It’s no longer cool to hit the beach without slathering on the sunscreen. Sunburn isn’t pretty, and skin cancer is something no one wants. When you consider the wrinkly, crinkly skin that comes with too much fun in the sun, it’s a wonder that we leave the house at all.
Although the cultivated bronze glow may be losing its allure, we still love to play outside in summer. If the idea of living in a cave to avoid sun damage isn’t something you’re about to do, listen up. It’s okay to play outside. Just be sure to give your skin the sun protection it needs to stay healthy and look good. Here are some common fictions and facts about sunscreen that will help you to keep your skin healthy and get the most from your UV cream or lotion.
1. You can’t get sunburned through a window.
Not true. Although glass decreases the intensity of UV radiation, it doesn’t eliminate it. You can still get burned through a window; it just takes longer.
2. You can’t get sunburned on overcast days.
Wrong. You can get sunburned on overcast days, cloudy days, cool days and windy days. As long as it’s daylight, UV radiation is present everywhere to some degree.
3. We need to spend time in the sun to get vitamin D.
Nope. Just a few minutes of sun exposure every day delivers plenty of vitamin D even if you’re wearing sunscreen.
4. I don’t need sunscreen because I wear an SPF makeup.
5. Sunscreen lasts all day.
Not true. The truth is that sunscreen only lasts for about two hours. After that, it loses its effectiveness and must be reapplied.
6. Solariums are a safe place to tan.
Untrue. There is no safe place to tan. The UV radiation in a solarium is three times stronger than the UV radiation outside on a hot summer day.
7. People who tan do not need sun protection.
False. Tanning is not a sign of health. A tan is your body’s way of trying to protect itself from damaging UV radiation.
8. Sunscreens with an SPF of 15 deliver sufficient sun protection.
Not true. Dermatologists recommend using a sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 that also offers broad spectrum UVA protection.
9. You don’t need sunscreen if you’re going to be in the shade.
Untrue. Although shady spots offer some protection from solar radiation, we are still subjected to the damaging effects of reflected light, especially where there is water or snow. If you’re going to be outside, sunscreen is a must whether you’re in the sun or not.
10. After slathering on the sunblock, it’s safe to go outside.
Wrong. Sunscreen creates a chemical barrier in the skin that absorbs UV radiation. However, it takes 20-30 minutes for the sunscreen to bind with your skin.
Skin cancer and sun damage are very real dangers for anyone who spends time outdoors. However, that doesn’t mean we have to hide in the house. When you buy broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and use it properly, it can greatly reduce the amount of UV radiation your skin is exposed to. Apply your UV cream or lotion sunscreen faithfully, practice common sense and don’t overdo it.