An understanding of consumer preferences for sunscreen could help healthcare professionals to increase uptake, as use remains low among adolescents and adults.
In a study published in JAMA Dermatology (online, 8 July 2016)
, researchers used reviews from Amazon.com to identify the 1% most highly-rated sunscreen products (n=65) and analysed the top five “most helpful” reviews for each.
Cosmetic features, such as whether the product is well absorbed, were the most commonly cited positive factors (61% of reviews), while efficacy was only mentioned in 45% of reviews. The research also showed that 40% of the products did not meet American Academy of Dermatology recommendations (broad spectrum coverage, SPF ≥30, water and/or sweat resistant), mainly because of a lack of water resistance.
Healthcare professionals should advise consumers to balance the cosmetic applicability of sunscreen products with adequate photoprotection, the researchers conclude.
 Xu S, Kwa M, Agarwal A et al. Sunscreen product performance and other determinants of consumer preferences. JAMA Dermatology 2016. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.2344