Almost half of Britons have topped up their tans during their lunch hour, a new poll has revealed.
Some 47 per cent of people from across the UK have sunbathed on their lunch breaks from work, the survey found.
But only half of those who spend their lunch time soaking up the sun said they had protected themselves with sun cream.
The news comes as a new scientific study claimed that sunshine is as addictive as heroin.
The poll conducted by L'Oreal UK and Ireland of 1,000 people from across the UK found that one in 10 said they never wear sun cream when they sunbathe and 14 per cent said they only protect themselves from the sun when they go abroad.
Commenting on the poll, Mark Birch-Machin, professor of dermatology at Newcastle University, said: "As a dermatology scientist researching the harmful effects of sunlight on skin, I've long felt 'lunch break baking' needs addressing in order for people to enjoy the sun safely.
"It's a balance between the benefits of sunlight and the risks of excess exposure, both of which have been well documented. This balance becomes more challenging when people are going out in the sun unprotected at the peak of the day when the sun is at its strongest.
Katriona Methven, scientific director of L'Oreal UK & Ireland, added: "It's only natural we want to embrace the sunshine at every opportunity, which is why sun care should be a part of a well-rounded approach to sun protection, and a part of our daily skincare regimes - you never know when a sunny day will strike so it's best to be prepared."
Last week scientists claimed that sunshine acts like an addictive drug and has a similar effect on the body as heroin.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun stimulate the production of endorphins, "feel good" hormones that act on the same biological pathway as opioid drugs, according to researchers from Harvard Medical School in the US.
Their study suggested that the desire to bake for hours on a beach involves more than topping up a tan. It may appease our craving for a sunshine "fix", in much the same way as an addict satisfies a yearning for heroin or morphine.
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