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08th Mar 2024

‘Too many of us are not wearing SPF’ – Ireland’s skincare habits are laid bare in new study

Jody Coffey


We’re all guilty of falling asleep with our makeup on or buying skincare we don’t understand from time to time

However, some skincare mishaps can be more harmful than wearing glam overnight or the odd misinformed purchase.

A study of 1,050 adults in Ireland conducted by Empathy Research on behalf of LloydsPharmacy revealed that only 67 percent of adults in Ireland are wearing SPF every day.

While two-thirds prioritise SPF every day, only 30 percent wear it during the summer months.

Credit: Getty

From a purely aesthetic point of view, UV rays break down collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep your skin firm.

This can lead to developing wrinkles and fine lines over time and, therefore, an accelerated aging process.

From a health perspective, skipping this essential step in a skincare routine also increases the risk of skin cancer — Ireland’s most common cancer, with over 13,000 new cases every year.

Gender gaps in skin health

This means almost one in three adults in Ireland leave their skin unprotected all year round — a worrying statistic when you consider that the consequences of skipping SPF go beyond sunburn.

While 29 percent of women use SPF daily, only six percent of men do, highlighting a stark gender gap in skin health.

Skin cancer is more common in men than women and every year, about 4,000 men in Ireland get skin cancer.

However, in more positive news, skin cancer is preventable and when found early can be very successfully treated.

We should be striving to wear SPF every single day and ensuring our loved ones are doing the same.

Navigating skincare

If you’ve ever made a hasty skincare purchase, you are not alone.

It turns out many of us have confusion around skin products, as 57 percent of respondents confessed to buying skincare products without understanding labels or what the products do.

Unfortunately, this lack of understanding aligns with results found elsewhere in the study as only one-third of adults admitted to being truly happy with their skin.

Just 15 percent of young adults (18-24) and 15 percent of mid-lifers (45-54) are satisfied with their skin’s appearance and health.

Makeup mishaps

The research found that 74 percent of women wear makeup in Ireland, especially those aged 25-34.

However, just half of those consistently remove their makeup before heading to bed each night.

Credit: Getty

If you find yourself in this bracket (one we’re all guilty of now and again), let it be known that skipping this step can lead to the accumulation of dirt, oil, and pollutants on the skin.

This, over time, can increase the risk of acne, early signs of aging, and various skin issues.