[Survey Data] Most American Adults Don't Wear Sunscreen

mixed race woman applying sunscreen on beach
Only 16% of respondents to a Health Canal survey always wear sunscreen during the summer, including cloudy days, and even fewer in the spring and fall.

Most American adults lack the knowledge and attitudes to prevent skin damage from sun exposure, according to a nationwide survey conducted in June 2023 by Health Canal. The survey showed that many American adults expose themselves to the sun for vitamin D production and tanning, despite the associated risks, and only 16% of respondents always wear sunscreen during the summer, including cloudy days, and even fewer in the spring and fall. 

The 12-question survey was held on the Health Canal website on June 29th, 2023. It surveyed 1065 American adults throughout the United States. The majority of respondents were Caucasian, followed by Asian and Hispanic ethnicities. The survey aimed to learn about current UV protection methods and beliefs about sun exposure.

Along with a lack of sunscreen use, the survey also revealed a low level of awareness about the harmful effects of UV radiation, with less than half of respondents considering themselves extremely aware of the effect of UV rays.

Related: 56% of Americans Rarely or Never Use Sunscreen

Despite plenty of skin care and beauty accounts promoting sun safety, other societal norms still influence the perception that tans are attractive, leading to continued risky behaviors like indoor tanning and excessive sun exposure, according to the report. 

Skin protection and sun exposure are vital topics that everyone should be informed about and the results of the survey suggest a need for change in the societal norms, according to Erik Pham, founder of Health Canal. 

"The alarming lack of awareness revealed in our survey is a clarion call for action," Pham said. "By sharing these findings, we hope to create a positive behavior change and encourage better skin protection practices, leading to healthier lives for all."

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