The Bank Holiday sunshine was great while it lasted, but are you being SunSmart all year round?

Businesswoman and influencer, Pippa O’Connor, has today helped launch La Roche-Posay’s “Save Your Skin” campaign, in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention through SunSmart behaviour, not just during bursts of fine weather, but all year round.

Pippa O’Connor, pictured with Amelia Kavanagh (Age 5), and Freddie Ryan, (age 4) at the launch of La Roche-Posay’s “Save Your Skin” campaign, in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society. Pic Brian McEvoy

Statistics reveal that with the equivalent of 30 skin cancer diagnoses daily, people in Ireland need to get to grips with sun safe steps, regardless of Ireland’s typically inclement weather.

What should we be doing to play safe in the sun? Here’s the SunSmart Code:

  • Seek Shade – When UV rays are at their strongest – generally between 11am and 3pm – and don’t forget to CHECK the UV Index.
  • Babies and Children – Keep babies under six months out of the sun.
  • 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 20 minutes before going outside and re-apply every two hours – more often if swimming or perspiring.

Pippa said: “I am delighted to be taking part in this campaign as I feel it is so important to be vigilant when it comes to sun safety, particularly in Ireland. Similar to most families, the arrival of a sunny spell is met with great excitement in our house, as it can be a great opportunity to get out and about with my two young sons.

“However, I’m very aware of the importance of being sun smart and keeping my family safe from the harmful effects of the sun. By adopting a sun care routine with my boys from an early age, I hope to instil sun safe behaviours that will become second nature to them as they grow.”

Pippa O’Connor, pictured at the launch of La Roche-Posay’s ‘Save Your Skin’ campaign, in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society. Pic Brian McEvoy

The largest increase in non-melanoma skin cancer incidence from 1994-2011 was amongst young people. Incidence figures for non-melanoma skin cancers increased amongst young females by (72%) and (53%) amongst males in Ireland aged 0-34, suggesting more education is needed amongst future generations on how to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun.

Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager with the Irish Cancer Society, warned, “We are delighted to support La Roche-Posay’s ‘Save Your Skin’ campaign in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of staying safe in the sun. Recent figures show that incidences of skin cancer are increasing, particularly in young people, and this is often caused from repeated sunburn and from people not adequately protecting their skin in their younger years.

“While the overall incidence rate in young people is lower than older age groups, the increasing incidence in the younger population is concerning, as those who have received a skin cancer diagnosis have a higher risk of the disease reoccurring.”

La Roche-Posay will be donating €1 for every stickered Anthelios product sold to the Irish Cancer Society to help further the research and preventative work that they do.