Friday 26 April 2024




National skin cancer charity, SKCIN unite influential leaders that represent the British Beauty Industry, to support the VAT Burn Campaign that calls for the removal of VAT on high SPF sunscreen and supportive education.


With the UV Index rising, sunscreen should now be an essential health item on the nation’s shopping list. Yet independent research from various organisations consistently reveals that the price of sunscreen is a clear barrier to its use - and one that is putting the nation’s health at risk. A rising a concern, exacerbated by the ongoing cost of living crisis.

 Around 90% of skin cancer cases are preventable by combining use of simple sun protection measures, which includes applying high-SPF sunscreen with correct quantity and frequency. Quality sun protection is therefore an essential health item that should be accessible and affordable for all.

 However, affordability is not the only barrier. Marie Tudor, CEO of SKCIN said: “With an estimated 19 million UK adults admitting they don’t use sun protection, there are many challenges and misconceptions to address with a need to drive attitudinal and behavioural change. Education is without doubt our greatest weapon in the fight against skin cancer and it’s vital that a dual approach to reduced taxation and education is taken seriously. This has been proven to work in Australia where the reduction of skin cancer cases is globally recognised as one of their greatest health achievements”. 

 According to SKCIN, combined melanoma and non-melanoma statistics reveal over 265,000 annual cases of skin cancer will affect around 25% of the UK population who will be diagnosed in their lifetime, resulting in over 3,500 largely preventable deaths.

 The annual cost of diagnosing and treating skin cancer is estimated to be in excess of £500 million, placing a significant financial burden on our NHS with the sheer volume of cases is presenting a huge resourcing burden for UK dermatology.

 Kathryn Clifford, Co-founder of SKCIN said: “We are amidst a skin cancer pandemic. With rates of the disease rising faster than any other cancer (estimated to reach over 400,000 cases annually by 2025) - sadly these insights provide only a snapshot of what the future holds”. 

 Key organisations representing the British beauty industry, have now pledged their support, placing rising pressure on Government:

 “The British Beauty Council supports calls for better education around sun safety and the removal of VAT for SPF30+ sunscreen. Challenging misconceptions around the necessity of sun protection and its role in preventing cancer and reducing the burden on our health service is paramount. However, making products accessible and most importantly affordable for all is absolutely key to this. Sun safety is a basic need and should be treated as such by Government, industry and the public alike.”

Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer of the British Beauty Council

 “The rapid rate at which skin cancer is growing is a concern that requires urgent attention. Given the cost of living crisis it is understandable how sunscreen may be considered a luxury item by many instead of an essential purchase. That said, the fact skin cancer is so often preventable indicates strongly why Government should be considering every option available to assist. This includes making reputable & effective sunscreens more affordable while educating the nation on their vital importance in the fight against cancer.”

Lesley Blair MBE, CEO of BABTAC & CIBTAC British Association of Beauty Therapist & Cosmetologists

 “Skin cancer is a growing public health concern and we must take all the necessary precautions to ensure that we educate people on the dangers of not using sun protection. We are very happy to be supporting the VAT Burn campaign with SKCIN, removing VAT from SPF30+ sunscreen will make it more affordable to adults in the UK who find it too expensive to purchase.”

Caroline Larissey, Chief Executive of NHBF National Hair and Beauty Federation


“Habia fully supports the VAT Burn Campaign that calls for the removal of VAT on SPF30+ sunscreen combined with nationwide education. Quality sun protection is an essential health item not a luxury and should be made more affordable for individuals and families. A dual approach with supportive education is critical in ensuring positive outcomes and SKCIN are specialists in this field.”

Joan Scott, CEO of Habia Hair & Beauty Industry Authority


To highlight the issue with Government Amy Callaghan MP, Skcin, Melanoma Focus and Melanoma Fund will be holding a parliamentary drop in event on 8th May at Westminster to raise awareness of skin cancer, highlight the Vat burn campaign to MPs and the burden of the disease and the important need for action.






Notes to Editors


The VAT Burn campaign initiated by Amy Callaghan MP, is supported by a group of charities, cross-party politicians and medical professionals.



57 per cent of UK adults said they think sun protection is expensive

31 per cent of parents said they can’t always afford to apply sun cream to the whole family

29 per cent of those surveyed stating that they would wear sun protection daily if it was more affordable.

41 per cent claim they only apply it to their face or face and neck, despite the fact any part of the body exposed to UV rays can be at risk.

36% of people surveyed said they don’t wear sun protection even when its sunny = estimate of 19m UK adults based ONS data stating there are a total 52.6m UK adults (2019)


Research of 2,000 UK adults aged over 18 conducted by Opinium 

in April 2021 on behalf of Tesco in partnership with SKCIN


Skcin cancer awareness month runs from 01 May to 31 May. Skcin have a unique, innovative, and multi-channel approach to combatting skin cancer on a national scale - delivering bespoke, sustainable solutions that are accessible to everyone all year round from online campaigns, industry sector training, free accreditations to promotional material to our free Skcin App for the Public. Please visit our web site Further press release to follow.


 For further information contact:

Marie Tudor, CEO SKCIN