Asian-owned beauty retailer Escentual.com has launched the #SunPoverty campaign, donating 30,000 sunscreens to children on free school meals this summer to prevent skin cancer.
The non-profit initiative wants to ensure all families have access to broad-spectrum SPF50+ sunscreen by donating thousands of sunscreens to schools and food banks across the UK.
Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the UK, with 224,092 cases recorded in 2019, a rise of 26 per cent and research shows that just one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles the chances of developing melanoma later in life.
Escentual.com CEO and founder Rakesh Aggarwal, who 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. That is why we will give over 30,000 sunscreens to children this summer.”
He added, “The first year of the campaign in 2021 was a huge success, and 2022 will be bigger and better. We can now distribute the sunscreens directly to schools for the first time, and we are also working with Beauty Banks and In Kind Direct. We are looking to grow each year to ensure that all children in the UK will eventually have access to sun protection.”
Several celebrities have supported the campaign including actress Kara Tointon, former Made In Chelsea star Hugo Taylor, Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, Love Island’s Georgia Harrison and Tyne-Lexy Clarson, This Morning beauty expert Caroline Hirons and TV presenters Nicki Chapman and Tim Vincent.
It is the second year that the Cardiff based family owned firm has organised the #SunPoverty campaign having donated 20,000 sunscreens in 2021. This year, the campaign will hand out over 30,000 high factor SPFs to pre-teen children for the summer holidays to help protect against harmful UV rays which can lead to skin cancer.
Primary schools in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leicester, Newcastle, Reading, Leeds, Selby, and Derry, have signed up for the scheme. The sunscreens will also be distributed via In Kind Direct and Beauty Banks, which distribute personal care products to families struggling financially.
The sunscreen donation is Escentual’s own product; the Escentual Sunscreen SPF50+ 50ml (£6.95) is a broadspectrum formula developed in Australia under strict regulations to offer the highest protection against UVA and UVB rays. For 2022, a family-sized 125ml version (£16.95) will also be available alongside the clip-on version, especially for children. For every Escentual Sunscreen sold, Escentual will donate 1 to a child eligible for free school meals in the UK, and the same goes for Clarins and Shiseido sun care, who have partnered with the online retailer.
In addition to sunscreen donations, the #SunPoverty campaign is petitioning for children’s sunscreen to be VAT-free and will educate children on sun safety. Escentual has created educational comics for teachers across the UK to download and use and has developed a child-friendly story to help teach children about good sun habits