Look around at any beach or pool and you’ll see moms chasing their kids around with sunscreen in hand. Sunburns are painful and have the potential to cause skin damage, but growing concern about some of the ingredients in popular sunscreen brands has consumers questioning whether they’re doing the right thing for themselves and their families. Twenty percent of Millennials and 18% of Gen X’ers believe the ingredients used in sunscreens can be unsafe and 11% of all consumers believe the ingredients can be harmful to the environment. Here, we look at what’s important to consumers and how brands can alleviate consumer concerns.
An Opportunity in Education
Sun protection is still important and underutilized: the American Academy of Dermatologists recommends avoiding the sun between peak hours of 10 a.m. -2 p.m. throughout the year, but despite the warning, only 43% of consumers say they limit outdoor time during peak hours. Just a third of consumers regularly use sunscreen year-round, and 23% use it regularly during peak summer season. To encourage year-round use, marketers can craft seasonal messaging for outdoor enthusiasts and parents of children who play outdoor sports throughout the year. Educating consumers on proper application techniques and the importance of periodically re-applying sunblock throughout the day may encourage consumers to reapply sunscreen more often.
Natural Sun Care Shines
The trend toward natural and organic formulas in skincare and beauty has crossed over into suncare. Twenty-seven percent of all consumers believe that natural sunscreens are safer than regular products and 26% say they’re gentler on skin. Although price is a consideration, only 20% of consumers believe that natural suncare products are too expensive. Consumers are willing to pay more for those products they believe are safer and work as well as conventional sunscreens. But many Americans are skeptical about natural claims—29% say it’s hard to know whether sunscreens claiming to be natural are truly natural. Brands have an educational opportunity to change the perception about the ingredients used in their products.
Extra Care for Kids
While parents may be inconsistent in applying their own sunscreen, they take their kids’ sun protection seriously. Forty percent of moms believe that children require more sun protection than adults and purchase sunscreen specifically formulated for kids. Not surprisingly, moms are increasingly concerned about some of the ingredients in sunscreens and turning to natural formulas for their families. While parents understand the importance of applying (and re-applying) sunblock throughout the day, children are often less cooperative! Almost 20% of parents agree that getting their kids to stand still to apply sun screen can be a challenge. Sun protection products that focus on ease of use, speedy application, and natural ingredients will appeal to moms.
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Source: Mintel Sun Protection and Sunless Tanners US November 2016