A cancer charity has raised concerns about the number of people who admit that they sunburn on purpose in order to "deepen" their tan.
Macmillan Cancer Support said that 40% of Britons consciously burn their skin despite the known health risks.
The charity said that getting a painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of skin cancer.
A poll of 1,000 British adults also found that 25% believed that burning in the sun was the "only" way to get a tan.
Carol Goodman, skin cancer nurse specialist on the Macmillan Support Line, said: "This new research shows that despite being aware of the health risks people are still burning themselves in the sun in order to get a tan.
"As we start to look forward to summer after one of the coldest winters yet, it is alarming that staying safe in the sun is not a priority for many people.
"Sunburn will cause serious damage to your skin which can lead to cancer. A diagnosis of malignant melanoma can be just as fatal as someother cancers.
"It is vital to protect your skin when out in the sun by using sun tan lotion, wearing sun protective clothing (including hats and sunglasses) or staying in the shade between the hours of 11am and 3pm."