A third of Americans worried about sunscreen use and low vitamin D levels

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ultraviolet, Sunscreen

Nearly a third of Americans are worried that using sunscreens will stop them from getting necessary levels of vitamin D, according to a recent survey from Neutrogena.

According to the Johnson & Johnson-owned brand, 32 percent of Americans are somewhat concerned that sunblocks will lead to vitamin D deficiency, suggesting the need for consumer education about alternative sources of the essential vitamin.

In a position statement, The American Academy of Dermatology warns that although exposure to sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, the vitamin should not be obtained from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

At the recent Cosmetic Science Conference organised by the UK Society for Cosmetic Chemists, London-based dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams supported the use of dietary supplements to get the necessary vitamin D levels.

“We need an equivalent level of vitamin D but I won’t be going and exposing myself to sun, which is a known carcinogen, when I can take a supplement,”​ she said.

Over half of Americans rarely or never use sunscreen

A general lack of sunscreen use was a further finding of the Neutrogena survey.

According to its survey, 60 percent of Americans rarely or never use sun protection products although eighty percent agree that sun exposure can be deadly.

The most cited reason for the lack of sunscreen use is that it isn’t part of the daily routine, suggesting there are significant opportunities for companies with SPF products targeted for daily use.

In addition, the survey suggested that even the individuals who do apply sunscreen use much less than suggested by the manufacturers.

Neutrogena said that this under-application of sunscreen could explain why 70 percent of adults reported getting sunburned last year.

The brand, which offers a SPF 100 + product, suggests that applying very high SPF products is a way of compensating for this under-use.

Related topics: Market Trends, Skin Care

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