10 Facts We Now Know About Sunscreen

10 Facts We Now Know About Sunscreen

10 Facts We Now Know About Sunscreen - Choosing The Right Sunscreen For Your Skin Type & Sunscreen Facts And Myths » Myths And Facts About SunscreensMany of us are made to believe that sunscreen lotions prevent skin cancer and a higher SPF would give greater protection against the rays of the sun. While some of it may be true about sunscreen lotions, there are many myths surroundings its usage. While using sunscreen definitely offers some protection against skin cancers, it is not a sure cut way to prevent skin cancers of any sort.

While choosing the best sunscreen lotions for your skin, it’s good to be able to identify the facts from the myths. Here are the myths and the facts associated with them. Take a look at the before you decide on the best SPF for you. Happy shopping!

Myth – Applying sunscreen one time a day offers daylong protection against sun

This is a belief that has made everyone use sunscreen lotions the wrong way. Many use them just once a day and believe that their skin gets protected from the sun all throughout the day. The effect of a sunscreen lotion can last only for 2 or three hours. You have to keep re applying them every two or three hours if you are in the sun constantly. Also many people believe that smearing sunscreen on the body immediately before they step out will offer them enough protection. Again this is a wrong assumption that women have been used to. Sunscreen lotions must be worn at least half an hour before you are exposed to the sun.

Myth- You Don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day

Almost all of us believe in this theory. This is a grave mistake which will prevent us from using sunscreens on cloudy days. 80% of the UV rays can pass through clouds. They are invisible to us and so we believe in the obvious. Moreover, sand on the ground is capable of reflecting a quarter of the sun’s rays. If it is a snowy day, you will be surprised to know that you need more sunscreen lotion as snow can reflect almost 80% of the sun’s rays.

Myth- Higher SPF of 90 and above gives better protection than SPF 30

Anyone could fall for these claims as we associate higher values with better quality. Not always true! There is no significant increase in protection against UV rays if you use SPF 90. All you need on a sunny day is an SPF 30 sunscreen lotion which can block 97% of UV rays from the sun. Any SPF that is above that will offer you just the same protection and nothing more. Don’t fall for marketing strategies employed by companies.

Myth – A little sunscreen lotion offers protection from the sun

Many of us are not sure about the quantity of sunscreen lotion to be applied for proper protection against UV rays. Just a dab of lotion on your skin could mean no protection at all. Normally people ignore what is mentioned in the bottle or it is just not mentioned there. A palmful must be applied on all exposed areas before you step into the sun. Apply generously and definitely half an hour before you step out into the sun.

Myth – Dark skin needs less protection from UV than light skin

We all learnt that dark skin has more melanin and gets more protection from the sun than fair skinned people. That is where this belief stems from. While it is true that melanin gives more protection from sun’s rays, there could be other damages from UV rays from which melanin does not offer protection.

This is the ageing of skin due to sun exposure that both light and dark skin is exposed to. Being dark skin also does not offer you complete protection from skin cancer and sun’s harmful rays. You are also prone to getting more tanned while in the sun. So it is advisable for everyone, irrespective of light or dark skin to use a good SPF.

Myth- Sunscreen lotion is not needed if you are out in the sun for a few minutes

Sun’s rays can damage your skin and lead to tanning even if you are out in the sun for 2 minutes. Sun spots and premature ageing will definitely happen if you are regularly exposed to the sun for a few minutes every day without protection. So it is essential to use sunscreen even if you are in the sun a few minutes while you put your clothes out for drying.

Myth- Sunscreens and fairness creams with SPF give protection from UVA and UVB

Let’s admit that many of us did not know that there is something called UVA and UVB to be protected against. We blindly believe what the product offers. In fact, a sun screen lotion with an SPF will protect us only against UVB. For UVA protection one needs PA+++ ranking. As we are not sure what it means, just look for products that contain zinc oxide, avobenzone, titanium dioxide or mexoryl. These will ensure that you will get UVA and UVB protection as well.

Myth- Sunscreen lotion lasts forever

We could be using old sunscreen lotions that we think will offer the same protection that it proclaimed it will offer. Wrong! Mostly they come with a three year expiry date. After a year, all sunscreen lotions lose some of its effectiveness, the second year, it offers even less protection. No sunscreen lotion will be effective after the three year mark. So toss your bottles if they have gone past the expiration date. It’s always better to use them before its one year.

Myth – Using sunscreen lotion regularly prevents skin cancer

Though sunscreen lotions can reduce the build up of solar keratoses that produce skin cancer, it definitely does not prevent skin cancer. As applying sunscreens every time you step out in the sun may not be an economical option for many, they can prevent sun exposure to a minimum. Avoid being in the sun in the middle of the day when sun is at its hottest and strongest. Umbrellas are great in protecting our body from sun’s rays.

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