US Insights

Americans lack sunscreen habits

David Bilicic

Vice President, Business Development, The Americas

Health 08.06.2015 / 10:00


69% have experienced serious sunburn - yet 58% still don't apply sunscreen daily

Although the impacts of the sun on skin and health rule the media, Americans are not taking the recommended actions with sunscreen. In fact, according to a new survey from healthcare data specialists Lightspeed All Global, the majority of respondents (58%) revealed they do not wear sunscreen on a daily basis or follow recommended use despite 69% saying they have experienced serious sunburn.

Key Numbers

  • 24% prefer Banana Boat sunscreen
  • 21% prefer Coppertone sunscreen

While summer activities take respondents outdoors, only 27% of respondents re-apply sunscreen every two hours; more than half responded "one & done" when asked about their application of sunscreen while outdoors. According to The  Skin Cancer Foundation, "sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal."

While Banana Boat (24%) and Coppertone (21%) rated as the most popular brands of sunscreen among respondents, buying decisions are not based on brand loyalty. Sunscreen purchases are led by pricing, followed by natural/organic ingredients.

Among other key survey findings, the majority of respondents indicated that they don't wear sunscreen when it's cloudy/cold outside (62%), and most respondents (50%) purchase SPF 25-45 sunscreen, followed by SPF 50-75 (29%).

Extolling the benefits of reapplication is an integral component in properly guarding against sun exposure. There is a clear opportunity for marketers to use this data and conduct additional research to better inform messaging decisions. With two thirds of Americans having suffered from severe sunburns, there is a significant opportunity for sunscreen brands that can best address consumer awareness in more meaningful ways.

Source: Lightspeed

Editor's Notes

Survey conducted July 2015 of 892 respondents age 18+ on Lightspeed All Global's US Mobile Panel. Journalists, for inquiries or to speak with the author, contact us. Follow @Kantar and sign up for our insight alerts.

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