Background: Sunscreen is a common form of sun protection, but little is known about patterns of use. Objective: We sought to assess patterns of sunscreen use on the face and other exposed skin among US adults. Methods: Using cross-sectional data from the 2013 Summer ConsumerStyles survey (N = 4033), we calculated descriptive statistics and adjusted risk ratios to identify characteristics associated with regular sunscreen use (always/most of the time when outside on a warm sunny day for ≥1 hour). Results: Few adults regularly used sunscreen on the face (men: 18.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 15.8-20.6; women: 42.6%, 95% CI 39.5-46.7), other exposed skin (men: 19.9%, 95% CI 17.5-22.6; women: 34.4%, 95% CI 31.5-37.5), or both the face and other exposed skin (men: 14.3%, 95% CI 12.3-16.6; women: 29.9%, 95% CI 27.2-32.8). Regular use was associated with sun-sensitive skin, an annual household income ≥$60,000, and meeting aerobic activity guidelines (Ps < .05). Nearly 40% of users were unsure if their sunscreen provided broad-spectrum protection. Limitations: Reliance on self-report and lack of information on sunscreen reapplication or other sun-safety practices are limitations. Conclusion: Sunscreen use is low, especially among certain demographic groups. These findings can inform sun-safety interventions and the interpretation of surveillance data on sunscreen use.
Holman, D. M., Berkowitz, Z., Guy, G. P., Hawkins, N. A., Saraiya, M., & Watson, M. (2015). Patterns of sunscreen use on the face and other exposed skin among US adults. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 73(1), 83-92.e1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2015.02.1112