While Ryan Reynolds may be Hollywood’s latest star to embrace the self-tan bottle with enthusiasm, it seems British men are following suit with usage of fake tan going from strength to strength. According to Mintel research on suncare in the UK, between 2015* and 2016** usage of self tan among Britain’s men rose from less than one in 10 (9%) in 2015 to as many as 14% of all Britain’s males in 2016.

And it is young men who are the biggest fans of self-tan. Indeed, in 2016, almost three in 10 (27%) men aged 16-24 used self-tan, up from one in six (16%) in 2015. Tanning salons are also proving popular amongst younger men, with a bronze loving 25% of men aged 18-24 having used a tanning salon in 2016 compared with 21% of women of the same aged group.

But it is not just self-tan which is proving popular among the nation’s men. Usage of pre-tan accelerator rose from 7% of men in 2015 to 13% in 2016. Meanwhile, gradual tanner usage among men jumped from 7% to 12%, while usage of oral tanning supplements rose from 6% of men to 11% in the same time period. What’s more, during 2016, one in ten (10%) men visited a salon for a spray tan, up from 7% in 2015.

While self-tan product usage has seen the greatest increase amongst men, Britain’s women remain the most likely to use the products. Today, 18% of women use self-tan and 19% use gradual tanner.

Roshida Khanom, Senior Beauty & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel said:

The increase in usage of self-tan is growing rapidly amongst the nation’s men, driven by the popularity of self-tan among high profile celebrities including Mark Wright, Rylan Clark and even Ed Balls. Today’s men are reflecting on their image and responsibilities and how to express their masculinity. With younger men focusing on their appearance more, the self-tanning sector could see a boost.”

Overall, one in six (16%) Brits use self-tan, while the same number (15%) use gradual tanner. Just over one in 10 (12%) Brits use tanning oil or lotion without SPF, while 12% use pre-tan accelerator and 11% use a sunbed or tanning salon. Finally, just under one in ten use salon spray tan (9%) and oral tanning supplements (9%).

Away from self-tan, usage of SPF products saw a rise in 2016, with 51% of people using sun protection with high SPF in the 12 months to October 2016 compared with 45% who used it the 12 months to August 2015.

Whilst adults have good knowledge when it comes to general sun protection, with 52% agreeing that you should reapply sun protection after being in the sun for 30 mins, there is a lack of understanding when it comes to suncare ratings; as many as 58% believe high SPF protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays. In terms of non-usage, two in five (39%) non-buyers cite not holidaying anywhere sunny enough as a reason for not buying, whilst 23% have not purchased due to it not being sunny enough in the UK, suggesting low daily SPF usage.

“Although consumers show knowledge of protecting themselves from the sun, there is a lack of understanding when it comes to sun protection ratings. Introducing a simpler universal rating system, reflecting UVA and UVB protection and removing the need for language such as “multispectrum” and “broad spectrum” can ensure usage of products reflects consumer needs. With usage of sun protection associated with sunny climates, a ratings system that correlates with the weather or sunshine level can be used to encourage use of suncare on a more universal level.” Concludes Roshida.

*12 months to August 2015
**12 months to September 2016

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