Woman in bikini applying sunscreen

Woman at the beach applying sunscreen (© Rido - stock.adobe.com)

NEW YORK — A new study finds the average American is in a good mood for 59 percent of summer, proving that warm weather is the ultimate mood booster. Yet an alarming number of folks admit they don’t protect their skin with sunscreen when enjoying the outdoors.

That’s according to a poll of 2,000 people, which finds that they’re in a good mood for 53 out of the 90 days of summer, largely because of the warmer weather.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CeraVe, researchers analyzed respondents’ relationships with the sun and their summer skin care habits.

Summer mood boosters

summer sunscreenDuring the summer, Americans love to be outdoors, with the most common outdoor mood-boosters being flowers blooming (54%), seeing the trees budding (46%), and taking a walk in the park (44%). However, with so much time spent outside, it’s no wonder that 41 percent of the poll say they often forget to bring warm-weather essentials when they go out. The most frequently left behind items include sunscreen (25%), sunglasses (22%), and bug spray (21%).

In fact, despite 56 percent of respondents claiming that they’ve become more health-conscious over the past year, 57 percent admit they never wear sunscreen while they’re outside. A whopping 96 percent of people say they don’t wear sunscreen every day. Only 58 percent think it should be worn year-round, even though Dr. DiAnne Davis calls sunscreen a year-round essential.

Respondents aren’t just looking for sun outside though; 56 percent of people working from home now sit by the window more frequently than they did before the pandemic.

However, 40 percent of these remote workers admit they didn’t think that UV rays come through windows or were unsure whether they do or not. Consequently, Americans’ indoor sun care habits could use improvement as well, as 58 percent of people only wear sunscreen if they are spending multiple hours outside.

Playing catch-up with skin care

summer sunscreenAmericans know their relationship with the sun could use some professional help, as 55 percent say their dermatologist would not be happy with their sunscreen habits.

However, 58 percent of respondents say they have better sun care habits now than they did when they were younger. Additionally, 64 percent of people say they wish their sunscreen had skin care benefits and 51 percent don’t think their sunscreen of choice hydrates their skin.

In the past year, the most common skin problems respondents noticed include dry skin (36%), wrinkles (35%), and fine lines (25%). Those who have made changes are focusing on using cleansers (46%), taking their makeup off every night (19%), and looking for products that restore the skin barrier (16%).

Unfortunately, only eight percent are making more of an effort to reapply sunscreen every two hours, underlining the point that sunscreen is often an afterthought for many Americans.

“Sunscreen is one of the holy grails of skin care for all skin types and tones, regardless of the weather or how much time is spent outside,” adds Dr. Davis, a board-certified dermatologist.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink


Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor