Following calls from cancer charities for the Government to scrap the 20% tax on sunscreen, Superdrug has slashed the price of its own-brand Solait sun care range.

With the current rate of VAT adding approximately £1.50 to a bottle of sunscreen, several charities have argued that the high-factor protective creams should be made exempt to enable more people to afford this essential personal care item.

Superdrug’s 20% price reduction comes into effect today, across 41 products, and will remain in place until the end of the year ‘ensuring families have access to affordable sun protection amid the cost of living crisis’.

Jamie Archer, own-brand director at Superdrug, says price accessibility is crucial for sun safety: “As a leading accessible health and beauty retailer, we believe that everyone should have access to the products that protect their health and wellbeing and at an affordable price.

Anything we can do to make sunscreen more accessible and affordable will cut the overall incidence of skin cancer

“Sunscreen is currently classed as a cosmetic product and therefore carries the VAT associated with it, making it unaffordable for some people. Through our work with Beauty Banks we know that requests for donations of sun care products has gone up, with some people even having to forego it altogether, which is concerning to hear. We hope that by reducing the price of our Solait range we can help make sun protection more affordable and allow families to stay safe in the sun.”

Susanna Daniels, CEO of Melanoma Focus – one of the charities lobbying Government to drop the VAT on sunscreen – comments: “We’re delighted to hear that Superdrug plans to remove the 20% VAT cost for customers from their own-brand sunscreen range. Skin cancer, particularly melanoma skin cancer, is an extremely serious and growing issue. It is now the fifth most common cancer in the UK killing around 2,300 people each year. 86% of melanomas are preventable and therefore wearing a high SPF sunscreen is a hugely important safety measure for protecting against it.

“Anything we can do to make sunscreen more accessible and affordable will cut the overall incidence of skin cancer and could help save lives. This move by Superdrug is a big step in the right direction and a brilliant start to our mission to have VAT removed from all high-factor sunscreens across the UK.”