17 November 2020

Sun Awareness Week: 67% of people don't use enough sun cream

Millions of Brits enjoy the sun at home and abroad every year, but it seems many are risking damage to their skin by failing to apply the right amount of sun cream.

In fact, 67% of Britons revealed to us they don't use the right quantity, and 44% of the population rubs in less than half of what they should.

The shocking statistics were revealed through a survey of 1,500 Brits, conducted on behalf of The Hospital Group. But those weren't the only surprises. Here's how badly Britain behaves when the sun comes out.

Britons missing the six-teaspoon guideline

The recommended amount of sun cream to use across your whole body is at least six teaspoons' worth, but most Brits are falling woefully short of the mark. In fact, just 33% of the population is getting it right.

When we asked respondents to estimate the amount they use, 31% revealed they don't apply the recommended half a teaspoon of sunblock on their face and neck, while nearly half of Brits fail to apply enough on their arms and legs - one teaspoon's worth recommended for your arms, and one teaspoon per leg. Similarly, over a third of Brits abroad only apply sun cream up to two times a day, compared to the recommended every couple of hours.


Although 66% are worried about the sun damaging their skin and 53% concerned about the rays' aging effects, our survey says over half of Brits admit to regularly missing parts of their body when applying sunscreen.

Those aged 25-34 are most likely to regularly wear sun cream on a sunny day at home and are also most likely to reapply every two hours, as recommended. However, while positive, the survey results show that they're not applying enough to protect their skin, with around half not using enough for their face and neck, and two thirds not applying enough to arms or to legs.

Burnt Britain: Many Brits willing to risk skin damage for a tan

57% of Brits told us they experienced burning on their last sun holiday, with the face, neck, and shoulders the most commonly burnt body parts, despite being the most often covered with sun cream. Further indication that the UK isn't meeting the recommended application amount.

Additionally, despite the long- and short-term effects exposure to UV rays can have, close to a staggering one in five Brits would be willing to risk skin damage in order to achieve a tan, with almost a quarter still using tanning oil on holiday, the survey shows.

What should you do?

Although the stats mean we know 67% of people don't apply the correct six teaspoons, only 57% said they realise they're under-applying. So, 10% of the UK is unaware it's risking its health. Quite simply spreading the word to others about how much they should use could improve these figures.

As a nation, it seems many need to take the British summer more seriously - exposure here can be just as dangerous as favourite global hotspots. The survey results reveal that only 12% of Brits use SPF 50 sun cream in the UK, compared to 18.6% in the holiday sun, with over half using SPF 25 sunblock or less when at home.

When applying sun cream in the warm weather, be aware of how much you should be using, as well as how often, and make sure not to miss body parts.

Say yes to a new look!

If you are concerned about sun damage and visible signs of ageing, we can help with our range of skin rejuvenation treatments and products. Together with our team of non-surgical experts made up of doctors, nurses and aesthetic practitioners, we can put together a personalised treatment plan just for you. Get in touch with our friendly team and start your non-surgical treatment journey today.


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*All non-surgical treatments are offered through our sister company Transform.



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