Sunscreen Myths

sunscreen mythsThink you know fact from fiction when it comes to sunscreen?  Read through these five common sunscreen myths and test your dermatological knowledge.

Sunscreen Myth No.1

Carly was digging through her bathroom drawers before leaving the house to hit the beach.  Behind the aspirin she found the bottle of sunscreen she bought last year and decided to use it thinking it would just as good.  Is she right?

Sadly, the verdict on this one is no.  Sunscreen loses its effectiveness over the course of time, and if it’s been sitting around for a year, it won’t be nearly as effective as a fresh bottle would.  When it comes time to do your spring-cleaning each year, toss out those old bottles of sunscreen, and buy a new one.

Sunscreen Myth No.2

Danielle uses an SPF20 facial moisturizer, followed by an SPF15 foundation, and an SPF15 facial powder.  Altogether she figures she’s covering her skin with the equivalent of an SPF50 sunscreen.  Does that sound correct to you?

Busted!  This sunscreen myth is just plain false.  It doesn’t matter how many layers of SPF you put on, your skin will only be covered to the degree of the highest SPF you used.

Sunscreen Myth No.3

Tara is African-American, and her close friend Molly has spent the last month building up a nice base tan.  Both agreed that due to their respectively darker hues, neither one needed to worry as much about sunscreen, as other, lighter people do.

Not so, say dermatologists.  Darker skin colors are just as likely to receive sun damage as their lighter counterparts.  No matter what your hue is, donning sunscreen is a good way to help protect against the sun’s damaging rays.

Sunscreen Myth. No.4

Allie picks up an SPF50 sunscreen while her sister Therese opts for an SPF15.  Allie claims that she’ll be more protected from the sun and that Therese should go for the SPF50 as well.  What do you think?  Is she right?

The answer is both yes, and no.  An SPF15 sunscreen will give you about 93% protection from UVB rays, while SPF30 will provide about 97% protection.  Anything over SPF30 is basically a gimmick since it won’t really provide any additional coverage than the near-100% SPF30 will.  While Therese could arguably upgrade to SPF30, going all the way up to SPF50 is unnecessary.

Sunscreen Myth No.5

Charlotte was online checking out the weather forecast on morning before work.  She noticed that the day would be cloudy, but dry.  Since there wasn’t going to be any sunshine, she figured she’d skip the sunscreen that day.  Is this a smart move?

Unfortunately, Charlotte can still damage her skin even on a cloudy day, or in the shade.

When it comes to questioning sunscreen myths just remember that it’s always better to be safe today than sorry tomorrow.  If you have more questions, speak to your dermatologist, who can address your skin needs more personally.  And as always, slather on that sunscreen!

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