THE mum of Andy Prowting, who died from skin cancer, said her son thought the sun tan lotion he used was fake.
The 24-year-old died last week, only eight months after being diagnosed with the disease.
In July last year he had gone on holiday to Turkey where his family believes his skin was harmed by the sun.
It was in July this year they spotted an odd-looking mole on his back, which had not been there before.
Andy’s mother, Julie Williams, 49, said: ‘Andy thought the sun tan location he got was fake.
‘He got it in Turkey and said he didn’t feel like it gave him protection.
‘We think it started there and that’s why we found a mole on his back later on.’
Dr Kawai Mo is a GP in Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth and said some sun tan lotions may be ‘diluted’ with moisturiser and so may not be as effective.
He said: ‘What can be seen as fake sun tan lotion is diluted because it may have a lot of moisturiser.
‘There are two types of lotion, you can get sun screen which has a sun protection factor number and sun block.
‘Sun block is more effective, but a lot depends on how much you put on and how quickly it rubs off.’
As reported, Andy, of Silkstead Avenue, Leigh Park, was diagnosed with a severe skin cancer called malignant melanoma.
In April, surgeons at Queen Alexandra Hospital removed the lymph nodes under his right arm and tissue in his back.
After having three months off from work as a security supervisor to recover, Andy was referred to Southampton to take part in a chemotherapy clinical trial in August.
But when doctors ran tests, they found the cancer had spread to Andy’s bones and liver.
Then, earlier this month Andy was given the devastating news the cancer had spread to his lungs and brain, and he had only two weeks to live.
Last month he proposed to fiancée Sarah Barclay, 25.
His funeral takes place on Monday, December 29, at Portchester Crematorium, from midday to 1pm.