Americans turn cold shoulder to sunscreen: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Even as summer temperatures soar, Americans are turning a cold shoulder to sunscreen, according to a poll released on Friday.

Only one-fifth of Americans wear sunscreen before going outside most days during the summer and just under one-third apply it even a few days during the season, according to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Despite the attention of the healthcare industry on the role of sunscreen in preventing skin cancer, about 40 percent of Americans never apply sunscreen at all before going out and only 9 percent wear it everyday, the poll of 1,004 people, showed.

One of the regions with the lowest use of sunscreen was the South, where 46 percent of people said they never using sunscreen at all during the summer. The age group with the lowest rate of sunscreen use was 18- to 29-year-olds at four percent.

Men were also much more likely not to use sunscreen before going outside with 48 percent saying they do not wear it at all.

The poll also showed that the more money you earn, the higher the chance of applying sunscreen is. Of those surveyed with a household income of $50,000 or more, 25 percent applied sunscreen most days before going out while only 15 percent in the below $50,000 group did.