10 Things You Need to Know About Consumers and Sunscreen


It decreases the risk of developing skin cancer and helps prevent premature aging—but despite these benefits, surprisingly few Americans are wearing sunscreen.

According to the 2019 RealSelf Sun Safety Report, only 1 in 10 Americans, in fact, are wearing sunscreen every day—with almost half (47%) never wearing it at all. Among the study’s findings.

  1. While 15% of women reported wearing sunscreen every day, only 4% of men said the same.
  2. Though two thirds, or 66%, of 18- to 34-year-olds wear sunscreen at least one day a week. Only 49% of adults over 35% do the same.
  3. Only 16% of adults in the Midwest wear sunscreen four or more days a week, compared to 29% of those in the west, 25% of those in the south and 24% of those in the northeast.
  4. Almost 1/3rd of U.S. adults who wear sunscreen say they always or almost always reapply throughout the day (28%); adults ages 18-44 are more likely than adults over 45 to reapply on most days they wear sunscreen (40% vs. 19%).
  5. Despite low daily use, 65% of Americans say they always or almost always wear sunscreen if they know they will be outdoors for an extended amount of time.
  6. The main excuse for not wearing sunscreen? “I don’t think I’m exposed to the sun” (56%), followed by “my skin doesn’t burn easily” (27%) and “I don’t like how it feels on my skin” (18%).
  7. For those who do wear sunscreen, the top motivators are preventing skin cancer (74%), preventing sunburn (48%) and preventing the appearance of aging (46%).
  8. Women are more likely than men to cite aging as a motivator (55% compared to 46%), while more than half of men—52%—say preventing the look or feel of sunburn is the main motivation, compared to 45% of women
  9. Despite their aversion to wearing sunscreen daily, men are much more likely to always or almost always reapply (34% vs 25%); more likely to have had a skin check in the past (70% vs. 65%); and to have their skin checked every year (36% vs. 27%).
  10. Knowing someone with a previous diagnosis of skin cancer makes an adult almost twice as likely (53%) to have annual skin checks, compared to those who do not (29%)

To read the whole study, visit www.realself.com.

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