Patterns of Sunscreen Use on the Face and Other Exposed Skin Among US Adults

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A 2015 article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (vol 73, no 1, p.83) examining how sunscreen is typically used by US adults. The authors conclude that about 18% of men and about 43% of women regularly apply sunscreen to their faces, which is low.

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This study provides new information about patterns of adult sunscreen use. Sunscreen use is particularly low among certain groups such as men, non-Hispanic blacks, those with less sunsensitive skin, and those with lower incomes. These groups may benefit from guidance on alternative methods of sun protection. Many users are unsure if their sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection, and among women, regularly using sunscreen on the face but not on other exposed skin is common. Additional guidance on how to most effectively use sunscreen is warranted. Environmental supports such as shade in outdoor settings could promote individual sun safety


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