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60+ Burning Sunscreen Statistics, Product Usage, Skin Cancer Numbers, and Market Standings

60+ Burning Sunscreen Statistics, Product Usage, Skin Cancer Numbers, and Market Standings

Miriam Otero

11 min

May 6, 2024

Do you use sunscreen? If not, you might want to consider starting. Sunscreen plays a vital role in skin health by protecting it from the sun's harmful rays.

UV radiation from the sun, which includes both UVA and UVB rays, is the primary cause of premature skin ageing and hyperpigmentation. More critically, it can also lead to skin cancer.

Understanding the difference between UVA and UVB can be helpful:

UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and are mostly associated with long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, while UVB rays cause sunburn and play a key role in developing skin cancer.

A broad-spectrum sunscreen can protect against both types of rays.

A product from our offering that exemplifies effective sun protection is the SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial UV Defense.

It uses a highly effective formula with Mexoryl SX and XL for comprehensive protection and has a light texture that works well under makeup and is suitable for all skin types, including oily skin.

If you're in Switzerland and curious about more skincare options, visit us at one of our many clinics across the country.

If you're in Switzerland and curious about more skincare options, you can visit us at one of our many clinics across the country. While our focus there is broad, you can find a variety of skincare products tailored to protecting and enhancing your skin's health.

f you’re not interested in sunscreen products and just want to dive into the latest statistics, let us not keep you waiting.

Top 10 Sunscreen Statistics

  • People with lower incomes are less likely to use sunscreen. [Source: 1]
  • Using sunscreen regularly can reduce the risk of skin cancer. [Source: 1]
  • On average, 16,744 new cases of melanoma skin cancer were reported each year in the UK between 2016 and 2018. [Source: 10]
  • The 'Sun Protection' segment of the U.S. beauty and personal care market is expected to grow by $218 million (+10.99%) from 2023 to 2028. [Source: 5]
  • 72% of Americans apply sunscreen or sunblock before going outside. In contrast, 17% apply it after they have already been outside. [Source: 2]
  • Among sunscreen users, 39% apply it only once a day, 21% reapply every two hours, and 40% reapply every three hours or more. [Source: 2]
  • More than half of U.S. consumers indicated that UVB/UVA ray protection was the primary consideration when buying sunscreen, based on a survey from May 2023. [Source: 7]
  • About 1 in 20 UK adults, equivalent to almost 2.6 million people, state they do not intend to protect their skin, whether at home or abroad. [Source: 8]
  • In 2024, the Sun Protection market in the United Kingdom is expected to generate $0.43 billion in revenue. [Source: 9]
  • In the 2024 U.K. market for sun protection products, offline sales are projected to account for 67.9% of the total, while online sales are expected to make up 32.1%. [Source: 9]

Sunscreen Usage Statistics

Doctors advise using sunscreen every day, not just when you're at the beach or outside, but as a regular part of your skincare routine.

Think of it like brushing your teeth to prevent cavities—it's easy to do, doesn't take much time, and the benefits for your skin’s health and looks are huge and lasting.

Make sunscreen a daily habit to keep your skin protected and looking great!

  • 11% of people surveyed in a U.S. national survey said they don't use sunscreen at all. [Source: 1]
  • The same survey found that 13.5% of people use sunscreen every day. [Source: 1]
  • Around 39% of men seldom or never apply sunscreen, whereas only 28% of women skip it as part of their skin care routine. [Source: 2]
  • 65% of Americans admit they only use sunscreen on select areas of their body. [Source: 2]
  • 70% prioritise their face while applying sunscreen followed by shoulders or back (14%), arms (7%), and neck (7%). [Source: 2]
  • In 2020, approximately 18.68 million individuals in Great Britain used sun protection, marking a decline from the previous year. [Source: 4]

The graph shows how different age groups in the U.S. use sunscreen. Younger people (18-29 years old) are better at using sunscreen regularly, with 21% always putting it on. However, only 10% of people over 65 do the same.

This shows that older adults might not realise how important it is to use sunscreen to protect their skin. Public health messages that encourage older people to use sunscreen more often could help change this.

  • People more likely to use sunscreen are women, those from higher social classes, individuals with higher education, those with darker skin, and married individuals. [Source: 3]
  • A 2023 survey in the United States revealed that women are more likely to use SPF products daily compared to men. [Source: 7]
  • Only 8% of male respondents said they wear SPF daily, with the majority using it only rarely. [Source: 7]

According to Anna Lien-Lun Chien, M.D., sunscreen needs to be applied multiple times on a daily basis to receive optimal protection.

She also gave her thoughts on the question of chemical vs mineral sunscreen, saying: “For some, chemical sunscreens can sting. If you have sensitive skin or frequently react to products, mineral sunscreen might be a better choice. The downside of mineral sunscreens is that they often leave a noticeable white cast, particularly on skin of colour.”

Sunscreen Market Statistics

The sun care market is expanding due to increased awareness of the risks associated with sun exposure, like skin cancer and pigmentation issues, as well as a desire to prevent ageing signs.

The sun protection market in the U.K. is projected to grow gradually over the five-year period, indicating a consistent demand for sun protection products.

While the annual growth appears modest, the consistent upward trend is significant in a mature market like the U.K., suggesting a stable consumer base and possibly increased awareness about skin health and the dangers of UV exposure.

  • The United States leads the sun care market, generating approximately $1.88 billion in revenue. [Source: 5]
  • This segment has seen revenue increases for seven consecutive years. [Source: 5]
  • By 2028, revenue is anticipated to reach a new high of $2.2 billion. [Source: 5]
  • The UK Sun Protection market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 2.25% from 2024 to 2028. [Source: 9]
  • On a per capita basis, the UK generates $6.26 in revenue per person from the Sun Protection market in 2024. [Source: 9]
  • In 2023, around 70% of worldwide revenue for sun protection skin care products was expected to come from offline channels. [Source: 6]
  • By 2025, the contribution from offline sales is predicted to drop to below 65%. [Source: 6]
  • Over the course of the year ending December 12, 2023, Banana Boat led U.S. sales in the suntan lotion and oil category, moving more than 30 million units. [Source: 7]
  • In the same period, Neutrogena also performed strongly, with sales totaling over 28 million units. [Source: 7]
  • In 2023, each unit of Banana Boat, the leading brand in suntan lotion and oils, was priced at approximately $9.07. [Source: 7]
  • In the same year, La Roche-Posay was the most expensive brand in the suntan lotion and oil category, with a unit price exceeding $30. [Source: 7]

Sunscreen and Skin Cancer Statistics

There are several types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Regular use of sunscreen can significantly reduce the risk of all these types.

  • About 20% of Americans might get skin cancer by the time they turn 70. [Source: 1]
  • A survey found that while 56% of respondents knew that sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, only 8.3% regularly use sunscreen. [Source: 3]
  • Since the early 1990s, the incidence of melanoma skin cancer has more than doubled in the U.K., with rates in males almost tripling. [Source: 10]
  • An estimated 86% of melanoma skin cancer cases in the U.K. are considered preventable, highlighting the critical role of sun protection measures such as sunscreen to mitigate risk. [Source: 10]
  • The highest incidence rates for melanoma are found in older age groups, particularly those aged 85 to 89. [Source: 10]

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color.

It's considered one of the most serious forms of skin cancer because it's more likely to spread (metastasise) to other parts of the body if not detected and treated early.

  • 1 in 36 men and 1 in 47 women in the UK will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime, making it a leading cause of cancer deaths among people aged 15 to 34. [Source: 11]
  • Skin cancer treatment costs the NHS over £500 million per year in the UK. [Source: 11]
  • Annually, about 17,500 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the UK, with this number expected to rise to 20,000 by 2025. [Source: 11]

Despite its benefits, many people still overlook sunscreen, leading to increased skin cancer rates, particularly among older age groups.

By incorporating sunscreen into our routine, we can significantly reduce the incidence of skin cancer and promote healthier, younger-looking skin.

Sunscreen Products Statistics

Sunscreen products are essential tools for protecting our skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Today's market offers a diverse range of sunscreen options, catering to different preferences and needs.

These include broad-spectrum formulas, designed to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, as well as various types like lotions, gels, sprays, and sticks, making it easier to incorporate sun protection into any daily routine.

Additionally, many sunscreens are formulated with added benefits, such as moisturising ingredients or antioxidants, which further contribute to overall skin health.

  • In 2022, about 13% of U.S. survey participants expressed a strong interest in trying mineral sunscreen. [Source: 7]
  • Conversely, 55% of the respondents showed little or no interest in using mineral sunscreen. [Source: 7]
  • Approximately 72% of Americans who use makeup reported using products containing SPF or sunscreen. [Source: 7]
  • As the market for sun protection in the UK expands, there is an increasing demand for products with higher SPF ratings, catering to the country’s varying weather conditions. [Source: 9]

In the U.K. sun protection market of 2022, CeraVe led the pack with a 17% share, followed by La Roche-Posay at 13% and Garnier at 10%, indicating strong consumer preferences for these well-established skincare brands.

The combined market share of smaller and niche brands labeled as 'Other' accounted for the largest segment at 24%, suggesting a diverse and competitive landscape.

Brands like The Ordinary and Clé de Peau Beauté also held significant positions, highlighting the market's openness to both medical-grade and luxury sun protection products.

  • The most commonly used SPF among Americans is SPF 50. [Source: 2]
  • In 2022, around 36% of U.S. survey participants reported using SPF 50, making it the most popular sunscreen SPF choice. [Source: 7]
  • Only 1% of the respondents in the same survey indicated that they used tanning oil. [Source: 7]

The dominance of SPF 50 and SPF 30 as the most used sunscreens indicates a general public awareness about the need for effective sun protection.

This suggests that people are actively seeking products that offer more comprehensive coverage against the harmful effects of UV rays.

It's positive to see such a high preference for stronger sunscreens because it suggests a public understanding of the risks associated with sun exposure, such as skin ageing and cancer.

Sunscreen Education and Awareness Statistics

Sunscreen helps protect against harmful UV rays, which can cause sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer. Yet, many people still skip this essential step in their skincare routine.

Imagine going out without brushing your teeth — you wouldn't want to, right? Well, skipping sunscreen is like doing that to your skin!

Educational efforts can help clear up misconceptions and encourage regular sunscreen use, like learning the difference between UVA rays (which age your skin) and UVB rays (which burn it).

  • Nearly half of the people (46.5%) in a 2023 U.S. survey learned about sunscreen's importance from their family. [Source: 1]
  • Two-thirds of the participants (66.5%) believe that schools should teach about sunscreen. [Source: 1]
  • About 26% of people who don't use sunscreen say it's because they don't spend time in the sun, while 25% believe they don't need it. [Source: 2]
  • Most people know that sunscreen protects against the sun's harmful rays, but many still don't use it regularly. [Source: 1]
  • 48% of Americans check the expiration dates on their sunscreen products. [Source: 2]
  • Around 68% of Americans don't understand the difference between sunblock, which blocks UV rays, and sunscreen, which filters and absorbs them. [Source: 2]
  • In 2022, around 20% of people surveyed in the U.S. thought that regular sunscreens might be bad for their health. Meanwhile, about 39% weren't sure if that was true. [Source: 7]

These factors suggest that sunscreen manufacturers should focus on improving product efficacy and catering to the specific needs and preferences of diverse consumer groups to capture and retain their interest in a competitive market.

  • The most common reason for using sunscreen (50% of survey respondents) is to avoid sunburn. [Source: 1]
  • In a survey with American women in 2022, it was found that: [Source: 7]
    • 32% of female respondents in the U.S. said they apply sunscreen sometimes when they are outside.
    • About 23% of these respondents reported that they never use sunscreen.
    • Around 18% stated they always apply sunscreen when outdoors.
  • In a survey with American men in 2023, it was found that: [Source: 7]
    • 27% of male respondents in the U.S. reported that they never apply sunscreen when outside their homes.
    • 33% stated they use sunscreen some of the time.
    • 14% of the surveyed men mentioned that they always use sunscreen when outdoors.
  • One-quarter of men in the U.K. acknowledge they do not apply sunscreen before heading out on sunny days. [Source: 8]
  • A third of adults in the U.K. confess they usually take no measures to protect themselves from the sun when in their gardens or other outdoor spaces. [Source: 8]

Wrapping Up

Sunscreen statistics show how important it is to protect your skin from the sun. By using sunscreen regularly, you can reduce the risk of skin cancer, avoid sunburn, and prevent premature ageing.

The data also reveals some interesting trends: younger people tend to use sunscreen more often, and women are more likely to apply it than men.

Awareness and education about sunscreen use are key to keeping skin healthy and reducing skin cancer cases.

At HAIR & SKIN, we're here to support your skincare journey. Our range of products and treatments includes high-SPF sunscreens, mineral options, and other skincare solutions to protect and enhance your skin.

Make sunscreen a part of your daily routine to keep your skin looking and feeling its best!

Frequently asked questions

Do we need to use sunscreen in winter?

  • Yes, sunscreen is necessary in winter. UV radiation from the sun can still penetrate clouds and reflect off snow, potentially causing skin damage and increasing the risk of skin cancer. [Source: 1]

What percentage of people use sunscreen?

  • A 2023 survey in the United States found that 72% of Americans apply sunscreen before going outside, while 11% do not use sunscreen at all. [Source: 2]

How effective is sunscreen really?

  • Sunscreen is highly effective in preventing skin cancer and premature ageing when used regularly.

    Regular application of broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays, significantly reducing the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. [Source: 10]

Which country uses the most sunscreen?

  • The United States leads the sun care market, generating $1.88 billion in revenue from sun protection products in 2024. [Source: 5]

What age group uses sunscreen the most?

  • Younger individuals (18-29 years old) tend to use sunscreen more consistently, with 21% reporting they always apply sunscreen. In contrast, only 10% of people over 65 apply sunscreen regularly. [Source: 7]


  1. [Source: 1] - Sunscreen use amongst US adults: a national survey by Pubmed
  2. [Source: 2] - Sun Safety by Advanced Dermatology
  3. [Source: 3] - Awareness to sun exposure and use of sunscreen by the general population by National Library of Medicine
  4. [Source: 4] - Number of people using suntan and sun protection products by Statista
  5. [Source: 5] - Revenue of the sun protection skin care market by Statista
  6. [Source: 6] - Revenue share of the sun protection skin care market worldwide by Statista
  7. [Source: 7] - Sun care market in the U.S by Statista
  8. [Source: 8] - UK sunburn risk by Cancer Research UK
  9. [Source: 9] - Sun Protection - United Kingdom by Statista
  10. [Source: 10] - Melanoma skin cancer statistics by Cancer Research UK
  11. [Source: 11] - Skin Cancer the Problem and Facts by SKCIN