1 In 5 Millennials and Gen Xers Didn’t Wear Sunscreen As Teens

We are in for a stellar week of above seasonal temps, and we are going to see UV indexes!

The poll made up of Millennials and Gen X found that 80% have no idea how to identify non-melanoma skin cancer. And additionally, these generations don’t know how to identify other abnormal cells that could be cancerous.

Respondents also revealed a lack of proactive measures taken to reduce the harmful effects of sun exposure. 

While 75% said they’re mindful of how much they’re out in the sun, only 19% wear sunscreen year-round. 

Many also admit to going outside on a sunny day without sunscreen, a hat or head covering, or UV-protective glasses.

Past behaviours of millennials and Gen X may affect their overall skin cancer risk. 

More than one-third have used a tanning bed and one in five did not wear sunscreen as a teenager. 

They also applied baby oil or tanning oil in the sun with almost half of the women using baby oil or tanning oil, compared to 34% of men.

The survey also found that overall, most respondents use sunscreen on their face (63%), with only 38% doing so on their legs and feet, and even less applying it to their chest and back.

And only 41% were aware that sun exposure can cause precancerous lesions (actinic keratosis) to appear over time.

People’s skin cancer knowledge mainly comes from health websites or blogs.


  • Went outside on a sunny day without sunscreen – 78%
  • Went outside on a sunny day without a hat or other head covering – 72%
  • Went outside on a sunny day without UV-protective sunglasses – 70%
  • Smoked – 47%
  • Applied baby oil or tanning oil in the sun – 43%
  • Used a tanning bed – 35%
  • Got a gel manicure with a UV nail lamp – 34%
  • Skied or snowboarded without wearing sunscreen – 21%