24/08/2010 12:36 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

The Secret Skincare Weapon

woman looking in the mirror Ultimate Skincare

Want to know the ultimate secret to protecting your skin? Of course you do. But instead of high-tech ingredients, obscure plants or cutting edge formulations, your key weapon is the humble mirror.

After research discovered that people are fed up with heavy-handed health warnings about skin cancer, the British Association of Dermatologists have launched a new campaign to remind us how important it is to keep an eye on your skin, as a quarter of us have never checked for potentially dangerous changes.

You can pick up a free sample of new Ultimate Skincare, a beauty product with a difference from the campaign's website On the outside, it wouldn't look out of place alongside other top-end luxurious skincare brands, but inside there's simply a mirror and information pointing out this is the best way to protect your skin, by using it to check for early signs of skin cancer.

If you're still not sure what to look for, you can find extra tips on the website. In addition to the ABCDE rules for checking moles for signs of skin cancer, there's handy hints on other skin changes to be aware of, as research has found nearly half of adults can't recognise the signs of skin cancer.

Consultant dermatologist Dr Sandeep Cliff told us, "The campaign is a definite twist and a smart twist. We know skin cancer is increasing but people aren't taking the message on board with conventional information. A lot of people are into cosmetics, into creams, so this gets them into finding out more.

"People have very busy lives and a lot of people who get melanoma are young, often the ones who don't have time. We hope they'll just take a minute out and get them thinking I put all this cream on but I don't check my skin."

For anyone still thinking it's something they needn't worry about, remember skin cancer is the second most common form of cancer among 20 to 40-year-olds. Even more alarming, one new case is diagnosed every five minutes in the UK. But if it's detected at an early stage, there's a 99% chance of survival.

The campaign is also backed by Sarah Cawood, from The Wright Stuff, who says, "Unfortunately people have tired of health campaigns, but they're risking their lives by not regularly checking their skin for things like changes in colour and shape of moles or coloured patches.

"We want people to make checking their skin for changes part of their regular beauty regime, which is why we've adopted the language and imagery of the beauty industry. You can spend all the money you like on fancy lotions and potions but the real secret to beautiful skin is what we're trying to raise awareness of through Ultimate Skincare."

Ultimate Skincare is available exclusively at