Be Sun Smart

Cancer Leagues in Europe advise:

  • Seek shade and avoid prolonged exposure from 11am to 3pm
  • Wear clothing and hats that protect against UVR
  • Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 plus UVA 4-star and apply liberally

If you go out into the sun, you should make sure that you protect the most frequently exposed parts of your body, such as your face, neck, and hands. If you are sunburnt, you have certainly been exposed more than is safe. However, even before you become sunburnt, you may have been excessively exposed. Frequent sunburns, especially during childhood and adolescence, are related to a marked increase in the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. But all exposures to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, at any age, increase your risk of skin cancer.




Sunbeds are machines designed to emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This UV radiation has the same damaging effects on your skin as natural sunlight and, as it is unnecessary exposure, should be avoided at all times. Tanning on a sunbed does not provide a better base for later additional tanning in the sun, and there is no such thing as a safe tan.

The use of sunbeds to increase your vitamin D level is unnecessary and is strongly discouraged. The same type of UV radiation induces a suntan as also increases your risk of skin cancer and damages your skin in the ways described earlier. Some people consider that their use of sunbeds helps to treat winter depression, but this can be done more safely by using bright visible-light lamps that do not emit UV radiation. People who require medical UV treatment for a disease should be treated under close medical supervision, for instance in clinical settings. Sunbeds are sometimes marketed to treat a variety of complaints and diseases (e.g., neurodermatitis, acne, high blood pressure) or to improve immune responses. Any use for medical reasons should, however, be prescribed and supervised by a physician.

Reference: European Code Against Cancer website:

Other resources:

WHO:  UV Radiation


EU Factsheet on melanoma

EADO – European Association of Dermato Oncology

EUROSKIN information on Skin Cancer

EADV Skin Cancer as an Occupational Risk




ECL thanks Garnier International for their support in our sun safety and capacity building activities.  All external funding are strictly in line with our Transparency Statement.