As the holiday weekend kicks off, dermatologists are increasingly concerned about the surge in anti-sunscreen sentiments.

Dr. Jeanine Downie, a board-certified dermatologist based in New Jersey, shared her worries with CBS News, noting a significant rise in patients opposing sunscreen use. “It was not like this before,” she remarked. “I now see about six patients a week who are anti-sunscreen, compared to just one every other week or month previously. It’s become alarming.”

In the past two weeks alone, Downie has diagnosed three cases of squamous cell carcinoma and two cases of malignant melanoma—both potentially cancerous if not detected early. “And that’s just me, one dermatologist,” she emphasized.

This movement gained momentum in June, sparked by TikTok creators advocating against sunscreen use. Initially attracting tens of thousands of views and likes, these posts prompted dermatologists on the platform to respond, further amplifying the discourse. Recently, influencer Nara Smith went viral by sharing a homemade sunscreen recipe to her 8 million followers, despite dermatologists’ warnings that it offers inadequate sun protection.

Dr. Shereene Idriss, a prominent New York dermatologist with over a million social media followers, is actively using her platform to educate users on sunscreen and sun safety.

The prevalence of this misinformation underscores a concerning trend among some young Americans regarding sun protection. A study by the Orlando Health Cancer Institute revealed that 1 in 7 adults under 35 believe daily sunscreen use is more harmful than direct sun exposure. “If you want your face to resemble a leather bag later on, that’s your choice,” Downie cautioned, highlighting that skin cancer affects approximately 6.1 million adults annually in the U.S., making it the most common form of cancer.

Despite ongoing FDA investigations into sunscreen ingredients, which have called for more data on potential health effects, there is no evidence suggesting that sunscreens are unsafe. Nevertheless, beachgoers along the Jersey Shore expressed heightened awareness of sun safety this summer, reflected in increased Google searches for terms like “sunscreen” and “skin cancer symptoms.”

Downie noted, “Younger generations are motivated by concerns about pores. Once they learn sunscreen helps prevent enlarged pores, they’re more inclined to use it.”

Dermatologists emphasize that there is no safe way to tan and recommend consistent sunscreen application, UPF clothing, and avoiding peak sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to best protect against harmful UV rays this season.