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Only 1 in 10 Americans Uses Sunscreen Daily, RealSelf Survey Finds

Only 10 percent of adults in the U.S. wear sunscreen every day, and almost half…

  • August 21, 2019

Only 10 percent of adults in the U.S. wear sunscreen every day, and almost half (47 percent) of Americans never wear sunscreen, according to a new survey from online resource RealSelf.

Women are significantly more likely than men to wear sunscreen on a daily basis (15 percent vs. 4 percent).

According to the new report, factors like age and location also influence sunscreen use. Two-thirds (66 percent) of 18- to 34-year-olds wear sunscreen at least one day a week, compared to only half (49 percent) of adults 35 and older.

Top Excuse for Not Wearing Sunscreen: “I’m Not Exposed to the Sun” 

Among the 47 percent of Americans who never wear sunscreen, more than half (56 percent) believe they don’t get enough sun exposure to need sunscreen.

Other top reasons for not wearing sunscreen include having skin that doesn’t burn easily (25 percent) and not liking how sunscreen feels on the skin (18 percent).

Motivations for Sunscreen Use: Prevent Skin Cancer, Sunburn and the Look of Aging Skin

Among those who do use sunscreen, the main motivations are to prevent skin cancer (74 percent), prevent sunburn (48 percent) and prevent the appearance of aging skin (46 percent).

Adults ages 35 and older are significantly more likely than adults under the age of 34 to say preventing skin cancer is a main motivation for wearing sunscreen (79 percent vs. 63 percent).

Women are significantly more likely than men to say preventing the look of aging skin is a main motivation (55 percent vs. 33 percent), and they are also more likely to be motivated by sunspot prevention (44 percent vs. 33 percent for men).

More than half of men (52 percent) say preventing the look or feel of a sunburn is a main motivation, compared to only 45 percent of women.

Men More Likely to Have Annual Skin Check

While women are more likely to wear sunscreen daily, men are significantly more likely to have had a skin check in the past (70 percent vs. 65 percent of women) and significantly more likely to get their skin checked every year (36 percent vs. 27 percent of women).

Adults who know someone with skin cancer or have been personally diagnosed with skin cancer are almost twice as likely to have annual skin checks compared to those who do not know someone with skin cancer (53 percent vs. 29 percent).

RealSelf is an online resource for people to learn and share experiences about cosmetic procedures and connect with the right doctors.

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