More Than 30 Percent of Adults Skip Sunscreen, A New Study Reports

More Than 30 Percent of Adults Skip Sunscreen, A New Study Reports featured image
Getty Images / Milos Dimic

A recent survey by Yahoo News/YouGov sheds light on concerning statistics about the sunscreen habits of adults in the United States. The study, conducted from May 10 to 13, gathered insights from 1,794 participants, quizzing them on how often they use sunscreen and their reapplication rituals, among other details. Ahead, we’re breaking down some key takeaways from their research.

More than 30 percent of adults don’t use sunscreen

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends applying a water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 30 with broad-spectrum protection to all exposed skin daily. However, according to this study, the critical reality is that many adults overlook sun protection entirely. The findings showed that a staggering 33 percent of adults admit to never (!) wearing sunscreen.

As for gender differences, 42 percent of men confess to skipping sunscreen, compared to only 25 percent of women. That’s not all: 29 percent of survey participants admit using sunscreen less than a few times a month. And perhaps most notably, only 12 percent of adults incorporate sunscreen into their daily routine.

As a reminder, applying sunscreen doesn’t have to be a chore. These days, there are so many comfortable formulas that feel just as indulgent as more traditional skin care products like moisturizer. Among them is the EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen, adored by celebrities and beauty enthusiasts alike.



Nearly 30 percent of adults don’t reapply

The survey also found that almost 30 percent of adults seldom or never reapply sunscreen. Despite the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendation to reapply approximately every two hours or after swimming or sweating (even if it’s water-resistant!) many aren’t doing so. However, with the wide array of innovative sunscreen formulas available, there’s no reason not to. Take, for instance, a convenient spray like the e.l.f. SKIN Suntouchable All Set For Sun Sunscreen, which makes it possible to reapply with just a few spritzes without disturbing your makeup.



Sunburns are a common experience for many

The survey revealed that 80 percent of adults have experienced a sunburn at least once, while 64 percent have had multiple sunburns. Despite their seemingly superficial nature, sunburns can have serious consequences and lead to skin damage and even skin cancer. Dr. Vicky Zhen Ren, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, told Yahoo Life that both sunburns and tanning—whether indoor or outdoor—cause DNA damage in skin cells. “This damage accumulates with more episodes of tanning and/or sunburns and leads to a significantly increased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, which accounts for the most skin cancer deaths,” she said.

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