The sun care market has seen a shift in behavior with over half of US sunscreen consumers using it more often than a year ago, reports data firm Trendalytics. The reason: as consumers became more informed about skin health — driven by the pandemic’s skin care boom — interest in sunscreen started to rise outside of the traditional seasonality. In the following months, searches for sunscreen exhibited increased and sustained growth.

As a result, the sun care market is evolving with a surge of new formulas, inspired by the growth of the skin care industry and the demand for multi-purpose products designed to be worn under (or instead of) makeup. New-to-market innovations include active ingredients such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to enhance the skin while offering protection. Apart from traditional cream formulations, there’s a rising interest in sunscreen sticks (an increase of 65% compared to last year), balms (up 36% from 2022), and gels (a 26% jump from the year prior), revealing that consumers are seeking out new product formats that are easily applied at home and on the go.

While searches for self-tanner have remained relatively stable over the past five years, data shows that social media is driving pockets of demand. Bronzing drops in particular have been mentioned in 69 posts over the last three months, with an average of 37K likes and comments per post. Bronzing drops with serum-like textures and unexpected viral uses for self-tanner (i.e., contour, brow tint) are driving category growth. There are 15K average weekly searches for bronzing drops, an increase of 4,947% over last year.

For more consumer sun care trends, check out Trendalytics’ latest report that explores the top products and brands across the category, areas of opportunity, and innovative launches disrupting the categories.