The retailer’s move comes as over half of UK adults think sun protection is expensive

  • Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK, yet up to 90% of cases can be prevented by adopting simple sun protection measures
  • An estimated 19m UK adults don’t wear sun protection even when it’s sunny2
  • Tesco has taken 20% off the price of all sun protection products in its private brand sun care, Soleil, to cover the VAT

Tesco has announced that it is taking care of the VAT on sun protection, by permanently reducing the price of these products in its private brand range, Tesco Soleil, by 20%3.

Cases of skin cancer are increasing despite up to 90% of cases being preventable by being sun safe. However, research by Tesco reveals that over half (57%) of UK adults said they think sun protection is expensive, with 29% of those surveyed stating that they would wear sun protection daily if it was more affordable.

What’s more, the cost of sun protection can be a particular challenge when having to take care of the whole family. Nearly a third (31%) of parents said they can’t always afford to apply sun cream to the whole family, often forcing them to make tough decisions – 44% of those who cannot always afford sun cream stated that the cost of the product has resulted in them applying it on their children, but not on themselves or their partner.

Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer, Tesco

Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer, Tesco said: “At Tesco, we believe sun protection is essential, and know that the cost of using it can add up. With the events of the past year especially, money may be tighter than ever for many families.

“We believe the safety of the nation’s skin should not be treated as a luxury, which is why we have permanently reduced the price of the sun protection products in our Tesco Soleil range by 20% to cover the cost of VAT.”

It is also clear, however, that there is a need to continue to educate on the importance of proper sun protection, as it is estimated that over 19m UK adults don’t wear sun protection even when it’s sunny2. Of those that do wear sun protection every day, 41% 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.

In addition to taking care of the VAT, therefore, Tesco is also launching a partnership with national skin cancer charity, SKCIN, who will work together with Tesco to raise awareness of the importance of sun safety in the UK. As part of the initiative, they will support Tesco by training its pharmacy colleagues4, enabling them to confidently advise customers about UV exposure, skin cancer prevention and early detection, in addition to signposting customers to further information. The first part of this training will begin this week, with 60-70 Tesco pharmacists and pharmacy colleagues across Hertfordshire, Essex, East Anglia and the North West, before being rolled out to an additional 3,000 colleagues later in the year.

Marie Tudor, CEO of SKCIN said: “Skin cancer statistics are compelling and with rates rapidly increasing, we are delighted that Tesco has chosen to prioritize the health of its customers with this initiative.

“Millions of people visit Tesco every day, so by equipping its pharmacy teams with this knowledge, Tesco can help educate customers on skin cancer and the importance of protecting their skin, while also helping to make sun protection more accessible by reducing the cost. We hope that together, through this initiative, we can significantly increase awareness of skin cancer prevention and early detection to help protect the health of the nation.”