Sunscreen: Myths and Facts

Sunscreen: Myths and Facts

By now, you already know the importance of wearing sunscreen. In today's post, we're debunking some common sunscreen myths. Let's separate the facts from the lies for us to ensure we're getting adequate sun protection.

MYTH 1—I ONLY NEED TO APPLY SUNSCREEN ONCE A DAY

If you spend most of your day indoors at a desk, with only short periods of exposure to the sun, then applying sunscreen once a day might be enough for you. However, if you're outside a lot, sweating, or frequently wiping your skin throughout the day, once won't do.

According to the FDA, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours. 

SPF measures the amount of sunlight it takes to turn your skin red while using sunscreen versus the amount it takes when you don't have sun protection. A product with SPF 15 is supposed to protect you for about 150 minutes. Therefore, the SPF value is a fraction. SPF 30 isn't twice as much protection as SPF 15, but a small percentage more.

SPF 15 should protect us from 93% of rays, while SPF 30 protects against 97%. 

Some products come with the label SPF 50+, fooling users into thinking they only need one application per day. 

MYTH 2—I CAN APPLY ZINC OXIDE PRODUCTS IN THE SAME WAY THAT I APPLY CHEMICAL SPF

Zinc oxide is considered the safest and most potent ingredient for broad-spectrum sun protection. However, if you misapply it, you may not be getting full protection.

Don't rub it in like a regular lotion. Zinc oxide works best when it's on the surface of your skin- so swipe it on gently and leave a thin layer covering your skin. 

MYTH 3— WATERPROOF SUNSCREEN

On June 18th, 2014, the FDA released new guidelines for labeling sun protection products. They have now stated that products can't carry the label "waterproof" or "sweat-proof", since this is misleading to customers.

Sunscreen can't provide 100% sun protection, so waterproof sun protection doesn't exist. Manufacturers can still use the term "water-resistant" as long as they indicate a time limit of either 40 or 80 minutes on the product. 

NOTE: the ingredients used to make sun lotions water-resistant are harmful. Silicones create a barrier on your skin, interfering with the release of sweat, regulation of temperature, and elimination of dead skin cells. 

MYTH 4—SUN PROTECTION PRODUCTS BLOCK OUT ALL THE SUN'S RAYS

Even if you apply the highest rated products perfectly, that won't block out ALL harmful light. You need to wear protective clothing and limit your exposure to the sun for full protection. Consider shopping for wide-brimmed hats, especially if you live in a predominantly hot area.

sun with hands

MYTH 5—THE SUN AFFECTS ME THE SAME WAY, EVERY DAY 

Several factors alter our risk of burning from sun exposure. For example, if you travel to a high altitude area, you're more at risk because there is less atmosphere between you and the sun. When you're near reflective surfaces such as sand, water, or snow, be aware of the rays they reflect on you.  

Other factors include alcohol, medications, and detoxification. Studies indicate that drinking alcohol before or during sun exposure can significantly increase your risk of sunburn. Alcohol diminishes the levels of antioxidants in your body, leaving your skin vulnerable to damage.

Medication such as certain birth control pills, over the counter pain relievers, antidepressants, and antibiotics can make your skin more likely to burn.

To mitigate this risk, ensure to check if your medication makes you photosensitive and take appropriate precautions.

If you love to detox, beware that it can make you more sensitive to the sun. If you usually eat clean but have recently fallen off, your body could also be ejecting impurities at a higher rate than usual, leaving you more susceptible to sunburn.

With love,

​The Sole Toscana Beauty Team