Women are almost twice as likely to slather on sunscreen as men, according to a recent study of 2,500 Australians. Twenty-seven percent (er, per cent) of Aussie women reported applying sunscreen daily, compared to a piddly 15 percent of men. Even though the survey reports that our mates Down Under are more tan-obsessed and less concerned about skin cancer than Americans—and their skin cancer rates are four times as high—the alarming disparity between girls and guys is similar in the U.S.
A 2009 Consumer Reports study found that, indeed, American women outsmart men when it comes to sun-protection practices. Both sexes are better at sunscreening-up when hanging at the beach or pool than when doing other outdoor activities like running or hiking, but for overall use, women still win out. The report suggests a few reasons for this, such as women are more concerned with UV rays aging their faces, and women make more (and more educated) purchasing decisions, which makes them more familiar with the sun-protection products in their home—guys, on the other hand, are more prone to use sunscreen if they stumble upon a random tube lying around.
So, guys, what’s the deal? Are you not planning to log mega hours under the sun this summer? Retailers, you can step in. With more men’s-specific personal care lines lining your shelves, there’s no time like the present to market to guys. And that can certainly mean marketing to women who buy for their men.