Woman says worker at Planet Fitness made her use tanning bed without her consent, knowledge

@icyac/TikTok QualityHD/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Skin cancer literally runs in my family’: Woman says worker at Planet Fitness made her use tanning bed without her consent, knowledge

'I literally smell my skin burning.'


Melody Heald


Posted on Jan 1, 2024   Updated on Dec 31, 2023, 11:20 pm CST

People understandably take skin health very seriously, especially when skin cancer runs in their family. That’s why TikToker Anna (@icyac) routinely wears SPF, which protects skin from UVB rays, and steers clear of tanning beds, which may increase one’s chances of developing skin cancer by 47%, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association

In a viral video, Anna says that, due to a worker’s mistake, she unintentionally used a tanning bed at Planet Fitness.  

In the video, which was viewed over 2 million times, Anna tearfully recounts what she says happened. She says she always did the red light machine at her old Planet Fitness location. According to the Cleveland Clinic, many believe red light therapy treats wrinkles, along with other signs of aging; redness; acne; and scars. 

“I loved it because the red light made my skin feel, like, tighter; like, clearer. I don’t know if it’s placebo, but I just liked it,” she says. “I went like every single day.” 

She says when she moved, she wanted to continue using red light therapy Planet Fitness offers

She says the worker at the new Planet Fitness location confirmed that the location did offer red light therapy. “And he asked if I had eyewear, which I thought was weird ‘cause I never wore eyewear in the other one,” she says. 

She says that question tipped her off to something being off, so she asked him, “‘Oh, this isn’t tanning, is it? … That’s not what I want.’”

She says she’s only been in a tanning bed for short sessions—for five minutes—two times throughout her life. “Skin cancer literally runs in my family, on both sides of my family,” she reveals, “and I’m so weird about, like, wrinkles and everything.” 

That’s why she stopped using tanning beds after those two times when she was younger. 

She says she prefers fake tanning, the application of fake tan to the skin via a mouse or spray. Self-tanners are beneficial to those who want to avoid harmful UV rays but still want a bronzed glow. 

“So I literally asked him, ‘It’s not tanning, is it?’” she reiterates. “And he goes, ‘No, no. It’s not tanning. We just like you to have (the eyewear).’”

She says the worker made her buy the eyewear, but she still didn’t wear them once entering the machine because  she “never wore it in the other red light machine.” 

She says she was in the machine for 10 minutes. “I step out of the thing, and I literally smell my skin burning,” she recalls. 

To make matters more upsetting, she says she didn’t even have sunscreen on. “I wear SPF every single day, and I’m not wearing it today because I haven’t got ready for the day yet,” she shares. 

“So literally, I just went tanning for 10 straight minutes in a bright-a** UV light with no sunscreen, no eyewear,” she recounts. 

Anna says she’s so “annoyed” and “mad” about the experience, especially considering all she does to keep her skin healthy. “Like you can’t lie and say something’s … not tanning if it is,” she says. 


im so annoying but IM MAD BRO

♬ original sound – anna

Viewers validated her feelings in the comments section, urging Anna to escalate the matter with corporate. “You do not need to try to downplay it, that is a super valid thing to be very upset about!!! Contact corporate,” one said. 

Planet Fitness workers shared why they think the worker messed up, claiming some locations have a tanning/red light therapy combo bed. “Planet fitness worker here … this is NOT normal. Sounds like your old PF had the same machine we have- 100% only red light therapy. But I know other, more updated locations have a ½,” TikToker @amandalauz said. 

In a follow-up video, Anne confirmed this was the case. “The machine I was in is a hybrid machine,” she wrote in the text overlay. “That means it has red light & uv rays.” 

She also showed a photo of what her skin looked like in the aftermath. It appears red and irritated in the photo. “My face is already turning red and this is WITH the foundation on,” she said. 

It’s unclear if Anne has been in contact with anyone at Planet Fitness. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Anna via Instagram direct message and TikTok comment and Planet Fitness via press email.

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*First Published: Jan 1, 2024, 1:00 am CST