One in three people who got sunburnt this summer would risk it again trying to get a tan.
Even though burning increases the risk of skin cancer and can produce ill effects such as sunstroke and blistered skin, many people find the risk worthwhile, a poll of 2,000 people showed.
More than one in three (34pc) of those who were sunburnt -- and that was almost half the people questioned -- said they would be a bit more careful next year but would still go out in the hope of getting a tan.
About 39pc of those who were red said they burn every year, while 41pc had not even been trying to get a tan but had not realised the sun was strong enough. Around one in three of those who got sunburnt but had not wanted to tan had not taken any steps to protect their skin, such as covering up or using a high factor sunscreen.
The poll, by Superdrug and Cancer Research, found the most common place to get burnt was on the face, followed by arms, shoulders and neck.
Ed Yong, of Cancer Research, said: "Getting painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.