Press release

‘Be SunSmart: Sunscreen myths and facts‘ free webinar invitation

Published: 17 May 2024

Do you know about the importance of wearing sunscreen correctly? And, along with other protective measures such as covering up and seeking shade, how to be #SunSmart in order to protect your skin in the sun and prevent skin cancer? 

The HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and Healthy Ireland is inviting you to a FREE public webinar called: ‘Be Sunsmart: Sunscreen Myths and Facts’ next Wednesday, 22 May 2024 from 1pm to 2.15pm, which will highlight the importance of protecting your skin by slopping on sunscreen and doing it property.

Over 11,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in Ireland. The number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer in Ireland is rising rapidly. Yet skin cancer is largely preventable by protecting skin from UV rays. The webinar will feature expert discussion from Dr Aoife Lally, Consultant Dermatologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) and Jenny Tobin, Scientific Officer, Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

At the lunchtime webinar the experts will:

  • answer the many questions and debunk some myths about the use of sunscreen
  • discuss the importance of being SunSmart to protect our skin and prevent skin cancer
  • encouraging people to follow the SunSmart 5 S’s and emphasise the importance of using sunscreen as the last form of defence.

Dr Breeda Neville, Specialist in Public Health, HSE NCCP, said:

“Sunscreen should be the last line of defence when it comes to sun protection. No sunscreen can provide 100% protection. It should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade. 

“The HSE National Cancer Control Programme aims to reduce cancer risk, by raising awareness of the steps we can all take to protect our skin from the sun and reduce our risk of skin cancer”.

Protect your skin by following the SunSmart 5S’s of Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide:

  • Slip on clothing: Cover skin as much as possible, wear long sleeves, collared t-shirts.
  • Slop on broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children that has high UVA protection and is water-resistant. Reapply regularly. No sunscreen can provide 100% protection, it should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade.
  • Slap on a wide-brimmed hat: Protect your face, ears and neck.
  • Seek shade: Sit in the cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight. Use a sunshade on your buggy or pram. Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight.
  • Slide on sunglasses: Guard your eyes against harm by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.

And remember, do not deliberately try to get a suntan. Avoid getting a sunburn. Never use a sunbed.

Dr Aoife Lally, Consultant Dermatologist, highlights key information when putting on sunscreen:

“There are a number of things to consider when applying sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30+ that has high UVA protection, and is water resistant. Don’t forget to reapply regularly or more often after swimming or exercise. Apply generously and use more than you think you need. Using sunscreen doesn’t mean you can spend longer in the sun. You also need to remember to cover up with a hat, clothing, sunglasses and to seek shade and avoid peak sunshine in the middle of the day. Sunscreen is useful for protecting the parts of skin not covered by clothing or shade.

“It is better to protect babies up to 6 months old from sunlight by using shade and clothing rather than sunscreen. You may wish to use clothing that is protective from UV.  Sunscreen may be used on the small areas of your baby’s skin that may be exposed to the sun.”

The webinar is part of the 2024 SunSmart campaign which runs annually from April to September. For more information and to learn how to protect yourself and your family this summer visit the SunSmart hub at and check out #SunSmart on social media.


Register here to watch the live webinar or to receive the recording to watch back.

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