There’s a TV programme on Channel 4 that’s my guilty-pleasure. It’s called 10 Years Younger.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s one of those makeover shows. They take members of the public and through either invasive or non-invasive procedures, try and make them look “ten years younger.”

My favourite part always comes early in the show when people have to guess the participant’s age, the idea being to set a benchmark prior to the victim undergoing treatment.

Usually, people are judged to be a lot older than they really are. More often than not this happens because of past over-exposure to the sun. You know that look – a little orange and quite wrinkly!

I read recently that 84% of Britons are worried about the harmful effects the sun can have on their skin. Skin cancer rates have more than doubled in the past decade, and around 100,000 cases of non-melanoma cancer and over 12,000 melanoma cases are now diagnosed each year in the UK.

What’s even more worrying is that more British people die of melanoma each year than Australians, despite the fact that down-under they have four times the UK rate of skin cancer diagnosis. It appears Australians visit their doctors earlier than us Brits.

This hints at a key problem in Britain. While most of us appear to be worried about skin cancer, we’re not always willing to do something about it!

This is especially true when it comes to sun-protection. A third of women and only half of men adequately protect their skin from the effects of the sun, while a quarter of people in the UK never use sun protection.

Those that employ outdoor workers ought to be concerned by this. Employers have a duty of care for the health, safety and welfare of employees, which means outdoor workers should be given sun-protection advice.

As well as being advised to stay in the shade as much as possible and to drink plenty of fluids when it’s warm, outdoor workers should be encouraged to cover up and use sun-screen that’s of a high SPF (sun protection factor).

And don’t forget to tell them to watch 10 Years Younger. If the idea of premature death doesn’t put them off seeking a tan, maybe the results of premature ageing will?

About Teresa Budworth