As Britain Swelters in its hottest-ever day, Olay shows 1 in 10 aren’t wearing SPF

With endless acronyms, you might be thinking SOS when it comes to using sunscreen. SPF products can often be convoluted and confusing, with research from skincare brand Olay highlighting that the nation needs an education when it comes to sun protection.

Despite UV rays being the leading cause of premature aging, astoundingly a fifth (19%) of Brits believe that UV rays can actually help you look younger; yet the reality is that UV exposure can be a powerful attack on the skin with additional side effects including hyperpigmentation and in worst cases, melanoma.

Worryingly one in ten (10%) redheads actually believe this UV youthful myth – a group particularly at risk of burning due to low melanin levels.

An SPF education is still clearly needed as the research revealed one in 10 Brits admit to never wearing SPF on their face, with a fifth (21%) saying they only use it when its sunny. Men are the worst culprits, with a staggering three times as many men as women admitting SPF never graces their faces.

Despite it being a hot topic over the years, those with melanin-rich black skin are still wary of wearing SPF daily, with a quarter (28%) never using SPF stating factors such as it leaves a white cast (33%), not thinking the UK climate gets hot enough (50%) and not liking the way it sits under make up (25%).

And perhaps more shockingly so, even those with type 1, very pale skin that burns easily are cautious, admitting only wearing SPF on their face a fifth (21%) of the time blaming concerns about break outs (38%).

This reluctance to use SPF could be to do with the misconceptions people have around UV rays and SPF. Almost half of Brits (42%) wrongly believe SPF stops your skin from getting Vitamin D, and one in eight (12%) worryingly think SPF actually increases the risk of cancer.

Almost half (41%) of respondents can’t identify the difference between UVA and UVB rays, and one in eight (12%) believe SPF doesn’t need to tackle both.

This is concerning for the medical profession as dermatologists are the most cited source (24%) of SPF information

Adding to the misinformation is the UK’s climate, with one in eight (13%) thinking you don’t need sunscreen in the UK unless it’s sunny, and a further one in three (37%) saying they don’t need it as they don’t burn here.

Gen Z are the most clued-up on SPF, with this group almost twice as likely than Xennials to wear SPF every day regardless of whether they are inside or out.

Convenience is key for most and with the cost-of-living soaring, people are looking for products that do more. Almost 1 in 10 are put off wearing SPF on their face every day as they feel it is one step too many in their skincare routine – despite it being available in moisturisers. This could be as one in five (20%) erroneously believe moisturisers with SPF aren’t as effective.

Other factors putting off SPF use include because it leaves a white cast (17%), with a third (33%) of those with melanin-rich skin citing this, and one in ten (12%) simply feel they are too young to require it.

So how can you step up your SPF usage this summer and use products that actually work for all skin types and tones?

A round up of Olay’s best active SPFs:

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