iVillage Sun Care Poll

Method

The results contained in this report are based on telephone interviews conducted from May 11 - 13, 2007. A total of 1,004 interviews were completed, with 521 female adults and 483 male adults. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3 percentage points and is higher for subgroups. Statistically significant differences are highlighted with upper case letters "A" and "B" within the tables.

Findings

A Majority Of Women Still Struggle With Their Relationship With The sun. Three Quarters Love How It Makes Them Feel And Nearly Half Say It Makes Them Looks Better, And Even One In Four Feels It Makes Them Look Thinner - And All This Despite What We Know About The Damage The Sun Can Cause

There Is A Great Gender Divide When It Comes To Sun Protection, As Nearly Half Of All Men Report They Never Wear Sunscreen

Many Sunscreen Wearers Are Waiting Too Long To Reapply Or Not Reapplying At All

Despite Everything We Know About The Harmful Effects Of The Sun Only One In Ten Americans Would Go Back And Change The Amount Of Time They Spent In The Sun In Their Youth

S-U-N

S is for Sun, but it also stands for Sexy.

A considerable number of Americans surveyed agree that having a tan makes them look better and feel thinner. They also find other tan people more attractive than those who are not. Notable gender differences emerge when we look at how the Sun makes people feel sexy

  • A quarter of women surveyed - 26% - say that they feel thinner when they have a tan.
  • More than a third of men surveyed - 36% - are more attracted to people who are tan than to people who are not.

Total Agreeing With Each Statement
Agrees Strongly Somewhat

TOTAL

n=1004

Women

n=521

A

Men

n=483

B

I know that tanning is not good for me but, I look better with a tan

43%

44%

42%

I am more attracted to people who are tan than to people who are not

29%

23%

36%A

I look thinner when I have a tan

21%

26%B

17%

More than three quarters of Americans (76%) say that being out in the sun makes them feel happy. In spite of potential adverse effects that the sun has on our skin, seven in ten people also believe that the sun makes them feel healthy.

The gender gap comes back into view when we look at the different effects that the sun has on men and women.

  • Women are more likely than men to say that the sun makes them feel sticky, sleepy and/or lazy
  • A quarter of men surveyed report that the sun makes them feel sexy!

How Being in the Sun Makes Us Feel

Total

(n=1004)

Total

(n=521)

Total

(n=483)

Happy

76%

76%

76%

Healthy

68%

66%

70%

Sticky

52%

57%

47%

Sleepy

39%

44%

33%

Lazy

36%

41%

31%

Sexy

20%

16%

25%

S-U-N

U is for understanding.

Applying sunscreen before going outdoors is an important step that we can all take to protect our skin from the sun.

Results from this study suggest a lack of understanding among Americans and particularly among men, about the importance of using proper sun protection.

  • Only six in ten Americans wears sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher.
  • Nearly half of all men surveyed say that they NEVER wear sunscreen.

Is it a macho thing? Or are they just lazy?

There is a notable difference between the number of men and women who wear sunscreen everyday. Two in ten women wear sunscreen everyday, compared to just one out of twenty men.

The gender gap is most likely attributed to the fact that women are more prone to taking care of their skin everyday, regardless of time spent outdoors. They regularly take the time to apply skin creams and makeup products that include built in sun protection.

There clearly needs to be more understanding among men to realize that daily skin care and sun protection is just as important for them as it is for women.

Wears Sunscreen With An SPF 15 Or Higher

TOTAL

n=1004

Women

(n=521)

A

Men

(n=483)

B

Wears sunscreen (NET)

59%

65%B

52%

Everyday

11%

18%B

4%

Only on weekends

1%

1%

2%

Only when I know I'll be outdoors, in the sun

39%

41%

37%

Only when I know I'll be outdoors, regardless of weather

2%

3%

2%

Only after being in the sun for a few hours

4%

3%

5%A

I never wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher

1%

1%

2%

I never wear sunscreen

40%

34%

47%A

Once is never enough

While most American's are wearing sunscreen, research suggests that we might not be wearing enough.

Generally speaking, doctors suggest that sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours, regardless of the SPF. Even waterproof and water-resistant sunscreens typically lose their effectiveness after about 80 minutes in the water or after 80 minutes of heavy perspiration. [SOURCE: iVillage.com]

Results of this study show that a large number of people who wear sunscreen are not taking the time to reapply their sun protection.

  • Fifteen percent of people who wear sunscreen are waiting too long to reapply.
  • More than two in ten sunscreen wearers say that they never reapply.

Reapplying Sun Protection

TOTAL
Sunscreen Wearers

(n=619)

Never

22%

Once every hour

5%

Once every 2-3 hours

28%

Once every 4-6 hours

15%

After swimming or sweating

26%

Separating Fact from Myth

Aside from knowing when to wear sunscreen and how often to reapply, survey results show that there are several other common misconceptions about the sun and how we can protect ourselves.

  • More than half of Americans agreed that they can spend more time in the sun if they wear sunscreen.
  • About one third of all Americans and more than four in ten men agree that clothing and sunscreen provide the same levels of protection.

Sunscreen alone does not provide complete protection against UV rays. It is only one component of a complete program to reduce the harmful effects of sun exposure on the skin.

Also, wearing clothing provides more sun protection than sunscreen. People can do more to protect themselves from the sun by limiting sun exposure during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [SOURCE: iVillage.com]

Total Agreeing With Each Statement
(Agrees Strongly+ Somewhat)

TOTAL

n=1004

Women

(n=521)

A

Men

(n=483)

B

I can spend more time in the sun if I wear sunscreen

55%

57%

53%

I get sun burned at least once every year

42%

39%

45%

I'm not worried about getting skin cancer

40%

33%

48%A

Clothing and sunscreen provide the same levels of protection

36%

29%

44%A

S-U-N

Finally, N is for Naughty.

Despite everything we now know about the damaging effects of the sun on our skin, most Americans would not change the amount of time they spent in the sun when they were younger. If given the chance to change the past in order to look more attractive today:

  • Only one in ten Americans would have spent less time in the sun during their youth
  • An overwhelming majority (81%) would have spent more time exercising

Changing The Past To Look More Attractive in the Present

TOTAL

(n=1004)

Spent less time in the sun

12%

Spent more time exercising

81%

Don't know

7%

Returning to the present, when given the choice between having a nice tan year round or the ability to lose weight without dieting, it comes as no surprise that eight in ten Americans would opt to lose a few pounds the easy way.

However, interesting differences emerge between men and women as nearly 20% of men would prefer to have a nice tan.

Tanning vs. Losing Weight

TOTAL
(n=1004)

Women

Men

(n=521)

(n=483)

A

B

Nice tan all year round

14%

11%

18%A

Losing weight without dieting

80%

84%B

75%

Don't know

6%

5%

8%

Ouch!, one in ten of these brave sun worshippers were even honest enough to admit that they had trouble sitting comfortably one summer because they burned a part of their body that they were too embarrassed to tell people about.

Had An Embarrassing Burn

TOTAL

(n=1004)

Yes

8%