La Roche-Posay and the WDS Join Forces to Increase Sunscreen usage among Skin of Color Patients

One out of five Americans will get skin cancer, and although melanoma incidence is higher in Caucasians, the five-year survival rates for African Americans (78%) are significantly lower than that of Caucasians (92%). This is due to the common misconception that protection from the sun is not necessary for those with darker skin tones.

In an effort to increase the use of sunscreen among patients with darker skin tones, cosmeceutical manufacturer La Roche-Posay has joined forces with the Women's Dermatologic Society (WDS). The two organizations are raising awareness and encouraging behavioral change by educating the population on two key motivators: Sunscreen can make your skin more healthy and beautiful; and sunscreens don't have to feel greasy or leave a chalky finish.

This approach came about due to a recent study presented at the annual American Academy of Dermatology meeting and recognized as an award-winning study by the Skin of Color Symposium in Denver that showed daily sunscreen use can improve the overall quality of skin for all skin tones. In the study, 90% of Hispanics showed an improvement in the intensity of dark spots, and 64% of those with skin of color showed an improvement in the number of dark spots following regular sunscreen application.

Throughout 2014, volunteers with the SOS—Save Our Skin campaign will spread awareness about the benefits of sunscreen at key events including:

  • LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship Tournament (Rancho Mirage, CA)
  • Sister's Network 5th Annual National African American Breast Cancer 5K Walk/Run (Houston, TX)
  • Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure (St. Louis, MO)
  • LPGA International Crown (Owings Mills, MD)
  • Rock N'Roll Marathon (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Congressional Black Caucus Foundation – Annual Conference (Washington, DC)
  • Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure (New York, NY)

"As the new president of the WDS, it's so important that we are all properly educated about the risks of sun exposure and proper sunscreen use," says Valerie Callender, MD, WDS president. "This is particularly important since the U.S. population is rapidly changing. By the year 2050, more than half of our country's population will be comprised of ethnic minorities. Daily sunscreen use is clinically proven to not only help in the prevention of skin cancer, but also improves the overall health and quality of skin."
For a list of all related events and dates, visit

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