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Sunscreen Myths

Happy Friday Skin Ravers!

Lately, I’ve been reading through some blogs and coming across posts containing comments and information about sunscreen + sun protection that are just plain FALSE, and it’s really urking me.

What really bugs me is these bloggers who have thousands and thousands of followers, posts inaccurate information, then have the potential to influence all those readers to behave and/ or think in the same fashion. Sometimes, I wish they would just stick to their own subject of expertise! I know, I know, first amendment right?

Skin Ravers, remember to do your research and don’t always believe what you read.

Today, I’ve compiled a few sunscreen myths that I myself have frequently come across and want to clarify.

Myth #1: “All sunscreens are the same”

Sunscreens are products with active ingredients which when applied properly, are meant to help protect our skin from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Active ingredients can be physical blockers, such as titanium oxide, zinc oxide or chemical screens, such as oxybenzone, homosalate, octinoxate. Physical blockers sit on the skin, deflecting away harmful UV rays, while chemical screens primarily absorb rays. While the objective of sunscreen use is the same, the ingredients in sunscreens vary and hence provide differences in how they work, their texture, UV ray coverage, stability and even allergy potential.

Myth #2: “If I apply sunscreen, it’s all the protection I need from the sun”

Sunscreen alone isn’t enough to protect 100% against ultraviolet rays. They also lose their effectiveness over time which is why reapplying every 2 hours is recommended. Every sun protection regimen should include a combination of minimizing sunlight exposure, seeking shade during hours which UV rays are more intense, use of broad coverage sunscreen, sun protective clothing and wearing UV protective sunglasses.

Myth #3: “I don’t wear sunscreen because it blocks my Vitamin D production”

Okay, this statement is true, but before you hold the sunscreen and head out, you should know a few points. Vitamin D production in the skin can be affected by multiple variables. Age, skin type, amount of skin exposed, time of year and geographical location all can impact how much Vitamin D is produced. You should also know that too much UV exposure can reduce Vitamin D.

Did you know during the winter months, in northern areas such as New York City and Boston, there aren’t enough UVB rays for anyone with any skin type to produce Vitamin D in their skin?

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends getting enough Vitamin D through a healthy diet including food and beverages, supplementation, and NOT from sunlight.

Myth #4: “I tan and don’t burn, I don’t have to wear sunscreen”

Remember burning of skin is a result of UVB rays, but what we don’t see immediately is the effect of UVA damage. Although we don’t know every impact UVA rays have, we do know they play a role in aging and wrinkling of the skin. Regardless whether one sunburns or not, ultraviolet radiation is still being absorbed into the skin and can damage cellular DNA.

Myth #5: “I only have to apply sunscreen once a day and I’m good to go”

Sunscreen actives do lose effectiveness. Sunscreen is meant to be reapplied every 2 hours, and again after coming out from the water or after excessive sweating.

Which sunscreen myths have you come across?