Don’t believe everything you hear! Let’s bust some myths about the sun and sunscreen, and set the facts right for all the sceptics out there.
Myth #1: The higher the SPF the better
Truth: a higher SPF does not mean better protection. Look at the chart below:
SPF 2-4 – blocks 50-75% UV
SPF 4-10 – blocks 85% UV
SPF 10-20 – blocks 95% UV
SPF 20-30 — blocks 98% UV
SPF 50 – blocks 99% UV.
Did you know that for that last additional 1% of protection, cosmetic companies add a lot more active ingredients in the sunscreen formulation. If the sunscreen that you are using contains mainly chemical sunscreens, then it means more chemicals on your skin and a higher risk of skin irritation. That’s why you shouldn’t use SPF 50 daily, and SPF 30 will be the better choice.
Myth #2: “I’m allergic to all sunscreens.”
Truth: No, you are probably not
Nowadays, we have such great possibility of choice of sunscreens: paba free, oil-free, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, chemical free, etc. Pay close attention to mineral based sunscreens – the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sit on the skin instead of being absorbed into it. So, if you have allergic, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use it at all, just be careful when choosing your sunscreen.
Myth #3 Waterproof sunscreens
Truth: Sunscreens are not fully waterproof
Waterproof sunscreens loose most of their effectiveness after 40 minutes in the water. “Waterproof sunscreens” is yet another marketing gimmick, in fact cosmetics companies have to add warnings to their labels: All sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours – especially after swimming or excessive sweating.
Myth #4 Spray sunscreens are better than lotions
Truth: Not really
On the one hand, spray on sunscreens are easy to apply and because of that you might be more likely to use them. On the other hand, spray formulas containing alcohol that might irritate your skin or not give enough protection. Lotions can provide a deeper coverage since you have to actually rub it into your skin.
Myth #5 You don’t need sunscreen if you have dark skin
Truth: Although dark skin does not burn in the sun as easily as fair skin, the sun can still damage the skin.
Everybody, regardless of race, ethnic origins and skin type is subject to the damaging effects of exposure to the sun. Even those who tan easily and rarely burn should use sunscreen. A base tan is no substitute for sunscreen either.