US: Understanding sunscreen consumer behaviors
May 30th, 2023, Hoang Nguyen

US: Understanding sunscreen consumer behaviors

Sunscreen products have become an essential part of skincare routines for people concerned about protecting their skin from harmful UV rays.

Within the last month, 21% of US consumers say they used sun protection products, representing a market of over 54 million people.

This analysis focuses on the consumer behavior of individuals who purchase sun protection products, including their motivations for buying them, when they buy them and the most popular brands within the US market.

What people look for in their sunscreen

When choosing sunscreen products, consumers consider various factors to ensure effective sun protection. According to data from YouGov Profiles, the primary consideration for individuals who buy or use sunscreen products (i.e., sunscreen consumers) is safeguarding their skin against UVB/UVA rays (53%). This reflects the widespread awareness of the importance of protection against harmful sun rays.

Additionally, a significant proportion of consumers prioritize water-resistant or waterproof formulas (45%), indicating their desire for long-lasting protection, especially during water-based activities or sweaty conditions. The preference for specific product formulations, such as gels, lotions, or sprays, is another consideration for around one-third of sunscreen consumers (34%).

Concern for sensitive skin is evident among 30% of respondents, highlighting the importance of selecting products suitable for their individual skin needs. This aligns with the growing demand for sunscreen options that cater to sensitive or easily irritated skin.

Furthermore, the use of natural ingredients in sunscreen products is a crucial factor for a considerable portion of consumers (28%). They seek formulations that prioritize natural components known for their skin-friendly and eco-conscious properties.

A subset of consumers also shows an interest in special offers, with approximately 23% indicating that they consider such promotions when selecting sunscreen products. Additionally, brand loyalty influences the purchase decisions of 22% of respondents, suggesting a preference for established and trusted brands in the sun protection market.

Purchase time frame

A few trends emerge when it comes to measuring the timing of sunscreen purchases. The largest portion of sunscreen consumers indicate they buy sunscreen products as soon as their current supply runs out (41%). This approach underscores the idea that that many consumers want a continuous supply throughout the year and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a consistent skincare routine.

Another significant proportion of consumer report purchasing sunscreen products as soon as they feel summer has arrived (35%).

Roughly a quarter of respondents state they typically purchase sunscreen right before embarking on a vacation (23%) and a fifth say they buy sunscreen products while they’re on vacation such as at the airport or once they reach their vacation destination (20%).

Another 19% of sunscreen consumers say they purchase sunscreen during the off-season when there are a lot of deals available. This strategy reflects a cost-conscious approach, with consumers taking advantage of discounted prices to stock up on sunscreen products during periods of reduced demand.

Top sun protection brands

The data indicates that Banana Boat holds the highest market share among sunscreen consumers with 40% saying they currently use the brand as their sun protection. Hawaiian Tropic (21%) is another popular brand, followed by Avene (12%), Nivia (12%) and Clinique (12%).

However, it is important to note that other sunscreen brands, including various generic brands, also enjoy significant recognition and consumer preference among this segment of sunscreen consumers.

Understanding the preferences and popularity of different sunscreen products can assist manufacturers and retailers in aligning their product offerings with consumer demand and ensure they cater to various consumer segments.

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today.

To receive monthly insights about the FMCG industry register here

To read YouGov’s latest intelligence on the FMCG sector explore here.

Want to run your own research? Run a survey now

Photo by Stanley Dai on Unsplash