9 SUNSCREEN MYTHS DEBUNKED
With so many lingering myths about sunscreen, we thought we’d help you sort through the clutter and shed some light on what’s true, versus what’s myth.
MYTH #1. Sunscreen prevents the body from absorbing vitamin D.
The body easily makes this vital nutrient through sun exposure, so one would think that sunblock will restrict that. However, sun’s rays are able to penetrate clothing, windows, and sunscreens lose their effectiveness through the day, so we’re in actuality more exposed to the sun every day, than we may think.
There’s no known level of UV exposure that maximizes vitamin D synthesis without increasing the risk of skin cancer, which is why we are firm believers in speaking with a healthcare professional and getting our vitamin D levels up through foods and supplements.
Many scientists and dermatologists suggest that just 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure per day can create the proper amount of vitamin D in the body, and when you factor in the every-day exposure elements mentioned above, there’s no need to overly expose ourselves.
MYTH #2. The higher the SPF, the better.
SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”, which gives you an idea of how long you can stay in the sun without a sunburn, under the protection of the sunscreen.
In other words, how long will the sun’s UV radiation take to redden the skin when using the product exactly as directed, versus the amount of time to redden without any sunscreen on.
In essence, with SPF 30 it should take you 30 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen at all.
For example: if you normally get a sunburn after 20 minutes in the sun, with an SPF 30 sunscreen, you may take 20 minutes x (times) 30 (= 600 minutes or 10 hours) without developing a sunburn. However! It’s critical to mention that sunscreens lose their effectives relatively quickly, which is why the advice of reapplying every 2-3 hours, especially during the hours of peak sun exposure (10am to 2pm), and/or after swimming and sweating, is in place.
The higher SPF value could only extend the time of the protection, but it does not provide significantly more protection at a particular moment. Not to mention that it could provide a false sense of security, which often leads to more negligible behavior and omission in reapplying.
Above a certain level, the higher SPF will have little added benefit compared to a lower SPF. Experts generally recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks out 97% of UVB radiation.
MYTH #3. All sunscreen is the same.
There are a variety of sunscreen ingredients out there, and they may protect against different levels of sun exposure, so the belief that all sunscreen is the same, is false.
Active ingredients such as Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide (mineral sunscreen) are often used to filter out UVA and UVB rays. There are also chemical blockers, such as Avobenzone. These ingredients may all block the sun, but they do it in different ways. We chose to formulate our 4-IN-1 Concealer SPF 30 (broad spectrum) with mineral sunscreen because it’s traditionally most suitable for all skin types, but especially those with sensitive skin or skin easily sensitized. And if we’re applying sunscreen around the eyes, we need ingredients that are non-irritating.
Additionally, some products may only offer UVA protection. Likewise, some may only provide UVB protection. The most important thing is to always use a sunscreen that’s labeled as Full Spectrum, as it will protect skin against the largest range of UV light.
MYTH #4. You don’t need sunscreen in the fall, winter, or on cloudy days.
The ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause sunburn may not as strong during wintertime, but they are always present and they cause fine lines and wrinkles, skin hyperpigmentation and potential skin disease. They ARE in fact present year-round, so it’s important to use sunscreen throughout the year, rain or shine. UV rays not only penetrate through clouds, but they also come in through your windows, bouncing off reflective surfaces and ultimately making their way to your skin.
MYTH #5. Waterproof sunscreen lasts all day.
Don’t think of waterproof sunscreen as being different than regular sunscreen. You should always plan on reapplying sunscreen, regardless of type, every 2-3 hours.
MYTH #6. If your skin is dark, you need less sunscreen.
This is incorrect; the sun’s UV rays will interact with skin in essentially the same way. Everyone, regardless of skin color, needs to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. And although dark skin won't get sunburned as quickly or easily, it can still burn and is still susceptible to sun-induced damage, such as sun spots, premature wrinkles and skin cancer. Everyone should practice good sun safety.
MYTH #7. You cannot tan while wearing sunscreen.
It is absolutely still possible to develop tan while wearing sunscreen, even when re-applying throughout the day. Sunscreen helps protect against UVA and UVB rays, but it may not protect the body entirely. Additionally, we need to always look at a tan for what it is – a response to injury. Your skin’s natural protective response to UV exposure. The increase in skin pigment (called melanin), is a sign of damage.
MYTH #8. Sunscreen never expires.
All sunscreen naturally expires and t active ingredients break down over time. Using expired sunblock may leave your skin unprotected.
MYTH #9. Sunscreen ingredients are dangerous and cause cancer.
Contrary to some popular belief, there is no current data to suggest that sunscreens cause cancer or they are dangerous. It is important to know and understand what you are putting on your skin as it can be absorbed into the body, but there are plenty of sunscreens on the market with ingredients that protect your skin, without compromising your health. If it’s FDA approved, it is so for a reason. Sunscreen ingredients are not the true enemy here, the sun is. And we must protect skin responsibly.
Our 4-IN-1 Concealer SPF 30 was formulated to offer broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, but that doesn’t mean you should skip applying sunscreen as the final step of your skincare routine, or not re-apply throughout the day.