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Published June 30, 2022
Published June 30, 2022

Each year, 16,200 people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK. Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation, particularly from a young age, with 80% of sun damage to the skin happening before the age of 18. 86% of diagnosed melanoma cases are preventable, but due to the high cost of sunscreen, many low-income Britons are unable to protect themselves, and their children, against harmful UVR rays. 31% of children in the UK live in poverty, and as their families are unable to afford high-priced sunscreen, many children are at risk of severe sun damage—a situation that has been labeled “sun poverty.” With the aim to "eradicate the damage caused by sun poverty," Cardiff-based online retailer Escentual has launched their nonprofit #SunPoverty 2022 campaign.

Last year, #SunPoverty 2021 saw 20,000 sunscreen units donated to food banks, charities, and children eligible for free school meals. This year, #SunPoverty 2022 aims to increase this number to at least 30,000, contributing to lowering the risk of skin cancer later in a child's life. For each purchase of the Escentuals Sunscreen SPF50+ 50ml, as well as the newly launched 125ml version of the product, one 50ml bottle will be donated to a child eligible for free school meals within the UK. This also applies to sales of all Clarins and Shiseido sun care products, who are partners of the brand.

"If there's one category of skincare that I would urge people to invest in, it's good quality sun care every time. Sun protection is the most complex and sophisticated field of skin care development and undeniably the most important. Using a daily highly protective SPF is a step in your skincare routine you will always be thankful for in the future," says Debbie Lewis, Managing Director, Clarins (UK) Ltd.

In addition to donations of sunscreen, the retailer is providing education packs for teachers across the UK to make sun-safety education easily accessible to those most vulnerable. For a more interactive and child-friendly approach to this vital lesson, Escentual has created a story that encourages good sun habits to be passed onto future generations. The story comes in the form of a comic with clear guidance on when, where, and how to correctly apply sunscreen through the character Seren the Sun Hero, created by illustrator Sapphire Stanton. The comic is also available in a coloring-book format, furthering the children's education with ease in an exciting way.

Escentuals Brand supporter Stephan Matthews also commented on the campaign: "When I was younger, I used to love sunbathing, but I didn't use sunscreen. I didn't think I needed it because I believed that cancer was something that happened to other people. Twenty years later, I was diagnosed with skin cancer—not once but twice. Don't make the mistake that I did because if it can happen to me, then it can happen to you. Please wear sun protection and support Escentuals’ campaign to end #SunPoverty."

The sunscreen donation has been created with children's futures in mind, in more ways than one. The product is entirely cruelty free, not tested on animals, and made from fully recycled plastic, with the ability to be refilled and reused and recycled again. The bottle's design has been made easily usable for children, with clips to allow the sunscreen to be attached to school bags, as well as label space to write their names. The sunscreen also has a high SPF of 50+ and is water resistant for up to four hours.

To create equal opportunities, #SunPoverty 2022 calls on the British government to abolish VAT on sun-safety products, as they are a necessity, not discretionary. Donations from the campaign are being made through Escentuals’ charity partners In Kind Direct and Beauty Banks, and directly to schools across the UK.


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