Sun care data shows consumer confusion remains high

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Sun care data shows consumer confusion remains high
Latest data and analysis from research firm Mintel suggests as many as 40% of UK consumers struggle to know what is the best type of sun care to use.

The data comes as part of the firm’s recent release of insights​ into the facial skin care market in the UK, which found that spending is currently at £1.15bn and is set to rise 15% to reach £1.36 billion in 2023.

Sun damage: impacting skin appearance

Sun damage is picked out by consumers as the key factor perceived to impact the appearance of skin, according to Mintel, with 72% of facial skincare users believing sun exposure has the greatest impact.

This is followed by pollution (41%) and cold weather (39%).

Many women believe the sunshine is playing havoc with their skin as 31% of facial skincare users worry about the impact of the hot weather.

However, according to Mintel, consumers remain unsure how best to protect themselves with sun care.

SPF confusion

The summer season, especially this year’s heatwave across Europe, has pulled sun care into focus for consumers and the industry alike.

Mintel’s research, however, finds just under half (47%) of women use facial skincare products containing SPF, with 39% using a specific sun protection product and 13% using other facial products containing SPF.

Despite high usage, there remains confusion around sun protection, as 40% of female facial skincare users find it difficult to know which level of sun protection to use on a daily basis.

Analyst’s view: Roshida Khanom

Roshida Khanom, Associate Director, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, said:

Whilst sun exposure is considered the biggest external factor impacting the appearance of skin, usage of SPF on the face is relatively low.

“This suggests that despite knowing about the impact of sun exposure, many women are choosing not to protect themselves.

“Confusion in the sector could be a reason, presenting an opportunity  for brands to do more to help women understand how best to use sun protection on a daily basis.

“Young women, who are more likely to use different types of sun protection products on their face, may benefit from advice on how to layer their sun protection.

“Apps that recommend  products to add to facial skincare routines on particular days, for example, could help clear up confusion​.”

Media fuelling confusion

Some industry experts suggest media reports can fail to offer clarity, and in some cases, can promote ‘confusion’ around sun care.

Indeed, earlier in the summer the CTPA (the UK’s trade association for beauty and personal care), released reassurance​ for consumers when it comes to trust in sunscreen products.

The move followed the publication by Which?’s 2017 Sunscreen Report, in which the consumer products reviewer found one product tested did not measure up to protection claims. ​​The other 13 products tested, however, did.

The CTPA described the report as ‘concerning’.

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