We’ve Decided To Bust The Most Common Sun Protection Myths Out There

by Tanya Arora

What’s a beach vacation without a hearty dose of the brightest rays of the sun? After all, nobody likes to go to the beach on a rainy day! The source of life on our planet, the sun, can make the darkest clouds fade away and can make the gloomiest days cheery. We all love basking in its bright rays from time to time and getting that much-needed vitamin D, don’t we?

However, as you know, the sun’s rays are not all that good. Which is why you need to slather a generous amount of sunscreen on your body every time you step out. Protecting yourself from the harsh UV rays of the sun is absolutely crucial or you could fall prey to skin cancer (1).

That said, many myths still abound about sun protection, with a lot of believing that it’s not even necessary at all times! Today, we’re going to bust 10 common myths on sun protection so that you know what’s true and what’s not-

1. Higher SPF Means More Protection


Since an SPF 30 is double SPF 15, many people believe that the former will be twice as more effective in providing sun protection. This is not true. The difference between the sun protection capacities of each SPF is negligible. 93 percent of sun’s rays are filtered by SPF 15, while the numbers for SPF 30 and SPF 50 are 97 percent and 98 percent respectively (2).

2. No Sunscreen Needed On Cloudy Days


This is false. Even if the darkest clouds cover your city, you still need to put your sunscreen, as 80 percent of the sun’s rays are able to pass through the clouds quite easily. These rays obviously reach you. So, if you want to protect yourself from the sun, you better not skip on that sunscreen.

3. Solarium Tanning Is A Safer Option


Most people prefer solarium tanning to tanning naturally at the beach as they consider the former to be a safer option. Truth be told though, tanning is never safe! Tanning beds also expose your skin to dangerous levels of UV rays, which can damage your skin further and even cause cancer (3).

4. No Chances Of Sunburn On Dark Skin


Your skin color is not a determinant of whether you’ll get sunburnt or not. You could be very white or very dark and still get the same type of sunburn from the same amount of sun exposure. This only depends on your skin type. All that happens in the case of dark-skinned people is that they don’t tan easy and the redness of sunburn is not as easily visible as on fair-skinned people.

5. Office-Goers Don’t Need Sunscreen


Just as sunscreen is not necessary on a cloudy day is a myth so is the statement that office-goers needn’t apply sunscreen. Most office buildings have huge glass windows that allow plenty of sunlight to come in, which in turn can damage your skin. The same holds true when you’re driving a car. Glass cannot block out the sun’s rays.

6. Sunscreen Can Lead To Deficiency Of Vitamin D


No, it can’t. Sunscreens may filter out UV rays of the sun but they can’t make you deficient in vitamin D. There’s no study to prove it! Besides, there are plenty of food-based sources of vitamin D. As long as you have those in your diet, there’s no way you’ll get vitamin D deficiency.

7. You Only Need To Apply A Light Layer Of Sunscreen


A light layer of sunscreen is no good. You need to be generous with the amount! Experts recommend using a minimum of 5 to 6 teaspoons of sunscreen on your body and half a teaspoon on your face (4). You should also apply sunscreen 15 minutes before leaving so it gets absorbed well.

8. Applying Sunscreen Once A Day Is Enough


The effect of a sunscreen can wear off quite fast. Thanks to the sweat and grime and other things you deal with through the day. Hence, reapplication is necessary and once every 2 hours.

9. Sunscreen Sprays Are Best


Sunscreen sprays are much preferred for their convenience – easy to apply and it dries quickly. However, they are not the best in terms of sun protection. Due to their light nature, your skin is covered by a very thin layer of sunscreen, which is not as effective (5). Besides, they’re expensive too!

10. Waterproof Sunscreen Is Ideal


No. There’s really nothing called ‘waterproof sunscreen’ in the first place. Sunscreens can be water resistant, meaning they’ll stay on for some time as you swim but they’ll wear off all the same. Reapplication is a must after a swim or shower.

Don’t believe everything you hear about sun protection. Not believing in the myths can go a long way in preventing you from deadly diseases such as skin cancer!

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