The UK Does Not Follow Sun Safety Guidelines Survey Finds

Danielle Lowe
By Danielle Lowe

Danielle Lowe is the Marketing Manager for, the UK’s largest aesthetic information website. 

This year, Face the Future, is on a huge mission to revolutionise consumers’ attitudes to sun and skin safety. Forget the occasional sunscreen slathering reserved for your summer holidays, they want to make daily sunscreen a habit, so has launched the 366 Days of SPF campaign.

The 366 Days of SPF campaign has launched with a YouGov survey of over 2,000 participants and highlights that the UK population is not adhering to SPF guidelines, putting their skin health at risk. The vast majority of the UK does not currently follow SPF guidance and does not feel like it is necessary to. Beauty standards of seeking a tan currently outweigh attitudes of worrying about the possibility of skin cancer, and almost half of the population is not familiar with the symptoms of skin cancer. A large proportion of people find SPF to be expensive (64%), which puts their skin health at risk.

  • Only 22% of the UK apply SPF daily
  • Over half (55%) of the UK only wear SPF when it is sunny
  • 68% of the UK are worried about sunburn and only 61% are concerned about skin cancer
  • 64% of the UK say SPF is expensive
  • 40% of the UK who wear SPF only buy it when they go on holiday
  • 45% of the UK are not worried about getting skin cancer
  • 46% of the UK are not familiar with the symptoms of skin cancer
  • 56% of the UK who actively seek a tan do so for confidence

The 366 Days of SPF campaign is backed by Amy Callaghan MP, whose VAT Burn campaign calls on the UK government to remove VAT from sunscreen products that have a health benefit. Callaghan says: “I’m delighted to be partnering with Face the Future to support their 366 days of SPF campaign. Too many people still don’t protect their skin from the sun, as their research has found, putting them at risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. It’s high time the UK government took note of these stats and enacted meaningful action to reduce deaths from melanoma and other skin cancers.”

It is also in association with the British Skin Foundation, who comment: “Good sun safety behaviours can play a vital role in reducing the risk of skin cancer, including potentially deadly melanoma. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it can often be overlooked. That’s why it’s fantastic to see Face the Future commit to educating the wider public on important skin health matters.” Phil Brady, British Skin Foundation Chief Operating Officer

Face the Future is combatting the SPF squeeze, by cutting VAT on SPF products as part of the campaign. Director and Co-Owner at Face the Future, Julia Barcoe-Thompson, says: “We believe that everyone in the UK has the right to sun safety and skin health. At Face the Future, we have SPF and suncare products at all price points, to ensure that we remain accessible to everyone. However, to further support consumers in their choices, as part of the 366 Days of SPF campaign, we will be cutting VAT on all SPF products for from 14th March – 31st May 2024. We hope that this additional 20% saving will encourage UK consumers to begin or continue their SPF journey.”

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