Almost half of adults (44%) admit to only wearing sunscreen in Ireland during the summer months with an additional 1 in 3 (37%) only wearing sunscreen when the weather hits over 20 degrees and 1 in 10 (12%) not wearing sunscreen at all in Ireland due to a belief that they don’t need it because of our weather.
This is according to new research from skin experts La Roche-Posay for its 2016 Skinchecker campaign which is supported by the Irish Cancer Society.

In fact, less than 1 in 10 adults (8%) indicated they wear sunscreen every day in Ireland compared to 3 in 4 (77%) adults who wear sunscreen daily when on sun holidays abroad or in hot climates.

La Roche-Posay is aiming to drive a step change in UV awareness and consumer behaviour with the launch of ‘My UV Patch’ which is the first stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure and educate consumers about sun protection. The patch was designed by Irish company PCH and will be rolled out globally.

David O’Brien, Marketing Manager, La Roche-Posay, said: “As summer approaches and more people will have their skin exposed to harmful UV rays, we want to remind people about the importance of Sun Safe Behaviour. The research reveals a trend whereby the majority of people are aware of the risks of UV exposure but fail to take the necessary action. This is why we are launching our ground breaking ‘My UV Patch’. As a brand passionate about skin cancer prevention, we are always looking for engaging, simple ways to get the message to the public. The wearable patch monitors UV exposure and provides notifications to consumers so they can take protective measures such as applying sun sunscreen or seeking shade.”

Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager with the Irish Cancer Society, said: “The Irish Cancer Society welcomes the launch of La Roche-Posay’s ‘My UV Patch’. Educating people on how and when to protect themselves from the sun and harmful UV rays is one of the first preventative measures we can take to tackle skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancer is still the most common cancer in Ireland and we have the highest reported rates of it in Europe. When caught in time it’s highly treatable. This means that educating consumers on sun behaviour and UV exposure is extremely important. We have worked with La Roche-Posay for a number of years on sun protection awareness campaigns. We hope that the My UV Patch skin sensor will deliver a step change in people’s awareness of UV exposure and sun protection. It is fantastic to see smart technology being used in this way to help with such an important public health issue.”

Additional findings from the La Roche-Posay commissioned research include:

· When exposing their skin to the sun, the risks of skin cancer is the biggest worry for adults in Ireland with 8 out of 10 (81%) citing this as a concern.

· There is a sizable gap between this and the next most cited worry – getting red sun burn (61%). Skin aging from sun damage (49%) is the third top worry for consumers when exposing their skin to the sun.

· Skin starting to turn red is the most cited indicator that a person has been in the sun too long according to half (50%) of Irish adults. Other signs Irish adults look out for as indicators is their skin feeling tight (26%) and realising their sun screen has worn off (18%).

· Almost 1 in 3 (29%) Irish adults think they can spend as little as 30 minutes in the sun in Ireland before their skin is at risk of going red while a further 1 in 3 (35%) believe they are not at risk until they reach the 30 minute to 1 hour mark.

· Almost 3 out of 5 (59%) Irish adults admit they do not know how to check their skin for signs of skin cancer.

· 1 in 6 (16%) Irish adults check their moles the recommended 2-3 months with a further 20% checking for changes more frequently. Worryingly, almost 1 out of 6 (15%) say they never check their moles for changes.

My UV Patch 4

Key information about La Roche-Posay’s ‘My UV Patch’:

· The patch is a transparent adhesive that, unlike rigid wearables, stretches and adheres directly to any area of skin that consumers want to monitor.
· It measures approximately one square inch in area and 50 micrometres thick – half the thickness of an average strand of hair.
· The patch contains photosensitive dyes that work with all skin tones, changing colour when exposed to UV rays to indicate varying levels of sun exposure.
· Consumers will be able to take a photo of the patch and upload it to the La Roche-Posay My UV Patch mobile app, which will be available on both iOS and Android.
· To achieve the most accurate reading, it is recommended that the waterproof sensor be worn on the back of the hand for between 1 to 5 days
· My UV Patch is due to be available in Ireland from July onwards and will be distributed with advice, free of charge, from top dermatologists and GPs.
· The patch was created by the L’Oréal Global Technology Incubator and was designed by Irish company, PCH.

Anyone interested can register for one at www.laroche-posay.ie.

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