May 29, 2017 Cosmetics news

Sun exposure: too many misconceptions, not enough caution!

How are the French doing with their perceptions and knowledge of the hazards related to sun exposure? Do they know everything they need to? Have received ideas persisted? According to a recent survey, despite repeated awareness campaigns over the past few years, there is still a considerable lack of knowledge, and it leads to risky behaviours when it comes to sun exposure.

This survey was conducted by Laboratoires de Biarritz among over 300 French people who have at least one child under 18, and who have recently bought a sunscreen. The results are surprising, even worrying. Indeed, if 97% of respondents consider sun protection an important issue, and 65% feel they are well-informed, misconceptions have actually persisted, and they can prevent the French from adopting all the precautions needed when they expose themselves to the sun.

An important issue the French do not know that much about

• One French person out of two thinks childhood sunburns have no implications during adulthood if they are well-treated.
The right message
Getting sunburnt during childhood considerably reduces your ‘sun resistance' (your defences against the harmful effects of the sun, which you acquire at birth and cannot be renewed). When you reach adulthood, you defend yourself less efficiently, and the risk of skin cancer increases.

• 1 French person out of 3 thinks sunburns make the skin less vulnerable to the sun.
The right message
The more you get sunburnt, the more your sun resistance is reduced, and the less your skin can defend itself properly.

• 1 French person out of 3 thinks they are protected from the sun in the shade or in the water.
The right message
Water provides a sensation of freshness, but it does let UV rays get through the surface. It reflects 10% to 30% of the radiation, and water droplets create a ‘magnifying' effect: caution! Water can actually amplify the radiation received.

Sunscreen products are not really understood

87% of the people surveyed think the information on sun product packaging is understandable. And yet…

• 9 French people out of 10 do not know what the UVA and UVB indications mean.
The right message
UVAs penetrate the skin down to the dermis and are responsible for the photo-aging induced by the production of free radicals. UVBs mainly reach the epidermis, trigger sunburns, and increase the risk of skin cancers.

• 4 French people out of 10 think they cannot get tanned with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF).
The right message
As soon as you are exposed to UVBs, even if you are protected with a high SPF, the synthesis of melanin (the skin's natural brown pigment responsible for your tan), is activated. Getting gradually tanned contributes to better preparing the skin for a more harmonious tan that will last longer.

Safety advice are not followed strictly enough

• 61% of the French do not take into account the indications on the label at all (UVA, UVB, filters, etc.) when they choose their sunscreens. They favour the price, the texture, and the shape. Only 64% of them read the instructions for use on the sunscreens they buy.
The right message
Choose your sunscreen according to your skin's phototype and exposure conditions (season, hours, latitude, duration). For really efficient sun protection, your sunscreen should have a minimum SPF of 30.

• 2 French people out of 3 do not systematically put sunscreen when they expose themselves to the sun.
The right message
The only solution to avoid the harmful effects of the sun is to preserve yourself from its rays. Apply sunscreen on the areas not protected by your clothes.

• 1 French person out of 3 does not systematically put sunscreen on their children exposed to the sun.
The right message
Children are the most vulnerable to the sun. To preserve their sun resistance, it is essential to systematically put sunscreen with a very high SPF on them.

• 7 French people out of 10 do not repeat the sunscreen application after they have had a swim, and 8 out of 10 do not do it either after perspiring.
The right message
To make sure you are always efficiently protected, put sunscreen again after a swim and/or sports activity, and check your skin is dry before you apply it.

We know UV radiation is the main factor responsible for the emergence of skin cancers: as a result, it is essential to keep repeating key prevention messages.

French people and sun protection, a survey conducted by Laboratoires de Biarritz

© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
Your comments

Please login to see all comments

All articles [607]
© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques
December 11, 2017 Cosmetics news
Back to the aluminium battle?

Aluminium keeps raising concerns, whether it is contained in drugs, vaccines, or convenience goods, including cosmetics. Again, at a recent symposium they organized, the E3M association relied on scientific presentations to revive the anti-aluminium flame and called for ‘necessary citizen... [Read more ]

December 4, 2017 Cosmetics news
Anti-aging: give way to benevolence…

Enjoy your age, be positive about time, practice Happy aging, slow lifting, youth coaching, or positive cosmetics… It is no longer time to fight, but to be supportive. This new kindly approach to the skin’s youth has every chance of seducing consumers, but also to change our... [Read more ]

November 27, 2017 Cosmetics news
The importance of having beautiful hair for men

In the ‘my hair, my fight’ series, it is now time for men’s behaviour to be gone through with a fine-toothcomb. If these gentlemen often have the reputation not to take care of themselves (except for elementary hygiene rules), a study conducted by Dove last summer deconstructed... [Read more ]

November 22, 2017 Cosmetics news
DIY cosmetics: a child’s play?

DIY is real trendy right now, it is absolutely everywhere. The web is teeming with recipes, tutorials, and all kinds of other tips to prepare your own beauty products yourself. What is the promise? Having safe skincare products, knowing what ingredients they contain, and saving money, while... [Read more ]

November 20, 2017 Cosmetics news
A short guide to hair removal

Hairs die hard. There are plenty of techniques to finally get rid of hairs, but not all of them are adapted to every body part. What type of hair removal for what area? What technique? With or without cosmetics? You will find everything you need to know below. [Read more ]

© kasto80 /
November 17, 2017 Cosmetics news
Beauty giants get serious about sustainability with new initiative

Clarins, Coty, L'Oréal and Groupe Rocher have teamed up on a new initiative to encourage sustainability within the beauty industry. The four cosmetics giants worked with EcoVadis, a collaborative platform providing sustainability ratings and performance improvement tools, on the concept,... [Read more ]

November 14, 2017 Cosmetics news
The right lip care gestures and products in winter

The autumn season is here: the sun goes down earlier, the ground is strewn with tree leaves, and temperatures are falling. Gloves, scarves, and coats are basics to brave the cold, but what about the mouth? This sensitive part directly exposed to the cold also suffers. Of course, to protect it,... [Read more ]

November 13, 2017 Cosmetics news
How Millennials take good care of their hair

What are Millennials’ hair habits? That is the question American customizable hair care brand Cloud10 decided to answer. To this aim, in August 2017, they surveyed a panel of 1,000women aged 18-35, from the United States, and belonging to different social classes. [Read more ]

November 8, 2017 Cosmetics news
Connected beauty: cosmetics applications are taking smartphones by storm

68% French people have a smartphone, and several studies have shown they use it four hours a day on average. Given this real 3.0 addiction, skincare brands have decided to play the game: they are now seeking to capture the market of smartphone apps. [Read more ]

© Yves Saint Laurent Beauté
November 6, 2017 Cosmetics news
An 'Opium' at €2,000 for 15 ml, anyone?

To celebrate '40 years of success and audacity', Yves Saint Laurent Beauté has called on artist and gilder Manuela Paul-Cavallier to transform the bottle of its iconic 'Opium' fragrance into an exceptional creation. With a striking gold finish, the anniversary edition goes on sale in a... [Read more ]