We know that the sun emits harmful UVA and UVB rays which causes damage to and premature ageing of unprotected skin.
UVA rays, in particular, are present all year round while UVB rays are most prevalent during the summer months.
According to the Irish Cancer Society, once UVA or UVB damage occurs, it cannot be reversed.
In a bid to drive awareness of skin cancer prevention through ‘sun smart’ behaviour, TV presenter Anna Daly has launched La Roche-Posay’s ‘Save Your Skin’ campaign in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society.
Over 1 in 3 people (67%) in Munster are concerned about the risk of developing skin cancer when exposing their skin to the sun, yet, alarmingly 1 in 2 people (50%) admit to forgetting to carry SPF with them in Ireland.
Showing the real need to turn awareness into action, research revealed by La Roche-Posay found that nearly eight out of ten (87%) people always reach for their sun glasses when the sun comes out, while just 2 in 10 people (22%) reach for sun protection factor (SPF) when it is sunny in Ireland.
The research also found that 33% of adults in Munster admit to experiencing sunburn during last year’s heatwave as a result of not wearing any, or enough, SPF.
Elsewhere in the survey, one third of adults (67%) claim that they worry about the risks of skin cancer when exposing their skin to the sun, while half (47%) are worried about sun damage or skin ageing.
While 71% of those surveyed associate long evenings with summer in Ireland, only 25% associate sun-cream with the summer months.
La Roche-Posay – a charity partner of the Irish Cancer Society for over 10 years – and the Irish Cancer Society are calling on the public to become sun aware by following the following three steps to stay sun aware:
- Seek Shade when UV rays are at their strongest – generally between 11am and 3pm – and don’t forget to check the UV Index.
- Cover Up – By wearing a shirt with a collar and long shorts. Also wear a hat that gives shade to your face, neck and ears. Wear wraparound sunglasses and make sure they give UV protection.
- Apply Sunscreen – Use sunscreen with SPF 30 (SPF 50 for children) or higher and UVA protection on exposed areas of the body and apply 20 minutes before going outside.