'Quit the sunbed or lose your job': How Cosmopolitan gave ultimatum to beauty assistant with tanning addiction



22:21 GMT, 28 June 2012

Beautiful: Jeannine is now a 29-year-old who wears SPF 30

Beautiful: Jeannine Morris was addicted to sunbeds but forced to quit by her job

Since she was a junior at high school, having a perma-tan was an essential part of Jeannine Morris' image.

But when, at 22, she landed her dream gig as a beauty assistant at Cosmopolitan, the petite brunette was forced to choose between the sunbed or her job where baking under a UV light was frowned upon.

Recalling how she quit her addiction, the now 29-year-old told MailOnline: 'The paler I got, the more self conscious I felt. When I was tan, I felt skinny and toned. It made me feel beautiful and it was part of my look.'

When she immersed herself in her work and finally embraced her new pale look, however, she realised that her job had most likely saved her life and resolved to advocate safe sun-worship for everyone.

Now a founder of BeautySweetSpot.com,
the style and beauty guru had been on a daily regime of eight minute
sessions in the most powerful sunbeds available at the time in Staten
Island where she attended college.

The '600' strength bed was so intense, sessions were limited to short blasts for safety.

'I never wore SPF, not even on my face!' Jeannine told us, recalling that sun worship was not limited to the UV capsules.

would bake on the beach and stare into the sun as much as possible
using tanning oil only. I couldn't wait to go inside after a day at the
beach, take a shower and then see how much color I got.'

Giving up her bronzing, therefore, was a 'mental struggle'.

'I felt ugly and fat. Immediately!,'
She wrote on her blog. 'Of course I had a plethora of self tanners at
my finger tips to test out, but it wasn't the same.

'I missed the bake and burnt color I would get from the beds. Nothing compared.'

However the more she had to write about skincare and health, the easier it became to practice what she preached and her will-power has since paid off.

Burnt to a crisp: Now a beauty guru and blogger, Jeannine would go to the tanning salon daily and lie on the most powerful beds with no SPF on

Burnt to a crisp: Now a beauty guru and blogger, Jeannine would go to the tanning salon daily and lie on the most powerful beds with no SPF on

A recognised name on the beauty
circuit these days, Jeannine is committed to warning others of the
dangers of tanning beds and uses her blog and numerous television
appearances to promote healthy sun-seeking.

Today she says she's amazed that
tanning salons even still exist and though most of her friends are
'savvy and beautiful' when it comes to bronzing, none of them are quite
as 'crazy about SPF' as she is.

Even better than sitting in the sun though, she now prefers in-home tanning lotions to achieve a healthy glow after spray tans were found to be harmful to inhale.

'While I have been lucky so far, I am paying for my sun damage in other ways,' she admits citing hyperpigmentation and crows feet as her main complaints.

'My skin looks older than I am so thank God for great products, because the situation I'm dealing with at 29 is not cool.'