UK Suncare Market Report 2023
Demand for suncare increased in 2023, as usage occasions resumed post-pandemic, and consumers begin to prioritise suncare in their beauty and grooming routines. Shiyan Zering, Beauty and Personal Care…

UK Suncare Market Report 2023

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)


Stay ahead of the curve and secure future growth for your business with Mintel’s UK Suncare Market Report 2023. The full report is packed with consumer-led market intelligence, the latest consumer trends and market dynamics. Get a 360° view of the UK sun care products market, including market forecast, market share, and the innovations impacting the future of the industry.

Below,  a selection of key insights analysed in the full report and a summary of the core topics are detailed.

Key Issues Covered in this Report

  • The impact of the rising cost of living on sun protection, aftersun and sunless tanning.
  • The value of the suncare market and forecast for the next five years.
  • Usage of sun protection, aftersun and sunless tanning products, including the impact of the consumer’s self-diagnosed skin type on usage behaviour.
  • Launch activity in the suncare market, including innovation from adjacent categories that could disrupt the market.
  • What motivates consumers to use sun protection, aftersun and sunless tanning.

UK Sun Protection Products Market – Current Landscape

The UK suncare market has rebounded post-COVID-19. Usage occasions have expanded beyond holidays and sun protection is becoming a staple in BPC routines. Consumer spending on suncare will continue to increase over the next few years, however as the cost-of-living crisis continues, consumers will continue to seek out lower prices. Brands and retailers are encouraged to provide high quality products at affordable price points to compete.

  • UK suncare market size: The UK market has surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels, rising to an estimated £367 million in 2023. 

Trends in the Suncare Market – Opportunities for Growth

Beautification of suncare

There has been a noticeable rise in ‘beauty’ claims in suncare NPD, such as moisturising/hydrating claims, meaning brands are meeting consumer demand for products that can be seamlessly incorporated into daily routines. These trends reflect a shift toward aesthetics in the category, emphasising the importance of multifunctional products that provide both protection and beauty benefits.

Safety first

For many consumers, sun protection is no longer just a matter of cosmetic concern, it has become a healthcare necessity. With rising levels of skin cancer in the UK, brands are encouraged to enhance the protective values, overall efficacy and user experience through format innovation in sun protection to encourage more frequent usage.

Purchase the full report for more information and analysis on the UK suncare market, including an overview of innovation and marketing trends, and key metrics of the market leaders. Readers of this report may also be interested in Mintel’s A Year of Innovation in the Suncare Market 2023.

Report Scope

This report defines the following products as suncare:

  • Sun protection products that protect the skin against UVA/UVB rays in any format
  • Aftersun products
  • Sunless/self-tanning products in any format

Additional Features Included with Your Purchase

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Expert Analysis from a BPC Specialist

This report, written by Shiyan Zering, a leading BPC analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the UK suncare market and add expert context to the numbers.

Demand for suncare increased in 2023, as usage occasions resumed post-pandemic, and consumers begin to prioritise suncare in their beauty and grooming routines.

Shiyan Zering
Beauty and Personal Care Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • Opportunities for the suncare market
    • Sun safety first
    • The beautification of suncare
    • Diversity in sunless tanning
    • Market dynamics and outlook
    • The five year outlook for suncare
    • Suncare spending set to rise 14% by 2028
    • What consumers want and why
    • Suncare usage is growing…
    • …as is sunless tanning usage
    • Graph 1: net usage of sunless tanning products and services in the last 12 months, 2022 and 2023
    • Cater to specific skin needs
    • Graph 2: self-diagnosed skin types, 2023
    • Ride the wave of changing attitudes towards tan
    • Online plays a big role in the suncare purchase journey
    • Explore new brand extension opportunities
    • Graph 3: interest in suncare innovation, 2023
    • Innovation and marketing
    • Sun protection leads NPD
    • Graph 4: new product launches in the suncare category, by sub-category, 2019-22
    • Quicken routines with fast-acting claims…
    • Graph 5: suncare launch activity featuring time/speed claims, 2021-23
    • …merged with convenience
    • BPC brands are entering the suncare category
    • Campaigns take an education first approach
  2. Market Dynamics

    • Market size
    • Heatwaves and holidays influence suncare purchasing
    • Graph 6: market size for suncare, 2017-23
    • Demand for suncare heats up in 2023
    • Market forecast
    • Suncare spending to rise 14% by 2028
    • Consumer spending will normalise
    • Learnings from the last income squeeze
    • Market segmentation
    • A focus on protection boosts sun protection segment
    • Graph 7: estimated retail value sales growth in suncare, by segment, 2022-23
    • Self tan is becoming more sought after
    • Aftersun has missed potential
    • Channels to market
    • Holidaying and heatwaves boost retail value sales
    • Graph 8: retail value sales of suncare products, by channel, 2022 and 2023
    • H&B retailers benefit from sun safety messaging and value efforts
    • Grocers are highly favoured convenience
    • Competitive price offerings from discounters appeal
    • Market share
    • Mass market suncare continues to lead
    • Graph 9: retail value sales of mass market sun protection and aftersun products, by brand, 2022-23
    • Brands focusing on skin health outperform
    • Global suncare brands disrupt the category
    • Major players continue to lead in sunless tanning
    • Graph 10: retail value sales of self-tan products, by brand, 2022-23
    • Dove’s gradual tanning range drives growth
    • Indie brands are shaking up the sunless tanning segment
    • Own-label across suncare is increasing
    • Macro-economic factors
    • Inflation is still affecting consumer finances
    • Graph 11: CPI inflation rate, 2021-23
    • Removing price as a barrier to use
    • Social activity by those calling for sun protection VAT to axed
    • Financial comfort leads to more holiday plans
    • Graph 12: top three choices from “If your financial situation significantly improved, which of the following would you prioritise spending on?”, 2023
    • Heatwave hits the UK late in 2023
    • Higher temperatures call for higher protection
    • Skin cancer cases reach record levels
    • Tap into an aging population’s needs
    • Address sun protection impact in waterways
    • Social media trends promote unsafe tanning
    • Skin condition innovation sought after
    • Graph 13: interest in product innovation relating to diversity/inclusion in BPC, 2022
    • Target fitness enthusiasts
    • Graph 14: Exercise locations, 2023
  3. What Consumers Want and Why

    • Sun protection and aftersun usage
    • All formats are growing in usage
    • Graph 15: sun protection and aftersun products used in the last 12 months, 2022 and 2023
    • Skincare and makeup with SPF has the most significant increases
    • Graph 16: net of sun protection and aftersun products used in the last 12 months, 2022 and 2023
    • Position suncare sprays for reapplication and ease
    • Create tools to help consumers reapply
    • Tap into protective haircare opportunity for men
    • Boost aftersun claims to encourage usage
    • Boost product repertoires through convenient formats
    • Graph 17: repertoire of sun protection and aftersun products used in the last 12 months, 2022 and 2023
    • SPF50+ usage has dropped
    • Graph 18: SPF levels used in the last 12 months, 2022 and 2023
    • Gen-Z are using SPF50+ the least
    • Graph 19: SPF levels used in the last 12 months, by generation, 2023
    • Frequency of sun protection usage
    • Face protection is a priority
    • Graph 20: where sun protection was applied in the last 12 months, 2023
    • Certain seasons are the highest frequency of suncare usage
    • Graph 21: how frequently sun protection was applied in the last 12 months, 2023
    • City living leads to all year round usage
    • Graph 22: all year round sun protection usage, by area, 2023
    • Sun protection and aftersun behaviours
    • Consumers use sun protection for preventative measures
    • Suncare users are brand loyal
    • Graph 23: sun protection and aftersun behaviours, 2023
    • Cater to cautious high SPF users with additional protection
    • Further promote the anti-ageing benefits of suncare
    • Specific skin types need guidance
    • Graph 24: agreement with the statement “I choose suncare products based on my skin type”, by skin type, 2023
    • Split behaviours on protective clothing
    • Interest in suncare innovation
    • Consumers are seeking an inside-out approach
    • Supplement the consumer’s need for topical protection
    • Targeted protection appeals
    • Graph 25: interest in suncare innovation, 2023
    • Formulate for specific areas
    • Use AI for next level personalised advice
    • Protect the skin’s microbiome from UV exposure
    • Get active in suncare NPD
    • Go the extra mile for sun-safe fitness
    • Suncare innovation appeals to younger consumers
    • Graph 26: interest in suncare innovation, by age, 2023
    • Sunless tanning usage
    • Personal preferences drives usage uptick across most formats
    • Graph 27: sunless tanning products and services used in the last 12 months, 2022 and 2023
    • Overall usage of sunless tanning products and services rises
    • Graph 28: net usage of sunless tanning products and services in the last 12 months, 2022 and 2023
    • Shape ‘tantouring’ into routines
    • Graph 29: where sunless tanning products were applied in the last 12 months, 2023
    • Quench consumer thirst for self-tan drops
    • Men opt for self-tan waters for easy application
    • Graph 30: usage of self-tan water in the last 12 months, by gender, 2023
    • Explore the untapped menopause self-tan market…
    • Graph 31: net usage of sunless tanning products or services in the last 12 months, 2023
    • …and represent their self-tan needs in marketing
    • Smooth out removal and reapplication routines
    • Sunless tanning usage behaviours
    • Add a step to prep
    • Expand exfoliation techniques pre-tan
    • Priming routines enhance results
    • Social pressure to tan is easing
    • Graph 32: sunless tanning usage behaviours, 2023
    • Normalising natural skin trends
    • Clear up confusion around invisible formats
    • Social media and technology support purchase decisions
    • Target self-tan toward specific skin types
    • Graph 33: agreement with the statement “I struggle to find sunless tanning products that are suitable for my skin type”, by skin type, 2023
    • Cater for melanin-rich skin
  4. Innovation And Marketing Trends

    • Sun protection and aftersun launch activity
    • An uptick in sun protection launches
    • Graph 34: new product launches in the sun protection and aftersun category, by sub-category, 2020-23
    • Multifunctionality elevates aftersun innovation
    • Sustainability remained in focus during 2023
    • Graph 35: top 10 claims in the sun protection and aftersun category (based on leading claims in 2022), 2021-23
    • Go beyond sustainable packaging
    • Introduce antioxidants with enhanced benefits
    • Cater to those with skin conditions
    • Use packaging to boost ease of use
    • Suncare NPD is fragmented
    • Graph 36: new product launches in the sun protection and aftersun category, by top 10 ultimate companies (based on 2023), 2022 and 2023
    • L’Oréal innovates to assert expertise and efficacy
    • Private label NPD is key for affordable protection
    • Protective skincare, colour cosmetics, haircare launch activity
    • More BPC brands expand into suncare
    • Protective claims stagnate in other BPC categories
    • Graph 37: BPC launch activity featuring UV protection claims, by category, 2020-23
    • A tint of protection
    • Skincare brands protect against more than the sun
    • Scent could boost protective haircare usage
    • Sunless tanning launch activity
    • Claims in sunless tanning reflect consumer skin health priorities
    • Graph 38: top 10 claims in the sunless tanning category (based on leading claims in 2022), 2021-23
    • Brands “beautify” the category to encourage usage
    • No rinse formulas can boost ease of use
    • Ultra-fine mists allow for even tan coverage
    • We are Luxe leads sunless tanning launch activity
    • Graph 39: new product launches in the sunless tanning category, by top 10 ultimate companies (based on 2023), 2022 and 2023
    • Formulate for skin undertones
    • Indie brands focus on skin reactions
    • Explore DHA alternatives
    • Scent the self-tan category
    • Position post self-tan care as important as prep
    • Advertising and marketing activity
    • Digital and outdoor ad spend surpasses TV
    • Unilever continues its reign
    • Graph 40: total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on suncare, by advertiser, 2022
    • Bondi Sands fuels digital spend
    • L’Oréal picks up in the pace in 2023
    • NIVEA uses tech and expertise for advice
    • Piz Buin uses comedy to promote #GetInOn
    • H&B retailers focus on social media education
    • Sun safety promoted via giveaways
    • LifeJacket targets men’s health and convenience needs
    • Boots Soltan dolled up with Barbie
    • Take inspiration from global activity
  5. Brand Research

    • Mass market brands are widely used
    • Graph 41: suncare brand awareness, 2023
    • Ultra Violette is the most frequently used sun protection brand
    • Graph 42: suncare brand usage, 2023
    • Newer brands struggle with uptake
    • Graph 43: suncare brand commitment, 2023
    • NIVEA Sun benefits from strong brand awareness
    • Graph 44: key metrics for select suncare brands, 2023
    • Garnier Ambre Solaire scores highly for efficacy
    • Tesco Soleil’s basic offering has room to grow
    • Skinny Tan is deemed as a high quality
    • Tan-Luxe garners male commitment
  6. Appendix

    • Supplementary data
    • Population estimates
    • Market data and forecast methodology
    • Market forecast: constant and current prices
    • Market forecast: prediction intervals
    • Forecast methodology
    • Market segmentation
    • Channels to market
    • Market share: sun protection and aftersun
    • Market share: sunless tanning
    • Report scope and definitions
    • Products covered in this Report
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Methodology
    • Consumer research methodology
    • Nielsen Ad Intel Coverage

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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