One-Third of Americans Purposefully Do Not Apply Sunscreen, New Study Shows

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It seems like the very clear, very loud message to “wear sunscreen” hasn’t totally been heard. 

According to a new study by NCSolutions, which commissioned a consumer survey of 1,000 people to gauge their sunscreen habits, many Americans don’t just forget to protect their skin—some admit the SPF skip is intentional. 

“One in three Americans admit they don’t use sunscreen on purpose,” the survey reported, adding that 13 percent of those surveyed actually consider themselves to be sunworshippers. The reasons given for not applying: “They either don’t have it with them or they’re too lazy to put it on. One in 10 shared that they don’t use sunscreen because they don’t think their skin can be burned and 8 percent avoid it because it’s too expensive.”

The survey was held during the month of April and, according to NCSolutions, 25 percent of respondents were Gen Z, 26 percent were Millennials, 25 percent were Gen X, and 24 percent were Baby Boomers. Respondents ranged in age from 21 to 77, with an average age of 43. Fifty percent were men, 48 percent were women, and 2 percent were non-binary.

While skipping SPF might come as a surprise, respondents aren’t totally in the dark with what harm UV rays can render.

“Nearly six in 10 repondents are worried about getting skin cancer, and more women (52%) than men (46%) are concerned about this prospect,” the survey reported. “Across the generations, there is not a lot of difference in how people feel about sunscreen and skin cancer.”

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