20% of parents understand that UVA damage is as permanent as a tattoo

More than a third of Irish parents don’t understand what a UVA rating is.

Leitrim Observer Reporter


Leitrim Observer Reporter

20% of parents understand that UVA damage is as permanent as a tattoo

Childhood exposure to UVA causes permanent skin damage.

New research from Boots Soltan has revealed concerning levels of sun awareness among parents in Ireland.

The survey shows that 20% of parents in Ireland aren’t aware that UVA damage is in fact permanent skin damage – with a fifth of parents saying they believe UVA damage lasts for less than a year.

The research was conducted by Boots Soltan with parents of children aged 14 and under.

Additionally, the research showed that more than a third of parents (35%) say they actually don’t understand UVA ratings, and how it protects children’s skin.  

UVA rays are the most common type of rays, penetrating deeply into the skin, and can cause long-term skin damage. UVA rays are associated with skin ageing as well as skin cancer[ii] and can cause skin damage even on overcast days. UVB rays however, don't penetrate as deeply into the skin, but are also powerful, and are responsible for causing sunburn.

The UVA rating system, introduced by Boots Soltan more than 20 years ago, gives a robust measure of how much protection a product provides. The star rating system is now used industry-wide and both the HSE and the Irish Cancer Society recommend choosing sun protection with the 5* UVA rating symbol.

The research also shows that whilst parents do all the they can to protect their children from sun protection, with 73% reapplying sun cream after every time their children have been in the water and 88% of parents making sure their children wear a hat as well as sun cream, the lack of awareness of the need for 5* UVA protection means they are still at risk of permanent skin damage from the sun. Combined with the fact that nearly a quarter (123%) of a person's lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18, there is a real need for regular and effective sun protection.

“At Boots Soltan we believe that there should be no compromise where sun care is concerned,” says Boots Soltan Suncare Expert, Clare O’Connor. “It’s important to know that a 3* UVA rating allows up to 40% of UVA rays to penetrate skin, whereas a 5* UVA suncream prevents up to 100% of UVA from permanently damaging skin.”

The research also showed that more than a third (41%) of parents don’t even consider the UVA rating when they choose a family sun cream.

“This is a concerning finding, considering we can get almost a quarter of our lifetime sun exposure before we turn 18,” says Boots Soltan Suncare Expert, Clare O’Connor. “We would encourage parents to become ‘sun smart’ and to always look for 5* protection the whole family. Other tips include staying in the shade, keeping skin covered where possible, and wearing sunglasses too. These tips, in conjunction with the 5* sun lotion, will help protect your family against harmful sun rays.”

The research has been released as Boots Soltan launches a controversial and thought-provoking imagery that aims to help parents understand  the risk of exposing their family to UVA damage that is as permanent as a tattoo, if they use a sun cream with less than 5*UVA protection.

The new, hard-hitting campaign aims to leave a lasting impression on parents, jolting them into action.

Boots Soltan is exclusively available at Boots stores nationwide and online on www.boots.ie