Wickes soothes burning issue with free sun cream

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Wickes is trialling a nationwide roll out of free sun cream to tradespeople.

Available in stores nationwide from Wednesday (August 23), members of the trade can pick up a free tub of Brickie’s Bronze, Plasterer’s Pink or Apprentice White (each with a sun protection factor of 30), while stocks last.

The move to introduce the range of Wickes Tradesman’s Suncream follows a survey by the home improvement chain of 500 tradespeople who work outdoors that revealed ‘some startling statistics and unsettling attitudes’ to sunburn and skin cancer, with ‘many unaware of the dangers of not protecting their skin and ill-informed on how often sun cream should be applied’.

When asked why they don’t apply sun cream, 20% said they don’t have time, 15% said they don’t like getting greasy fingers, 11% said can’t be bothered, 9% said they worry that their workmates will laugh at them and 6% said it costs too much.

A total of 91% of respondents were unaware of how much sun cream is required during a typical 12-hour summer’s day. A quarter (26%) believed two applications would suffice, while 15% thought one application was enough.

Guidelines recommend that sun cream should be applied 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun, and re-applied every two hours thereafter – meaning sun cream should be applied up to six times during a 12-hour shift.

Wickes head of brand & communications Matthew Gaunt commented: “It’s clear that there’s a real need here and we want to help tradespeople working outdoors get to grips with this issue.

“We hope that trialling Wickes Tradesman’s Suncream in our stores will help raise awareness of an important issue within the industry, as well as making protection from the sun’s rays more accessible to tradespeople in the UK.”

According to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, getting burned just once every two years can triple the risk of melanoma (a form of skin cancer). Over half (52.8%) of tradespeople surveyed admitted to getting burned at least once every year whilst working.

Dr Lesley Rushton of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Imperial College London commented: “Occupational solar exposure is often overlooked. But it is so important that tradespeople are well informed about the potential implications of being sunburned, and that they take the necessary steps to minimise their risk.”

Wickes offers more than 13,000 own-label and branded products in over 235 sites across the UK and online, suitable for ‘everyone, from the amateur DIYer to the trade professional’.

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