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6th-12th May Sun Awareness Week

Sun Awareness Week

Sun Awareness Week | B Well Belfast

Although a BAD awareness week, we encourage members of the public to get involved in any way that they can – the key is raising awareness around sun protection and skin cancer – the most common cancer in the UK to date.

Our Sun Awareness Week marks the start of a summer long campaign to provide people with information so they can practice sun safety. Sun Awareness Week 2024 will be from 6 May to 12 May. Our focus this year will be around raising awareness of non-melanoma skin cancer and best practices for people to check their skin for this very common type of skin cancer.


SLM | Save Your Skin During Sun Awareness Week

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Know what to buy

When you pick up a bottle of sunscreen the first thing you see is the SPF rating on the front of the bottle. But turn the bottle over and on the back is the Star Rating, which can range from 1 to 5 stars, as shown here:

But just what does the Star Rating tell us? To understand more, we need to go back to first principles.

What we know is that by reducing the intensity, or strength, of the sun’s ultraviolet rays on our skin, we reduce the likelihood of damaging our skin – either by getting sunburnt that day or developing skin cancer later in life.

Nature understands the importance of this so that when we seek natural shade by stepping under a tree, or wear clothing to protect our skin, we reduce the overall strength of the sun’s UVB and UVA rays almost equally. In other words, Nature is providing us with balanced protection against both UVB and UVA.

And that’s just what we would like to achieve when we apply a sunscreen to our skin. So how do we know if we’re getting balanced protection? That’s where the Star Rating comes in. The higher the number of stars, the more balanced the protection. So the next time you’re wondering what sunscreen to buy, the first thing to do is to look at the back of the bottle and choose one offering 4 or 5-star protection. Then decide on what SPF you’d like.

If you’re keen to protect your skin as much as possible, you need to choose a sunscreen with SPF30 or higher. You may also see a UVA logo on a sunscreen bottle like this, which has been approved by the EU and is another way of saying that the product provides good balanced protection against both UVA and UVB.

From a practical viewpoint most sunscreens are now either 4 or 5 stars, or have a UVA logo, so the great majority of modern products are already providing balanced protection.

Useful links

Sun Awareness – BAD Patient Hub (skinhealthinfo.org.uk)