Doctor Fehmida

Sunscreen Myths Debunked: The Truth About Protecting Your Skin

Sunscreen Myths Debunked: The Truth About Protecting Your Skin

Dermatologists recommended sunscreen should be your constant companion all year long but especially in the summer months to protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation with physical blockers that either reflect or absorb UV rays. Sunscreen is crucial in preventing sunburn, premature skin aging, and reducing the risk of skin cancer. It is absolutely necessary in every skin type that wearing SPF 50 or greater each day can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.
In order to reap all these SPF benefits, it’s crucial to apply and reapply sunscreen correctly. Sunscreen is a crucial element of skincare, yet misconceptions about its use are widespread. There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding sunscreen’s safety, effectiveness and usefulness. These myths can significantly impact how effectively we protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. dermatologists debunk and shed light on the truths that will help keep your skin safe and healthy.

Myth 1 : Sunscreen is the only thing you need to protect yourself from the sun

Yes, sunscreen is essential, but it shouldn’t be the only thing protecting you from the sun’s rays. No sunscreen offers 100 percent protection from UV radiation. Other ways to protect yourself from sun damage include:

Wearing protective clothing that is dark and tightly woven, with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) 50+. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection Seeking shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when sun rays are strongest.

Myth 2: Applying sunscreen once is enough for the day

Sunscreen’s protective abilities diminish over time, especially after sweating, swimming, or towel drying. Dermatologists recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours and even more frequently if you’re in water or sweating heavily.

Myth 3: There is SPF in my makeup. I don’t need to wear sunscreen

Sunscreen in makeup counts, it usually doesn’t provide the recommended SPF levels, it’s usually not enough to fully protect your skin from UV rays. Most people don’t apply makeup thickly or evenly enough to achieve the SPF level stated on the product. For adequate protection, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen under your makeup.

Myth 4: Darker Skin Tones Don’t Need to Apply Sunscreen

It takes more sun exposure for darker skin types to get sun damage. While melanin does provide some natural protection against sunburn and skin cancer, no skin type is immune to the harmful effects of UV radiation. People with darker skin tones can still suffer from photoaging, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer. Therefore, sunscreen is essential for everyone, regardless of skin color.

Myth 5: Moisturizers with SPF Don’t Provide Enough Sun Protection

Moisturizers with SPF can provide adequate protection if they have an SPF of 50 or higher and are applied generously and evenly. However, like with makeup, people often apply moisturizer more sparingly, which may reduce its effectiveness as a sun protectant. Consider using a separate sunscreen to ensure you’re getting enough coverage.

Myth 6:  I only need sunscreen when it is sunny

Sunburn and sun damage may be associated with hot, sunny weather, but they can also occur in cold, cloudy conditions.Even when it’s cold, sun is getting through the clouds. While clouds filter some UVB rays, they don’t block UVA rays which are a risk factor for melanoma

So even if it’s cloudy or cold, you need to apply your sunscreen the same way you would if it were a warm sunny day regardless of the weather or season.

Myth 7: A High SPF Means I Don’t Need to Reapply as Often

No matter the SPF number, chemical absorber sunscreens only work for about two hours and should be reapplied after swimming or sweating. Regardless of the SPF level you choose, you need to reapply with the same frequency. While a higher SPF sunscreen does provide a greater degree of protection against UVB rays, it doesn’t grant you a pass to apply it less frequently. SPF is a measure of how well a sunscreen can protect skin from UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn and contribute to skin cancer.

Myth 8: My sunscreen is waterproof, so I don’t need to reapply it after swimming or sweating

The term “waterproof” can be misleading when it comes to sunscreen. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. There is, however, water-resistant sunscreen. Water-resistant sunscreens are formulated to maintain their SPF protection for a certain period of time while swimming or sweating, typically for 40 or 80 minutes. However, they do lose effectiveness after this time or after towel drying and should be reapplied to maintain protection.

Remember, protecting your skin from the sun is crucial for preventing skin cancer and premature aging. For personalized advice on selecting and using sunscreen, consult with Dr Fehmida Arif today to improve skin health by making sunscreen a non-negotiable part of our daily lives.

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