Let’s debunk some of the common myths about sun protection!
Sunscreen is an essential component of skin care, as we all know. With a variety of formulas available to suit all skin types, sunscreen is a must-have regardless of your location, profession, or lifestyle. However, despite dermatologists and numerous other skincare experts stressing the importance of sunscreens, there is a great deal of misinformation about these skincare essentials.
And we—a team obsessed with all things beauty and skincare—couldn’t let you live with these misconceptions. So, to prevent you from harboring any wrong ideas about your favorite SPF bottle, here are some common sunscreen myths busted.
Myth 1: Wearing Sunscreen Is Only Necessary When Spending Time Outdoors
Sun protection is a must 365 days a year, regardless of where you are, what you are doing, or what the weather is like. Almost all sun exposure occurs unintentionally and incidentally. Sun damage occurs during short exposures to the sun, such as during a commute to work or while running errands.
When short bursts of time are spent without sunscreen, the effects are long-lasting and dangerous. Although UVB rays cause other skin problems only in the summer, UVA rays penetrate even on cloudy days and cause aging and skin cancer all year long.
You may be wondering if sunscreen is still necessary when you spend all day indoors. The answer is yes! Fortunately, the solution is straightforward. Include sunscreen in your daily skincare routine, covering your face as well as your neck, chest, and hands—which are all common spots people forget to protect.
Myth 2: Sunscreen Provides Complete Sun Protection
In spite of your best efforts, sunscreen cannot completely protect you from UV rays. In reality, most sunscreens fail to block more than 99% of UV rays in spite of their high SPF, and they also lose their effectiveness over time.
When you've applied sunscreen, the next step is to wear protective clothing, seek shade, and avoid the brightest hours of the day (between 10 am and 4 pm). The best way to ensure strong, dependable sun defense is to combine all four protection measures.
Myth 3: SPF 30 Offers Twice the Protection of SPF 15
When it comes to SPF numbers, standard math concepts don't apply. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 blocks 94% of UVB rays, while a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 blocks 97%. In this case, the highest SPF sunscreen may not necessarily offer the best protection once you go above SPF 30.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the short answer to "what SPF do I need?" is SPF 30 for day-to-day use. When you're at the beach or pool, it's a good idea to err on the side of caution and use SPF 50.
Although you'll see SPF 100 sunscreen on store shelves, it won't provide twice the amount of protection as SPF 50. With SPF 100, you'll block 98 percent of UVB rays, versus 99 percent with SPF 50. The sky-high SPFs may also lead people to think they don't need to reapply as often. Hence, a 100 SPF can give a false sense of protection.
Myth 4: Sunburn Is the Only Damage Caused by the Sun
While sunburns only last a few days, UV rays can cause lifelong damage.
The earth's surface and our skin are exposed to two types of ultraviolet rays—UVA and UVB. The UVB rays cause sunburn, while the UVA rays can cause wrinkles and skin discoloration that result in premature aging.
A broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays, both of which can cause skin cancer.
Myth 5: You Only Have to Apply Sunscreen Once per Day
Sunlight breaks down sunscreens, so they become less effective as the day goes by. Reapply every two hours or after bathing, swimming, or excessive sweating to ensure its best performance.
Reapplying sunscreen on a regular basis is not as important if you spend most of your time inside, but if you spend most of your time outdoors, you should keep sunscreen handy and reapply liberally.
Myth 6: Your Sunscreen Won’t Run Off If It’s Waterproof
No sunscreen is completely waterproof, despite what brands claim. Water-resistant sunscreens have up to 80 minutes of water resistance before they need to be reapplied, according to the FDA.
In any case, regular sunblock needs to be reapplied every two hours anyway, so it won't make a big difference. You should reapply sunscreen after swimming or excessive sweating, regardless of whether it is waterproof.
Myth 7: Dark Skin Can’t Get Sunburned
Skin color does not exempt ethnic groups with darker skin from daily sunscreen use. Skin pigment only offers a sun protection factor of 4.
Due to the fact that UVA rays affect every skin tone equally, there is also the universal risk of skin cancer and aging. Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race, which is why sunscreen should be used regularly.
Myth 8: When It Comes to Sunscreen, Only SPF Matters
As mentioned in Myth #3, not all sunscreens are created equal, and a higher SPF isn't necessarily better. There are two types of sunscreen: chemical and physical/mineral. Physical sunscreens sit on top of the skin and block UV rays, while chemical sunscreens sink into the skin and absorb UV rays.
What's most important is that you choose a broad spectrum sunscreen, regardless of your preference. When a sunscreen is labeled "broad spectrum", it makes sure it protects from UVA and UVB rays.
Myth 9: You Don’t Need to Wear Sunscreen If Your Makeup Contains SPF
First of all, congratulations on being smart enough to choose makeup that already has SPF. Although SPF-infused makeup is smart (the more protection the better), it shouldn't completely replace sunscreen. Rather than using it as your only sun protection, consider it as a second line of defense. You can use a moisturizer with SPF 30 if it has broad-spectrum protection and you apply enough.
Despite numerous studies on UV rays and how to protect your skin from the sun, there are still many facts and myths about sun protection. With this blog, we hope we have some of your sunscreen myths busted.
Did you already know about any of these myths? Comment below to let us know!