We all know that sunscreen is important. But the specifics have always been a little hazy. ‘When do you use sunscreen, how much do you apply, what kind of sunscreen should I apply. I’m stepping out in the evening, I don’t need sunscreen.’ There are so many such commonly believed myths about sunscreen. We’ve always had some or the other misconceptions about sunscreen and sun exposure and I’m here to shed light on some of the most commonly believed sunscreen myths. And it’s time you start taking sun protection seriously.
Did you know that sunburn, blemishes, wrinkles, acne and hyperpigmentation are all caused due to excessive sun exposure? Were you taking this seriously? I know I wasn’t.
I’m here to shed light on the 15 most commonly believed sunscreen myths you need to IGNORE if you want spotless, radiant skin when you’re older.
Sunscreen does not discriminate, everybody needs sunscreen. Even babies! Whether you tan easily, or never tan at all – if you want to protect your skin from sun damage – sunscreen is non-negotiable.
I’ve been guilty of this for practically half of my teenage life. Just because your BB cream or foundation has SPF15 it does not mean that you don’t need any other sunscreen on your neck and body. Every part of your body is susceptible to skin damage and skin cancer will hit any part of your body, not just necessarily your face.
This is another one of those things that we all believe to be true. Unfortunately, the effects of any sunscreen start wearing off at the 2-4 hour mark and you need to reapply it to continue to be protected from the sun.
All sunscreens are formulated differently. Some have UVA protection, some have UVB protection and some have both. There are also mineral and physical sunscreens. If you need more information on the types of sunscreens and what they are used to check out this post. As a general thumb rule, look for a broad spectrum sunscreen. This offers you protection from UVA and UVB radiation.
I’m cringing a little if you actually believed this was true. All sunscreens have an expiry date, some expire sooner than others depending on their formula. Make sure you keep track of the expiry date before slathering on last year’s bottle of sunscreen.
Just because it’s cloudy or raining, or it’s winter that doesn’t give you an excuse to skip the sunscreen. Let me burst your bubble, sun rays still penetrate through cloud cover and rain to damage your skin.
Research shows that about 80% of sun damage occurs before you turn 18. But never say never. It’s never too late to start! You have years and years of harsh sun exposure ahead of you, the earlier you use a sunscreen the happier your skin will be in the long run. There are sunscreens that are formulated for babies too!
While people with dark skin are less likely to get sunburnt, it does not mean that they shouldn’t use sunscreen. Unfortunately, in darker skin tones, tan, sunburn and skin cancer are harder to detect. Dermatologists recommend that you use a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays (look for the term “broad spectrum” on the label).
This is absolutely untrue. A hat is not adequate sun protection, neither is that beach scarf. You still need to use sunscreen to ensure that your skin does not endure any sun damage. Even if you already have a tan, that doesn’t mean that the sun won’t cause further damage.
Sorry honey, you need to reapply your sunscreen every 2-4 hours. Remember, sunscreen is only effective if applied 20-30 minutes prior to sun exposure.
Not all sunscreens are made to a waterproof formula. Your sunscreen will either mention ‘very water resistant’ or water resistant. In spite of this, you will still need to reapply it every 2-4 hours if you plan to stay in the water or out in the sun.
I’m guilty of telling my dermatologist this and to no surprise, I got glared at. There are special sunscreens formulated for people with sensitive skin. Here are a few that are recommended by dermatologists. There are also sunscreens that have been formulated especially for people with oily skin, here are a few.
The sun doesn’t discriminate whether you’re stepping out for 5 minutes or 1 hour. Don’t use this as an excuse to be lazy!
SPF50 gives you about 98% protection against UVB rays while SPF 100 gives you a 99% protection. There is a minimal advantage and added chemicals. Most dermatologists will recommend an SPF30 as long as you reapply as required.
I actually believed this for a while until I thought logically. Unless your office is in a basement, natural sunlight as well as artificial lighting harm your skin. So make sure you protect yourself no matter where you are as long as the sun is still shining.
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