2020 RealSelf Sun Safety Report: Majority of Americans Don’t Use Sunscreen Daily image

The recently released 2020 RealSelf Sun Safety Report found that 62 percent of Americans use anti-aging products as part of their daily skincare routine, but only 11 percent wear sunscreen daily and 46 percent never wear sunscreen.

The report also revealed that while daily sunscreen use remains low, 64 percent of U.S. adults report that they always or almost always wear sunscreen if they plan to be outside for an extended period of time. Women are significantly more likely than men to wear sunscreen on a daily basis (16 percent vs. 6 percent) and when outdoors for extended periods of time (67 percent vs. 62 percent). However, men are significantly more likely than women to reapply sunscreen (53 percent vs. 35 percent) and are also more likely to get regular skin checks than women (46 percent vs. 37 percent). Americans who have had skin cancer or know someone who has are significantly more likely to get a skin check every year compared to those that don’t have a personal connection to the disease (52 percent vs. 32 percent).

When it comes to reapplication, 43 percent reapply sunscreen every day or most days they wear it, compared to 28 percent in June 2019.
According to the report, top motivations for sunscreen use are preventing skin cancer (71 percent) and preventing signs of aging (46 percent.) Of the 46 percent who reported that they never wear sunscreen, more than half (55 percent) believe they are not exposed to the sun enough to need it. Other frequently cited excuses for not wearing sunscreen are not getting sunburns easily (22 percent), not liking how sunscreen feels on the skin (15 percent), and wanting to wear sunscreen but forgetting to do so (14 percent).

More Americans are using makeup products with SPF compared to a year ago (29 percent vs. 25 percent in June 2019). And moisturizers with built-in sun protection factor have also become more popular—56 percent use a moisturizer with SPF today, compared to 51 percent in 2019. Seventy-one percent reported they would be more likely to purchase a sunscreen product if a dermatologist or plastic surgeon recommended it to them personally; 35% said they would be more motivated to purchase a sunscreen product because a dermatologist or plastic surgeon created it themselves.

Survey conducted online by Dynata on behalf of RealSelf from March 13–19, 2020, among 1,997 US women and men ages 18 and older.