People in Ireland still need more support on staying safe in the sun after new research reveals more than a quarter (29%) of Irish adults only wear sun cream during the summer months when on holiday abroad – unaware that UV protection still matters in the Ireland.
The study was commissioned by Boots Ireland to compare our sun safety behaviours with those of Australians who are known for being sun-savvy. The research revealed that the Irish need to adopt the Aussie mentality of UV protection even on a cloudy day, instead of just slapping on the sun cream when the sun is shining.
The research comes on the back of the recent Irish Cancer Society SunSmart campaign which revealed that skin cancer reached over 10,000 cases annually, an increase of 81% since 1994, making skin cancer the most common cancer in Ireland.
The research found that when it comes to enjoying the sun safely, Australians go beyond just sun cream adopting a ‘top to toe’ attitude towards UV protection. The findings revealed that:
- Almost twice as many Australians wear Sun Protection Factor 30 or higher
- More than three quarters of Australians (77%) are aware that UV can cause damage to their skin through glass such as a window compared with just over half (56%) of Irish people
- Two thirds (65%) of Australians recognize that UV can damage skin while under water compared with just over half (53%) of Irish people
- Half (49%) of Australian adults ‘always’ wear a hat when they are in the sun to protect them from the harmful rays compared to less than a third (29%) of Irish adults
- Nearly three times as many Australians wear swimwear with inbuilt UV protection
Clare O’Connor, Boots Sun care Expert says: “Though Ireland has far less sunshine than Australia, the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through cloud cover and as most people in Ireland only think about UV protection when the sun is shining they may be at higher risk of UV damage. We hope these findings will inspire people to think differently about their UV protection this summer and beyond. At Boots we understand people need support to stay safe in the sun – from the creation of our Boots Soltan range featuring 5* UVA rating to protect against UVA and UVB rays to investing in new research, we are committed to providing people with the very best UV protection. There are other things that can help improve your UV protection. For example, make sure your sunglasses have a sticker that says they offer 100% UV protection, use a daily skincare range with added SPF and UVA protection to protect your face before you even put on your make up and consider upgrading your swimwear so it has inbuilt UV protection – especially for your children”
Rosemary Scott, Health Promotion Officer at the Irish Cancer Society said, “Skin cancer is not seen by many as an issue in this country but this is far from the truth. It is our most common cancer. Despite our cool and cloudy weather, UV rays can reach skin most days from April to September and cause damage that increases the risk of skin cancer. Sunburn in particular is a risk factor for skin cancer. When people think of sunburn many only think of raw, peeling and blistering skin but any redness caused by the sun is sunburn and increases skin cancer risk. We all need to act now to reduce our risk; follow the SunSmart code – get some shade, cover-up with clothes and a hat, wear sunglasses and sunscreen. Also, check the UV index online daily at www.cancer.ie/uvindex”.