8 mins read
  • insights
  • summer
  • sunscreen
August 25th, 2023

Sun Care Insights and Trends: How Brands Can Prepare for The Next Summer Season

Sun Care Insights and Trends: How Brands Can Prepare for The Next Summer Season


  • The article explores how the sun care industry is adapting to the changing climate and consumer preferences.
  • Trends include year-round sun care, skincare-sun protection hybrids, and eco-friendly formulas.
  • Consumers’ education on proper SPF usage and incorporating antioxidants for enhanced UV protection is also important.
  • Amid challenges in sunscreen’s regulation and innovation, there are forward-looking opportunities into key markets and market segments for brands to prepare for the next summer season.
  • There is high potential for brands to excel by anticipating consumer needs and formulating with innovative ingredients in the sun care market.


As extreme hot summers continue to sweep across the globe, the importance of sun care products have never been more evident. Sun care has elevated to one of the most sought-after categories in the beauty and personal care industry in the past year. The worldwide market for sun care products had a valuation of $14.0 bn in the year 2022. It is predicted to experience an increase from $14.4 bn in 2023 to about $19.7 bn by the year 2030. This growth signifies a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 4.5%.

However, the industry also faces many challenges and opportunities as consumer expectations, preferences, and needs evolve. In this article, we will explore the key insights and trends in the sun care industry and offer suggestions on how brands can adjust their portfolio for the next summer season to match consumer expectations even better.


apply sunscreen on back

Sun care for everyone: Brands can excel by anticipating consumer needs and offer personalized solutions. Photo by Kindel Media via Pexel


How This Year’s Summer Season and SPFs Use Shaped the Sun Care Formulation Trend


Sun care products, once reliant on seasonal business in the summer months are undergoing a transformation. A shift is occurring as consumers prioritize skin health, government awareness campaigns on skin cancer and other sun-related health problems gain momentum, and companies introduce innovative products. As a result, year-round usage of sun care products is anticipated to gain significant traction and experience robust growth in the foreseeable future.

  • The “Skinification” Trend in Sun Care

    Consumers are seeking sun care products that go beyond mere sun protection. These sought-after products encompass various features. These include combining SPF with skincare ingredients, incorporating color cosmetics, and exploring playful textures or formats like powder or spray-on sunscreen. Additionally, consumers are drawn to products that offer supplementary benefits. These benefits encompass protection against pollution, support for skin repair, water resistance, and defense against blue light exposure. These trends are some new trends shaping the sun care industry this year.

  • Reef-safe, Eco-Friendly

    Consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of sun care products, and are seeking formulas that are ocean-friendly, biodegradable, or reef-safe. These eco-conscious innovations are designed to meet the needs of an expanding group of customers – 64% of the consumers prioritize sustainability when purchasing beauty products. Therefore, brands should incorporate more sustainable practices in their product development, such as packaging in refillable or eco-friendly bottles and transparent sourcing.

  • Higher SPF Always Better?

    Consumers increasingly seek higher SPF levels due to heightened awareness of sun exposure risks and skin cancer. However, it’s essential to note that a higher SPF doesn’t necessarily equate to better protection; it might mislead consumers into extended sun exposure without reapplying. Factors like application amount, frequency, and technique also influence effectiveness. Brands should also focus on educating consumers on proper SPF usage, in addition to highlighting the significance of broad-spectrum protection encompassing both UVA and UVB defense.


UV radiation from sunlight

UV radiation from sunlight, composed primarily of UVA and UVB, is responsible for degenerative aging changes in the skin cells. After UV exposure, cellular damage response activation induces melanin production by melanocytes. Credit: Amaro-Ortiz, A., Yan, B., D’Orazio, J.A., 2014.


  • UV Protection Extends Beyond Shielding Against Cancer Risks

    Beyond cancer, UV rays trigger an array of skin issues like premature skin aging, pigmentation, and immune disruption. Moreover, UV rays generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), harmful molecules damaging skin. This cascade leads to inflammation, collagen decline, elastin breakdown, culminating in wrinkles and uneven skin tone. Brands could invest in researching and developing the most promising antioxidant compounds such as vitamin C, vitamin E and resveratrol for sun care products that neutralize ROS and boost the performance of UV filters by increasing their stability, absorption and photoprotection.

  • Unravelling The Physical and Chemical Sunscreens Conundrum

    In the sun care industry, an ongoing dialogue surrounds the benefits and considerations of chemical and physical SPFs. Each type has its merits and drawbacks, and the choice often hinges on how a company wishes to position its product. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, released from the body in lightweight, non-sticky formulas ideal for daily wear. Meanwhile, physical sunscreens rest on the skin, reflecting sunlight with minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Despite their whiter appearance, they tend to be gentler on sensitive skin due to specific filters.

  • These considerations delve deeper into sunscreen regulations and innovation hurdles. Developers face a global regulatory landscape that limits SPF ingredient choices, with disparities between regions. For instance, the European Union boasts a more modern list of permissible ingredients than the United States. This divergence is due to differing classifications, with the United States viewing sunscreens as over-the-counter drugs, hindering the introduction of innovative ingredients. As this intricate regulatory landscape shapes the sun care industry, balancing consumer demand for innovation and adherence to established legal boundaries remains a crucial challenge.


How Can Brands Prepare for the Next Summer Season?


To thrive in the sun care market, brands must anticipate the upcoming summer season with inventive sun care formulations, diverse formats, and engaging textures. It’s imperative to develop distinct products tailored to various consumer segments while effectively conveying their unique value propositions. Here are actionable insights to guide brands in achieving these objectives.

  • Innovate in Formulations, Formats, and Texture

    Brands must strive for innovation by reimagining the very essence of sun care products. This involves crafting formulations that not only provide protection but also offer multi-functional benefits. For instance, lightweight, non-greasy, and virtually invisible finishes such as powder-based sunscreens cater to consumers who seek easy and convenient application with a quick brush sweep. Incorporating pleasant scents, flavors, cooling sensations, and soothing effects can heighten user experience, making sun care a delightful ritual.


apply sunscreen on child

Brands offer sun care products for children’s sensitive skin, tapping into a growing market of health-conscious millennial parents. Photo by Kampus Production via Pexel


  • Differentiated Offerings for Various Segments

    Consumers possess diverse skin types, concerns, and expectations linked to age, gender, and lifestyle. Brands can capitalize on this diversity by providing customized solutions. For instance, when creating sun care products tailored to children, brands can develop simple and safe sun care formulations, prioritizing the concern of product’s safety among millennial parents. Additionally, the choice of packaging impacts effectiveness. Research from JAMA Dermatology reveals that pump dispensers or squeeze bottles outperform roll-on dispensers in application coverage. This underscores the significance of formulation and delivery methods, particularly for children’s sunscreen.

  • Effective Value Communication

    A brand’s success hinges on effectively communicating its unique selling points and benefits to consumers. Crafting a compelling value proposition enables consumers to make informed choices that resonate with their preferences. By transparently highlighting what sets their products apart, brands create a connection built on trust and reliability. For example, the city of Eilat in Israel has introduced an SPF sunscreen that distinguishes itself by safeguarding and nurturing coral reefs. They’ve introduced a novel certification for Reef Protection Factor (RPF), showcasing effective communication that resonates with consumers who share similar values. This aligns with recent insights from the UK, where 42% of female sun care buyers aged 16-24 express interest in ocean-friendly sun care products.


How to Seize the Opportunities in the Global Sun Care Market


The global sun care market is not without its challenges, such as regulatory hurdles, consumer scepticism or competition. However, the global sun care market also offers many opportunities for growth and innovation. Here are some of the ways that brands can tap into these opportunities:

  1. Explore Emerging Markets such as Asia-Pacific

According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the Asia-Pacific is the most lucrative sun care product market across the globe, owing to rising disposable income, increasing awareness, and changing lifestyles. Asia-Pacific consumers exhibit distinct preferences for sun care, seeking attributes like whitening, anti-aging, and skin-firming benefits. Brands aiming to thrive in this market should align their sun care products with these specific demands and prioritizing user-friendly convenience. Notably, Mintel underlines that 40% of female sunscreen users in China prioritize easy application and format when selecting sunscreen.

To excel, brands should capitalize on groundbreaking innovations bridging skincare and suncare, such as sprays, lotions, and serums offering UV protection alongside additional functionalities. As a prime example, a brand could unveil a product meticulously crafted as a multi-targeted anti-aging solution, adept at pre-empting aging and effectively ameliorating telltale signs of photo-damaged skin. By embracing such strategies, brands unlock the immense potential within the Asia-Pacific sun care market, appealing to well-informed and discerning consumers.


asian sunhat

Asia-Pacific consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of protecting themselves against harmful UV rays to attain healthy skin. Photo: Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels.


  1. Innovations to Align with Current and Future Consumer Trends

Consumers are changing the way they interact with brands. Their desires encompass heightened personalization, inclusivity, sustainability, and authenticity from the brands they opt for. This presents a chance for brands to align with these dynamics by providing sun care products catering to diverse skin tones and types. Innovative formulations that stimulate melanin production in the skin, promoting quicker and more uniform development of natural UV protection, also contribute to enhanced safety. This resonates with the trend toward authentic inclusivity, offering consumers a more comprehensive safeguarding approach.

  1. Capitalize on the demand for after sun care products

Setting itself apart from traditional sun care, the after-sun care products market offers brands a unique avenue to explore. This segment is valued at USD 1.1 bn in 2021 and is projected to grow at 4.1% CAGR from 2022 to 2030. This expansion is fueled by increasing consumer awareness of these products’ numerous benefits, including shielding from sun-induced damage and enhancing hydration. The key distinction lies in recognizing that UV radiation’s long-term effects include degenerative changes in the skin cells resulting in pigmentation and skin ageing. Advanced after-sun ingredients counter these effects, neutralize the free radicals which damage skin cells, thus preventing the occurrence of UV damage and even reverse key signs of photo-damaged skin.


Sun care industry is a dynamic and evolving category that offers many opportunities for brands to create products that meet and exceed consumer expectations. By learning from the insights and trends from this year’s summer season, and by preparing for the next summer season with innovative and relevant offerings, brands can position themselves as leaders and experts in the global sun care market.


Are you looking for a reliable partner to help formulate innovative sun care products that protect and enhance your consumers’ skin health and beauty? Contact SanderStrothmann today and let us help you create the sun care products of your dreams.

A flexible approach, customized to meet your requirements

We develop exclusive science-based products at the shortest time

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A flexible approach, customized to meet your requirements

We develop exclusive science-based products at the shortest time

Back to Home