong summer sun can burn skin in as little as 10 minutes and burned skin does not go brown – it goes red and peels.
“Remember this and use a good suncream before you hit the beach, re-applying after swimming and at least every two hours.”