According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB, are “present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass.”
Neutrogena’s move comes in a bid to address the widespread failure of consumers to recognise the risks of UV rays when the skies are overcast.
“Saying, ‘wear sunscreen on cloudy days’ sounds contradictory: we decided to do something different,” the company states of its rebranding.
Neutrogena explained the logic behind the rebranding, suggesting that while the profitability of increased sunscreen usage is no doubt a key motivator, consumer education is also an important factor driving the move.
“Cloudscreen contains regular sunscreen,” the brand admits. “But by using the packaging as a medium, we help people realize that protection is necessary, even when you don’t see the sun.”
The Skin Cancer Foundation states that over 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, however a study by North West Cancer Research Fund found that in the UK for example, two thirds of people ‘never wear sun protection’ because they believe the clouds offer adequate protection.
Neutrogena’s rebranding, it asserts, is more of an awareness campaign than marketing ploy: “Sometimes you can only change people’s behaviour by changing the product,” it states.
An all-weather concern
A recent survey in Canada also found that bad weather was encouraging consumers to be lax with their sun care - particularly the male demographic.
The study by the Melanoma Network of Canada found men three times less likely than women to protect their skin from the winter sun, with just 4% of the male population wearing sunscreen in winter.
“Many Canadians are unaware that winter sun is strong enough to put their skin at risk of damage. In Canada the sun is strong enough to cause skin cancer,” said Dr. Teresa Petrella, medical oncologist at Odette Cancer Centre, confirming the importance of sunscreens whatever the weather.