How Social Media Has Impacted Daily Sunscreen Use

men 2018, I saw a Tweet from esthetician Tiara Willis, aka @makeupforwomenofcolor, urging people to “Always wear sunscreen.” And honestly, even though I’ve heard dermatologists utter the same commandment forever, It was really the first time I considered the importance of daily use of sunscreen.

I bought an SPF-30 sunscreen (which is what dermatologists recommend for daily use) and started applying it every morning, and I’m not the only one who has been influenced (literally) to change their behavior. On Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, the sunscreen chat is endless and has created a positive kind of peer pressure that is Finally he convinced people to be encouraged to use it every day.

Sunscreen is trending

There was a time, not too long ago, when we all rushed to tanning beds and saved SPF for vacations in the tropics, despite dermatologists telling us to do better. The first notable cultural shift in attitudes to sun protection came in 1981 when the Cancer Council, an Australian non-profit organisation, launched its Slip, Slop, Slap campaign, says board-certified dermatologist Aegean Chan, MD, who owns a practice in Santa Barbara, California.

This skin cancer initiative encouraged people to “put on a shirt, put on sunscreen, and put on a hat” when outdoors. Dr. Chan cautions that this still limited sunscreen application to the guise of “vacation mode,” meaning it was not emphasized as a daily practice. However, in the 40 years since then, he has noticed that people have begun to consider the importance of daily SPF use thanks to the content surrounding it.

Dermatologists agree that although we have long been aware that should Wearing sunscreen, which is the first line of defense against melanoma skin cancer and the visible signs of skin aging like wrinkles and dark spots, we’ve been influenced by social media to do so. “We’ve known for decades that protecting your skin from the sun prevents skin cancer and other skin damage,” says Dr. Chan. “But with social media, you can visually show people, ‘Hey, if you don’t wear your sunscreen every day, the accumulated sun damage is going to make your skin look like East.”

Dermatologists agree that social media has led to increased peer pressure on sun protection.

Influenced by SPF

According to professionals, much of this change in perception is due to education. “Social media has helped normalize sunscreen use and provided a lot of education on the subject,” says Lindsey Zubritzky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Pennsylvania with more than 673,000 followers on TikTok. “Short video platforms like TikTok and Instagram allow dermatologists to effectively and quickly educate on sunscreen while making the topic accessible to all and easy to digest.”

On TikTok, the hashtag “sunscreen” has 3.2 billion views as of this writing (and another 3.1 million posts on Instagram). His more aggressive brother, also known as #WearSunscreen, has 117.4 million views on TikTok and 125,000 posts on Instagram. A user recently shared a stitched TikTok saying “use sunscreen or go to jail,” which garnered over 40,000 likes and 1,600 comments. One in all caps reads: “Use sunscreen every day. All the world. RN. Other videos show what happens when you do wear sunscreen every day, like this one, captioned, “Start using sunscreen at 14; He has a baby face at 38 years old.” Someone commented, “I’m going to put my face in a bowl of sunscreen.”

“This education [on social media] it’s changing behaviors, and peer pressure is encouraging people to use sunscreen regularly,” says Muneeb Shah, DO, who regularly shares SPF content with his 16.6 million TikTok followers. He was diagnosed with skin cancer when he was 21 years old and has been stressing the importance of daily sunscreen use online since he started creating content in 2019. He compares the effect this type of content has had on followers of him with that of his peers. pressure smokers received to give up their habit.

And the numbers back up their claims: More people are now using sunscreen as a daily habit (or at least considering it), as several recent studies show. A 2021 analysis published by the Cureus Journal of Medical Sciences examined trends in sunscreen use among US middle and high school students from 2007 to 2019 and found that teen sunscreen use increased by 4% over those 12 years. Furthermore, a study in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that “social media interventions have shown promise in skin cancer prevention” largely by increasing awareness of sun damage and increasing demand for sunscreen.

We have reached the peak of sun protection

The changing understanding of the importance of daily SPF has created a surge in demand for better and more cosmetically elegant formulas that people really need. want to use every day, and the industry has responded accordingly.

“Social media conversations have fueled this explosion of options and how many sunscreens are available to consumers,” says Dr. Chan. “Supergoop! was one of the first companies to really put an emphasis on cosmetically elegant, everyday sunscreens. And with the way the markets are going, the bigger companies are catching on and expanding their offerings,” which, of course, is not a bad thing.

It’s undeniable: the pressure to wear sunscreen has had some effect on available formulations.

super goop! It may have led the charge with the launch of its daily use SPF products in 2007, but there has been an explosion in this segment of the industry over the course of the last few years. Although the sunscreen market was already raking in a whopping $13 billion in 2019, it is now projected to reach $14.7 billion by 2028. We have seen improved mineral formulations that do not leave chalky casts, a new category of products shine-inducing that feels more like makeup than sunscreen, and smarter SPFs that go above and beyond to fight the past Y future signs of skin damage. All of these innovations make integrating sunscreen into your daily routine easier than ever.

Additionally, beauty brands from all walks of life have jumped at the chance to get in on the SPF game. In 2017, Garnier Fructis, a brand best known for its hair care, launched a 3-in-1 product that combines serum, moisturizer, and SPF. Skincare brands not traditionally associated with sun care, such as Summer Fridays, Nécessaire and Zitsticka, have also crashed the sunscreen party, differentiating their products by including skin-friendly ingredients in their products. formulas.

In June, Summer Fridays launched Shade Drops, a moisturizing sunscreen with plant-based squalane and antioxidants. More recently, Nécessaire, which typically makes body washes and creams, launched its illuminating sunscreen infused with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, and Zitsticka, a brand known for its acne patches, launched its own breakout-fighting SPF. These are just a few examples, but check out the shelves at Sephora or Ulta, and you’re guaranteed to see plenty more.

“I love the variety in sunscreen today,” says Dr. Zubritzky. “Sunscreens used to get a bad rap for being chalky, white, sticky, or greasy, which can alienate a lot of people, particularly people of color.” Now, though? “There is literally a sunscreen for any skin type, tone, texture, or age,” adds Dr. Zubritzky.

If you ask me, it’s no coincidence, so let’s continue with these conversations.

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