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EX-Love Islanders and Towie stars have been showing their support for a new campaign which gives UV protection suncreams to primary school children on free school meals to prevent skin cancer.
The #SunPoverty campaign is donating over 30,000 high factor SPF to schools and food banks across the UK to stem the rapid rise of skin cancer in Britain.
Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the UK with 224,092 cases recorded in 2019, a rise of 26% and research shows that just one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles the chances of developing melanoma later in life.
The #SunPoverty not-for-profit scheme has been organised by Cardiff based online beauty retailer Escentual.com and donations of suncreams to under 12s start from Friday this week, and they are also calling on government to waive VAT on children’s sun protection creams.
In addition to the 30,000 free creams, Escentual.com will donate one more for every SunPoverty cream purchased on their website.
Escentual.com CEO and Founder Rakesh Aggarwal, who has organised the campaign said: “We believe that all children should have access to high factor sunscreen.
"It's vital for their health that they’re protected from the sun, and with the summer coming up, children will want to get out and enjoy their holidays.
"They should be able to do so without the fear of getting sunburn which can seriously increase their chances of getting skin cancer in later life.”
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The SunPoverty lotion is a 50ml 50+ SPF with broad spectrum UV protection and it comes in a handy squeezable bottle which the child can write their name on and a clip to fasten to a bag or belt loop for safe keeping.
There are also educational comics for teachers across the UK to download and use to help teach children about good sun habits.
Several celebrities have come out in support of the campaign including Love Island stars Georgia Harrison and Tyne-Lexy Clarson have posted their support to their combined 1.5m followers on instagram, and actress Kara Tointon, Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, TV presenters Tim Vincent, Nicki Chapman and Ashley James, and This Morning's beauty expert Caroline Hirons are all supporting the worthy cause.
Best-selling beauty author Caroline Hirons said: “This is a genius idea from Escentual.com, and they are trying to get the government to cut VAT on SPF.
"The suncream is designed for children and it’s got a little latch key on it so you can stick in on their rucksack put their name on the front and it’s under £9."
And Escentual.com are donating one suncream for every one sold on their website, and not just their own SPF but also ones from Clarins and Shiseido, if you buy any of those SPFs from Escentual.com they are going to donate one of these children in schools to make sure that all children have access to sun protection.
Georgia Harrison's instagram post said: "The UK #SunPoverty campaign is donating over 30,000 high factor sun lotions to kids on free school meals this summer.
“Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the UK and sunburn in childhood doubles the chance of getting it. It's vitally important that all children are protected from the harmful effects of the sun and that's why I'm supporting the @escentual #SunPoverty campaign.”
Love Island star Tyne-Lexy Clarson said on her Instagram stories: "I'm supporting Escentual on their incredible campaign and mission to end SunPoverty.
“I don't know if you know but 80% of sun damage happens before you are 18 years old, so using SPF is an absolutely necessity. For every one of these Escentual SunPoverty creams sold on their website, they will be donating one to try to end SunPoverty, and they are donating them for Eucerin and Clarins 50+ creams as well, so if you would like to help stop SunPoverty and give these children the opportunity that we should all have to wear SPF then please go to their website and get involved.”
The campaign is also supported by actress Kara Tointon, from north London, who has two sons under three years old.
She said: “It’s so important to keep children protected from the sun with good quality high factor sun cream. Skin cancer is a growing problem in the UK, and that’s why I always keep my two little ones well covered in lotion at all times.
Skin cancer red flags
1. Changes in moles
Many of us have skin growths called moles, which are generally harmless but can be a common place for melanomas to develop.
Hair and skin specialist, Sam Cinkir said: "It’s important to check your moles regularly for any changes that might occur.
"Use the ABCDE method – asymmetry, border, colour, diameter and evolving – and seek advice from your GP if you notice any changes in these characteristics."
2. Difference in nails
Skin cancer can develop anywhere in our bodies and that includes on the nails.
Melanomas can present as dark spots or streaks under our nails and this might look like someone has painted a brown line down your nail.
The skin around the nail can also become darker and a small bump or nodule underneath, as well as splitting of the nail, can also be red flags, Sam said.
It's normal to experience itching, and it can be caused from anything from perfumes or sprays or even hay fever.
But Sam warned that if you have persistent itching, then this could be a red flag when it comes to cancer – especially if it sits alongside other key signs.
He added that these symptoms can often be confused for an insect bite – so it's key to keep an eye on them.
4. Impaired vision
While melanomas traditionally appear on our skin, they can also develop in the eyes and cause changes in our vision, Sam said.
The guru explained; "Ocular melanoma can be difficult to notice until it’s really advanced, and symptoms include blurred vision, discoloured spots and an increased number of floaters – the squiggly lines some of us have in our vision.
"Regular eye check-ups are encouraged as they are often the best way to detect ocular melanoma."
5. Scaly patches
Dry and scaly skin can often be a sign of a skin condition like eczema.
“That’s why I’m supporting the @escentual #SunPoverty campaign, which is providing free sun creams for primary school children on free school meals so that all children can have access to adequate sun protection."
The campaign, which is in its second year, for the first time primary schools in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leicester, Newcastle, Reading, Leeds, Selby, and Derry, have been able to sign up for the scheme. Sun lotions will also be given out from In Kind Direct and BeautyBanks.org.uk, which distribute personal care products to families struggling financially.
Former Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff tweeted: "Summer means hot weather & everyone especially Children should wear broad spectrum SPF every day.
Sadly not everyone can afford it so the #SunPoverty campaign is a brilliant way to protect all children.
It’s an amazing & generous campaign by @escentual which me & Mila support."
Former Made In Chelsea star Ashley James, who welcomed her first child with boyfriend Tom Andrews in January, said: “All children should have access to adequate sun protection."
TV presenter Nicki Chapman said: “Sunburn in childhood is the most common cause of skin cancer in later life. It’s vitally important that children and babies (and adults) are protected against the sun’s harmful rays with a high factor broad-spectrum sun cream.
“All children should have access to adequate sun protection, and that’s why I’m supporting the #SunPoverty campaign by @escentual, which is giving out over 30,000 free sun creams this summer to primary school children on free school meals. They are also campaigning for the government to drop VAT on children’s sun cream, which I fully support.”
Multiple world champion cyclist Geraint Thomas said: “This is a great campaign to teach children the importance of good sun care. This summer, when we are outside enjoying the weather, it’s vital that children understand the need to apply sunscreen, and it’s great that the SunPoverty campaign has made this available to everyone.
“When I’m out on my bike training or racing, I always make sure that I’ve applied enough sunscreen for the day on my face and arms, and even if the sun isn’t out, you should still apply sun cream because you can still get exposure to the UVB rays even when it’s cloudy.”
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The sunscreen donation is Escentual's own product; the Escentual Sunscreen SPF50+ 50ml (£8.95) is a broad-spectrum formula developed in Australia under strict regulations to offer the highest protection against UVA and UVB rays. There is also a family-sized 125ml version (£18.95) will also be available.
In addition to the 30,000 donations for every Escentual Sunscreen sold, Escentual will donate another one to a child eligible for free school meals in the UK, and the same goes for Clarins and Shiseido sun care products sold at the online retailer.
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