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Karen Koster launches La Roche-Posay’s ‘Save Your Skin’ campaign

Karen Koster and sons Finn and JJ launching La Roche-Posay's 'Save Your Skin' campaign.

Broadcaster Karen Koster today launched La Roche-Posay’s “Save Your Skin” campaign in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society.

The broadcaster was joined by her sons Finn (2) and JJ (1) in a bid to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention through SunSmart behaviour. The campaign, which is being run in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society, is calling on the public to adopt sun safe behaviour and, in particular, to instil it in the next generation.

According to campaign ambassador Karen Koster, “As a mother of very small children I am now more conscious than ever of the potential threat of UV exposure from the sun. I always ensure that my two are covered up and do not experience too much sun. I know that the older, and more independent they get, it becomes more of a challenge so it’s really important that I start to educate them at an early stage. My top priority is protecting my children so I’m delighted to be involved in this campaign as it aims to make a real difference by demonstrating a very effective way of protecting your children from what could be a real threat to their health.

La Roche-Posay and the Irish Cancer Society are calling on the public to become sun aware by following the following three steps:

  1. Check your moles and monitor any changes in your skin. Become a “Skin Checker” for your loved ones.
  2. Protect your skin with high factor broad spectrum sun screens.
  3. Be SunSmart and play safe in the sun. La Roche-Posay has launched “My UV Patch” -wearable technology which monitors your sun exposure and teaches sun smart behaviour.

Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager with the Irish Cancer Society, warned, “At the Irish Cancer Society, we are repeatedly telling people that just because we don’t enjoy consistently hot weather throughout our summer months does not mean we are not at risk. 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. Skin cancer can be prevented in nine out of ten cases, so we are delighted to support La Roche-Posay’s ‘Save Your Skin’ campaign.

Sun exposure and particularly sunburn in childhood and adolescence is a key risk factor for developing melanoma, even decades later. According to Dr Niki Ralph, consultant Dermatologist with La Roche-Posay, the need to protect children from the sun has both long and short term implications: “With melanoma figures globally rising, it is imperative that sun-safer behaviour begins early on in life.  Just 5 sunburns before the age of 20 can increase the risk of melanoma by up to 80%. Children are all the more vulnerable to sun for obvious reasons: they love to play outdoors, especially on holiday. Protecting skin often feels like a chore for little ones as they worry they are losing out on playtime! For this reason it’s important to teach them sun smart behaviour from a young age so that they are given the skills to protect themselves into the future.”

Kevin O’Hagan added, “Skin cancer remains the most common cancer in Ireland with approximately 10,000 cases diagnosed each year, and statistics show that this number is constantly on the rise. Nine out of every ten cases are caused by UV rays from the sun or sunbeds, so it is really vital that people in Ireland are aware of the huge need to protect their skin, on sunny days and even on cooler days. An analysis we carried out in the past showed that 90% of days between April and September had UV levels that were high enough to cause skin damage.

In 2017 La Roche-Posay is going even further to protect the most vulnerable

Following the successful development of “My UV patch”, which was piloted last year, in 2017 La Roche-Posay’s ambitions for “My UV Patch” are squarely focused on distributing the patch among the population in Ireland, following a distribution of nearly 1 million free patches worldwide in 2016.

15,000 free patches will be given to consumers in Ireland in 2017. These will be distributed through participating pharmacies free with a purchase of two La Roche-Posay products. 1,200 patches will also be made available for free to those who register online at www.laroche-posay.ie from May 2017.

A world first, the patch is a transparent adhesive that, unlike rigid wearables, stretches and adheres directly to any area of the 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 take a photo of the patch and upload it to the La Roche-Posay “My UV Patch” mobile app, which is available to download on both iOS and Android.

The brand has also developed a number of new sun protection products under its innovative range of Anthelios sun protection. The new products are aimed at encouraging widespread use by making sun screen application more user friendly especially for those with dry or sensitive skin. New ANTHELIOS DERMO-PEDIATRICS WET SKIN GEL LOTION SPF 50+ 250ML helps to protect children’s most fragile sensitive skin with a water-friendly SPF for maximum sun protection, even when applied to wet skin. Specifically designed to be applied on wet or dry skin, the quickly absorbed formula creates a water resistant protection barrier on wet or dry skin. The product also comes in an adult formula, ANTHELIOS-XL WET SKIN GEL LOTION SPF 50+ 250ML, which offers a constant level of UV protection whether skin is wet or dry. La Roche-Posay will also be donating €1 for every stickered Anthelios product sold to the Irish Cancer Society.

Kevin O’Hagan, also issued words of advice to those who plan on traveling abroad this summer: “We also see a trend emerging that skin cancer is associated with holiday-related over exposure to UV radiation, and the more recent increases in incidence rates may suggest that holiday-related exposure is now the main driving factor behind skin cancer rates in Ireland. I would, of course, tell the public to follow our SunSmart Code which offers some simple steps to protect skin from harmful UV rays, which includes things like seeking shade between 11am and 3pm; covering up by wearing a hat, a shirt with a collar and long shorts; and putting on sunscreen with SPF 15 (SPF30 for children) or higher, among others.