It’s the unofficial start of summer and you’re getting ready to have some fun in the sun. Ah, sunscreen myths – they seem to be as prevalent as the sun itself. But fear not! Today, we’re here to set the record straight and debunk the five most common SPF myths. It’s time to separate fact from fiction and ensure you have the right information for proper sun protection. Let’s dive in!
Myth 1: The higher the SPF, the better the protection.
We’ve all heard this one before, right? But here’s the truth: SPF 30 and SPF 50 sunscreens don’t offer drastically different levels of protection. An SPF 30 sunscreen blocks about 97% of UVB rays, while an SPF 50 blocks around 98%. So, don’t fret about chasing the highest SPF number. Instead, focus on applying an adequate amount of sunscreen and reapplying regularly.
How much do you need to apply? As a general guideline, use about a shot glass worth of sunscreen for your entire body. Don’t forget often overlooked areas like your ears, scalp (if not covered), and the back of your neck. For your face: aim for an amount of sunscreen similar to a grape or a cherry. This means you should use enough sunscreen to cover your entire face, including your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin, as if you were spreading a grape or cherry evenly over your skin. I’m a big fan of SPF tinted moisturizers. Personally, I reach for ones that are 40 SPF or over and easy to take with you on the go.
Myth 2: People with darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen.
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. While melanin in darker skin provides some natural protection against the sun’s harmful rays, it’s not sufficient to completely shield you. People of all skin tones are at risk of sunburns, skin damage, and skin cancer. So, regardless of your complexion, make sunscreen a part of your daily routine to stay protected.
Myth 3: You don’t need sunscreen on cloudy days.
Clouds might give the illusion of safety, but UV rays are sneaky little things. They can penetrate through clouds and still reach your skin, causing damage even on overcast days. So, don’t be fooled by those cloudy skies – make applying sunscreen a habit regardless of the weather.
Myth 4: Sunscreen doesn’t expire.
Sorry, just like many of your beauty products, sunscreen has an expiration date, too. Over time, the active ingredients in sunscreen can lose their effectiveness. So, check the expiration date on the bottle and toss it out if it’s expired. To prolong the life of your sunscreen, store it properly and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures.
Myth 5: Apply sunscreen once a day and you’re good to go.
Wouldn’t it be nice if one application could last the entire day? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied regularly for optimal protection. Make it a habit to reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you’re swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Even if a sunscreen claims to be water-resistant, it’s not invincible and will eventually wear off.
How often to reapply? Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you’re swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Even “water-resistant” or “sweat-resistant” sunscreens lose their efficacy over time, so keep a close eye on the clock.
Remember, SPF isn’t everything – the proper application, regular reapplication, and practicing sun-safe behaviors like seeking shade and wearing protective clothing are all crucial elements of a comprehensive sun protection routine. So, go forth and slather on that sunscreen, and have fun in the sun this summer –safely.
Do you Need Sunscreen for Your Hair?
Nope, you do not need sunscreen specifically for your hair. Sunscreen is designed to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Hair, on the other hand, is not living tissue, so it does not get sunburned or develop skin cancer like your skin does. However, prolonged exposure to the sun can still have damaging effects on your hair. The sun’s UV rays can break down the proteins in your hair, leading to dryness, brittleness, and color fading. To protect your hair from sun damage, you can take some preventive measures such as:
Wear a hat or a scarf: Covering your head with a hat or scarf can provide shade and help shield your hair from direct sun exposure.
Use hair care products with UV protection: Some hair care products, such as leave-in conditioners, sprays, or styling products, contain UV filters that can help protect your hair from the sun’s harmful rays. Look for products specifically formulated for sun protection.
Limit sun exposure: If you know you’ll be spending a significant amount of time in the sun, try to limit direct exposure by seeking shade or staying indoors during peak sun hours.