3 Biggest Myths about Sunscreen

Cynthia Bailey, MD|September 3, 2015

Sunscreen MythsWhen it comes to sunscreen, there is a lot of conflicting information available. From media to so-called experts, it seems as though someone is always touting a new sunscreen wonder to ensure sun protection. It can be confusing and absolutely exhausting to try to discern the good information from the fluff! Have you been hoodwinked by a sunscreen product? Please share your story below in the comments. How about putting a few common misconceptions about sunscreen to rest once and for all? Here are some common sunscreen myths that, once debunked, could provide valuable protection for you and your family going forward. Myth #1: Tans are safe, okay and won’t lead to wrinkles. Not true! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this, I would have a considerable amount of money stowed away! Let’s just break this down. For starters, no sun tan is safe. Some people argue that they need to get vitamin D from the sun, but there are other ways that are much more complimentary to your health by which to obtain this nutrient. Secondly, every tan will lead to wrinkles, skin thinning, age spots and dull skin. Is a tan worth that to you? I surely hope not! Sun protection is the single most important way to have beautiful, radiant smooth skin for your entire life. Myth #2: Any sunscreen will work, right? Absolutely not! Choosing a sunscreen can be a very daunting task since there are so many choices, but don’t just pick one and be done with it. The value of your skin depends on your sunscreen. To protect your skin, you must do ALL of the following:

  1. Pick a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. (Note: It must say “broad spectrum” – this is non-negotiable!)
  2. Never use expired sunscreen. Check the expiration date and throw out expired sunscreen because the protective ingredients break down, leaving you unprotected when you think you are safe.
  3. You need to put it on thoroughly and keep reapplying it if you are in the sun for hours.
  4. Make additional choices to keep UV rays off your skin including wearing clothes to cover your skin, seeking the shade and wearing a broad-brimmed hat such as one like this.
  5. Beyond protecting your skin, you should also always wear UV blocking sun glasses too.

Myth #3: Morning sun, late afternoon sun and winter sun are all safe. No, of course not! People justify what they want, and this is a classic example. However, all sun, no matter when or where on the earth it shines is equally intense regarding UVA rays. What’s more, these rays wrinkle the skin in the worst way. This is why you need “broad spectrum” sunscreen to block UVA. One of our most popular sunscreens is the Citrix SPF 40.  It’s my personal favorite for everyday use. Another favorite is the Suntegrity 5-in-1 BB Cream SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen. Check out our complete list of sunscreens here to find out what is right for you. When it comes to sun protection, I’ve heard just about every excuse in the book. The problem is that people want the best of both worlds – they want to enjoy a sun-kissed tan, but they don’t want wrinkles, thin and fragile skin, dry skin, sun spots, skin cancer, etc. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Instead of potentially getting one of the aforementioned sun-induced conditions, how about being proactive and protect your skin for a healthier life?

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