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.
- While 15% of women reported wearing sunscreen every day, only 4% of men said the same.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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%).
- 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.
- 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%).
- For those who do wear sunscreen, the top motivators are preventing skin cancer (74%), preventing sunburn (48%) and preventing the appearance of aging (46%).
- 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
- 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%).
- 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.