The Skin Cancer Foundation Comments on Sunscreen Usage Study Released by Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD)

New York, NY (May 19, 2015) According to research from the CDC, there is a dramatic gender divide when it comes to sun protection and sunscreen usage. In the study, about 43 percent of women reported that they regularly use sunscreen on the face, compared to 18 percent of men. While these results are interesting, they are not surprising, as we know that there is a big difference among men and women when it comes to sun protective behaviors. 

The Foundation conducted a survey eight years ago that uncovered similar findings to what is presented in this new study: 41 percent of women reported wearing sunscreen on the face, compared to 37 percent of men.  A 2012 Foundation survey echoed these findings, with nearly half (49 percent) of men admitting to not using sunscreen in the past 12 months.

For this new study, researchers examined the results of a survey from two years ago. Since that time we’ve seen a rise in skin care products that are multi-purpose, offering broad spectrum sunscreen protection in addition to a cosmetic purpose. As a result, we believe that the number of women regularly using sunscreen on their face specifically is even higher than the number reported in this study.

Overall, we know that women are more knowledgeable and diligent about using sun protection, but there’s still more work to be done. That’s why we continue to place an emphasis on educating both men and women about the importance of sun protection and skin cancer prevention.

About 86 percent of melanomas and 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which is why daily sun protection is critical. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends adopting a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade, covering up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. 

— Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, Skin Cancer Foundation Senior Vice President

About The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit