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Brits need to be as UV Aware as Aussies come rain or shine!

16 April 2014
News Brand
People in the UK still need more support on staying safe in the sun after new research1 reveals nearly a quarter of Brits (22%) only wear sun cream during the summer months when on holiday abroad – unaware that UV protection still matters in the UK.

According to the study commissioned by Boots UK to compare our sun safety behaviours with those of Australians, known for being sun-savvy, Brits needs to adopt the Aussie mentality of total Ultraviolet (UV) protection even on a cloudy day, instead of just slapping on the sun cream when the sun is shining.

The research found that when it comes to enjoying the sun safely, Australians go beyond just sun cream adopting a ‘top to toe’ attitude towards total UV protection.  In addition to a third more Australians than Brits knowing UV damage can occur on a cloudy day, the findings also revealed that compared to us in the UK;

  • Nearly twice as many Australians use Sun Protection Factor (SPF) protection when spending time outside and over twice as many wear SPF 30 or higher
  • Double the number of Australians always wear a hat and nearly double always wear sunglasses to protect themselves in the sun
  • Three times as many Australians have clothing containing SPF; nearly twice as many Australians own swimwear with inbuilt UV protection

Clare O’Connor, Boots UK Suncare Expert says: “Though the UK has less sunshine than Australia, the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through cloud cover and as most people in the UK only think about UV protection when the sun is shining they may be at higher risk of UV damage.  We hope these findings will inspire people to think differently about their UV protection this summer and beyond.  At Boots UK we understand people need support to stay safe in the sun – from the creation of our 5* UVA rating to protect against UVA and UVB rays to investing in new research, we are committed to providing people with the very best UV protection.”

Dr Adam Friedmann, consultant dermatologist at The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic spent time researching the effects of UV radiation at the University of Sydney, Australia, during which time he became an expert in Australian sun behavior.  Dr Friedmann says: “It is not surprising these findings show Australians have a good understanding of how to enjoy the outdoors while still protecting themselves from UV exposure – in recent years Australia has invested heavily in public health campaigns to educate people on how to enjoy the sun safely.  Changing attitudes towards UV protection takes time, but this research shows that it is possible to make it part of people’s daily routine and get people to adopt a new way of thinking when it comes to sun safety and UV protection.”

Clare O’Connor, Boots UK Suncare Expert continues: “The research shows that in the UK 60% of people don’t use any other SPF protection other than sun cream and only 19% of people in the UK wear sunglasses as UV protection for their eyes, but there are simple things people can do to ensure that have the right level of UK protection:

  • Make sure your sunglasses have a sticker that says they offer 100% UV protection
  • Use a daily skincare range with added SPF and UVA protection to ensure your face is protected before you even put on your make up
  • Consider upgrading your swimwear so it has inbuilt UV protection – especially for your children”


Notes to editors: 
For more information please contact the Boots UK Press Office:   
020 7025 6657



  1. ICM research conducted on 2,049 people living in the UK and 1,841 people living in Australia via online survey omnibus, April 2014.

About Boots UK
Boots UK is the leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer in the UK, with close to 2,500 Boots UK stores and around 60,000 employees. Boots UK’s purpose is to help customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible. Customers are at the heart of our business which is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare, offer innovative products 'only at Boots' such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value our customers love. Created over 160 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.

Boots UK is a member of Alliance Boots, a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, Alliance Boots is committed to improving health in the local communities it serves and helping its customers and patients to look and feel their best. Its focus is on growing its two core businesses: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution. Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 108,000* people. Alliance Boots has pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in nine* countries and operates more than 3,100* health and beauty retail stores, of which just over 3,000* have a pharmacy.

*Figures are approximate as at 31 March 2013 and include associates and joint ventures.


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023