A BANTRY hair and beauty expert has decided to ban sunbeds from her salons in support of a Dublin woman who has become the poster girl for sunscreen.
On January 4th, Mags Murphy began a Facebook campaign, Mags Murphy’s Journey, to raise awareness about the damage that unprotected exposure to the sun – and especially sunbeds – can do to your skin.
Within days, the campaign went viral with more than 370,000 views of the videos she has posted detailing her month-long treatment for pre-cancerous cells.
Her posts have reached Australia, America, Canada, Russia and Europe, and here, in Ireland, there has been a massive
outpouring of support.
The Dublin woman has been featured on TV and radio programmes, and in newspaper and magazine articles, but it is on Facebook that she is having the biggest impact.
In West Cork, Jessie Hurley – who has hair, beauty and day spas in both Bantry and Clonakilty – has taken decisive action and removed the sunbeds from her salons.
She told The Southern Star: ‘My industry is all about beauty and there is no doubt that you do feel better and look better with a tan, but there are easier and safer ways to do it than using a sunbed.’
Jessie, a former beauty queen, admitted: ‘I used to love sunbeds myself, but now I prefer to promote good skin, health and well-being, including the use of good quality spray tans, rather than sunbeds.’
Apart from the obvious health risks, Jessie said people are now aware of the damage that sunbeds can do to people’s eyesight and that it prematurely ages the skin.
But she admitted that it was Mags Murphy’s online post that was ‘the real eye-opener.’ She said:
‘That really hit home.’
Online, Mags Murphy said she always believed she did not need high sun factor and spent her summers ‘doing sunbeds for a tan. Unfortunately, all this lovely tanning has a price because now I have pre-cancerous cells on my face and have started treatment to remove them.’
For one month, Mags has to use a cream that burns the cells. ‘It’s quite painful and gruesome,’ said Mags, whose videos bear that out.
By sharing the treatment process – and what it is doing to her in giving her a boiled, blistered look – Mags Murphy said: ‘I am not looking for sympathy, just to raise awareness.’
She admitted that she heard all the warnings years ago, but closed her eyes and ears to them, but she is optimistic that ‘someone will open their eyes to this if it is closer to home.’