Sunscreen is the best option to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, other than avoiding the sun altogether. But for some, sunscreen has a bad rep and many believe this important supplement for your skin is actually dangerous. As we head into the sunniest and warmest days of the year, we want you to know the truth about sunscreen so you are properly protected.
Myth: Sunscreen causes cancer and other health problems.
Fact: This myth originates from a very dated study on oxybenzone, a substance found in sunscreen. The study revealed that oxybenzone had adverse effects on rats tested in the study, but in the 40 years since that study, no other study has come to the same conclusion for humans. However, if you are still not convinced that sunscreen is safe, we recommend using sunblock. Sunblock contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and is not absorbed through the skin.
Myth: You don’t always need sunscreen.
Fact: If you go outside on any day, including cloudy, overcast days, you need sunscreen or sunblock. Even if you can’t “feel” the sun on a cloudy day, the UV rays are still there, penetrating the clouds that cover them. The same goes for cold, wintry days. You need to wear sunscreen 365 days a year.
Myth: You don’t need sunscreen if you have dark skin.
Fact: While it’s true that people with dark skin are more protected from the sun than people with light skin, they are still susceptible to sun exposure. Though sun damage is harder to see on dark-skinned people, it can still occur and the best way to avoid sun damage is to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, just like everyone else.
Myth: Makeup replaces sunscreen.
Fact: Even if your makeup contains SPF, you still need sunscreen. Though, in theory, makeup covers the skin and perhaps provides a certain amount of protection from the sun, it’s still not enough to protect your face and, unless you like to wear foundation on your shoulders, arms, and legs, you still need sunscreen for those and other exposed parts of the body.
Myth: Sunscreen with higher SPF only needs to be applied once a day.
Fact: All sunscreen, no matter the SPF, only works for a couple of hours after applying, which is why you should reapply every 2-4 hours.
Myth: Waterproof sunscreen doesn’t need to be reapplied after swimming.
Fact: There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. We repeat, there is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. Wear it, reapply it. Repeat.