Sun-savvy Canucks? Not according to a recent survey

Many Canadians confused when it comes to sun protection

TORONTO, June 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Summer is finally here, and Canadians from coast to coast are getting ready to venture outside, exposing themselves to the sun's rays - sometimes for extended periods of time when UV rays are at their peak. Yet, according to a recent Leger survey conducted on behalf of the AIR MILES Reward Program and Rexall, almost half (47%) of Canadians don't apply sunscreen during May and June - the highest UV ray months of the year, while one in 10 say they never apply sunscreen (any time of the year).  This practice is leaving Canadians prone to sunburns, premature aging of the skin, as well as increasing their risk of skin cancer.

Year-round prevention and protection is key to ensuring damage is avoided.  It may not always be convenient to visit a family doctor, but a local pharmacist is available seven days a week and can recommend the right sunscreen for customers and their family members based on skin type, skin tone, and outdoor activity level.  In fact, according to the survey, pharmacists ranked second as a trusted source of sun protection information (27%) - second only to a family doctor (30%) - the advantage of a pharmacist being of course ready access.

"We're happy to hear that Canadians see the value in tapping into their local pharmacist as a resource for information on sun protection," says Tracey Phillips, Rexall Pharmacist. "And this summer Rexall and Rexall Pharma Plus locations across the province are holding Sun Awareness Days where customers can have their photo taken with a special UV camera to demonstrate areas of potential sun damage.  It is very important for Canadians to be aware of the effects of unprotected sun exposure. In fact, it is estimated that between 60 to 70 per cent of skin cancer cases are entirely preventable," she adds. 

Understanding the S-P-F
Nearly one in five Canadians admitted they don't know what SPF means.  And, one in three (29%) believe they should pick sunscreen based only on the SPF and how long they want to stay out in the sun, regardless of their skin type.  But it's not as simple as that.  With so many gels, sprays, liquids and creams out there, it's important to choose the right sunscreen for skin type and activity level outdoors.

Even when Canadians are applying sunscreen, most aren't applying enough - the average Canadian applies less than half the amount of sunscreen than they should. As a rule, an average-sized adult should apply 2 to 2.5 ounces (approximately 2 shot glasses full) of sunscreen with each application.

"To ensure you are taking the right precautions, it's important to take the guess work out of your sun care routine," continues Phillips.  "Talk to your local pharmacist about what kind of protection and prevention is best for you and your family."

Throughout the summer, Rexall pharmacies will be holding Sun Awareness Days where Ontarians can book a consultation with the pharmacist which entails a photo taken with a special UV camera that detects potential areas of sun damage on the face. Customers can see first-hand areas of potential concern, and learn how to best protect themselves this summer.

Practice Safe Sun Care
This summer, AIR MILES and Rexall have partnered to ensure that Canadians stay sun safe! Visit your local Rexall and Rexall Pharma Plus locations and earn one bonus mile on every summer skin care purchase of $10.  Why not earn miles towards your next sunny destination vacation while ensuring you're protected all summer long? Together, AIR MILES and Rexall are offering sun safety tips for Ontarians heading into the heat this summer:

  • Limit sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Seek shade. If there is no shade, create your own with an umbrella.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Wear sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection.
  • Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Look for a broad-spectrum product that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a higher SPF if you will be spending longer periods of time outdoors, if you have fair skin, or if your doctor recommends it.
  • Pregnant women and women taking oral contraceptives may be at risk for darker pigmentation on the cheeks and forehead ("pregnancy mask"). If you are in this group, use a sunscreen with SPF 30 that has both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Certain medications can also increase your skin's sensitivity to UV rays. Always consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your medication.
  • Using a self-tanning cream or bronzer will provide an instant summer glow, but remember these products do not provide sun protection.
  • Check the UV index daily and take appropriate precautions - on days that the UV is very high, try and stay in the shade or indoors.

For more information on summer skin care, sun protection tips, and to find the next Sun Awareness Day at the Rexall or Rexall Pharma Plus location nearest you, visit  Visit to sign-up for an AIR MILES Collector card to reap the rewards of shopping at Rexall for your summer skin care needs and sign-up for the AIR MILES mobile app (at www.airmiles/ca/mobileapp or to find out about special in-store offers and the nearest Rexall locations in your neighbourhood.

About the AIR MILES / Rexall Sun Care Survey
The AIR MILES / Rexall Sun Care Survey was conducted from May 24th until May 26th, 2011 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1500 Canadians, 18 years of age or older. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5%.

About Rexall
Since 1904, Rexall has been a trusted name in retail pharmacy. As the flagship pharmacy banner for Katz Group Canada, a leading drug store company and the largest integrated retail pharmacy network in Canada, Rexall is also the umbrella brand for a family of pharmacies dedicated to pharmacy care excellence. Rexall family of pharmacies banners are Rexall, Pharma Plus, Rexall Pharma Plus, The Medicine Shoppe, Guardian and I.D.A. All Rexall family of pharmacies banners exclusively carry Rexall™ Brand. For more information on Rexall visit

About the AIR MILES Reward Program
Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is Canada's premier coalition loyalty program. More than 10 million active Collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households, actively participate in the Program. The AIR MILES Reward Program allows Collectors to indulge in leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and other lifestyle rewards quickly, simply by doing their everyday shopping for products and services at AIR MILES Sponsors. AIR MILES reward miles can be redeemed for more than 1,200 different rewards, such as movie passes, family attractions, electronic merchandise, sports and recreation, travel and more.

SOURCE Air Miles Reward Program

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