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Kiwis Should Respect The Elements

10 February 2002

Cancer Society research shows kiwis are happy to “slop” on sunscreen – but not on their faces.

So the Society has developed a new skincare range - called elements - to encourage all kiwis to respect the elements – every day.

“Our slip, slop, slap and wrap messages are getting through,” says Cancer Society SunSmart spokesperson Liz Price. “But we’re slipping on slopping it on the face.”

And since most skin cancers occur on the face and neck, this is of grave concern, she says.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world with nearly 50 000 new skin cancers each year. Melanoma, regarded as one of the most serious skin cancers, kills about 200 New Zealanders a year.

“We undertook research which showed women in particular were reluctant to put sunscreen on their face. It was perceived to be too ‘thick and greasy’ and couldn’t be easily used with women’s other skincare routines.

Elements’ moisturisers are light and elegant with vitamin E and aloe vera. SPF broad spectrum protection has been integrated into four products.

For women, there’s an SPF15 moisturiser and a higher SPF30+ moisturiser that are light and easy to apply and able to used under other makeup. There is also an SPF15 hand and body moisturiser. A combined cleanser and toner lotion to cleanse and help keep facial skin soft and supple completes the women’s set.

For men, the ‘elements’ range contains a moisturiser with SPF30+ protection along with a facial wash and aftershave balm.

The Cancer Society has endorsement for the importance of regular protection from the sun from the medical profession.

Family and skin cancer doctor Dr Chris Boberg says skin is a living organ. It is the biggest organ in the body and performs many functions.

“There is no doubt the main cause of skin cancer is UV radiation. There’s a direct cause and effect between burning in the sun and developing skin cancer. I’m delighted the Cancer Society is doing all it can to encourage New Zealanders to take regular protection with daily use of sun protective products.”

He emphasises, however, that any applied sunscreen will wear and sweat off and needs to be regularly reapplied.

Dr Boberg says New Zealanders are especially at risk because the ozone layer, which helps shield us from UV radiation, is thinner here than in other parts of the world, meaning that people burn two to three times faster than elsewhere.

“It’s important to use broad spectrum sun products which screen both UV B – the radiation which burns, and UV A which causes cell function damage.”

He says people who burn and blister have 15 times the risk of developing melanoma for 18 months to two years after the blistering.

“I am seeing more and more skin cancers and people with damaged skins. It’s so important to nourish, moisturise and protect your skin for a lifetime.”


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