Summer is just around the corner which means fun days outside and in the sun. Sunscreen use may seem like a no-brainer, but there are many misconceptions surrounding it that lead people away from the protective product. Below are seven myths, along with their truth.
Myth 1: The higher the SPF, the longer the protection
Truth: High SPF numbers lead to a false sense of security. SPFs higher than 50 provide 2% more protection than an SPF 25-30, which provides 97-98% protection against UVB rays. All sunscreens need to be applied every 90 minutes, especially if you are outside for more than two hours, actively playing sports, at the beach or gardening.
Myth 2. As long as you block UVB rays, which cause burning, you are safe.
Truth: You need broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays.
Myth 3. Sunscreen provides adequate protection.
Truth: You must take additional measure to adequately protect yourself in addition to sunscreen. Those include the following.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim.
- Apply a lip balm with an SPF of 15-30
- Wear clothing made of a protective fabric with a ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 15-50+.
- Avoid products and medications that make you more sensitive to sunburn.
- Take vitamin D supplements or eat food rich in the vitamin. This is safer than the sun.
- Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Myth 4. Vitamin A should not be in a sun protection formula.
Truth: Ester forms of vitamin A and C such as retinyl palmitate or ascorbyl tetra isopalmitate are safe and actually photo-protective and do not create sun sensitivity.
Myth 5. A tan makes you look healthy.
Truth: A tan is a scar. Since ultraviolet light is a carcinogen, there is no safe amount of tanning. The risk of melanoma and other skin cancers increases with each tan.
Myth 6. Indoor tanning booths are a safer way to tan.
Truth: A study published in the Jounal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2014, demonstrated a significant increased risk of developing melanoma with exposure to 10 indoor tanning sessions.
Myth 7. You need both chemical and physical blockers to provide protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Truth: If 7-8% of broad spectrum blockers such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are in the product, they provide both UVA and UVB protection. In addition, a complex of antioxidant vitamins provide additional protection from free radical effects of sun’s damaging rays. Unlike all the other chemical ingredients, which absorb the sun’s rays and can cause skin sensitivity, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide reflect the UVA and UVB rays of the sun.
Safely enjoy the amazing weather summer has to offer! Multiple sunscreen options are available at all three Simonson’s Salon and Spa locations.
Carol Trow has 20 years of experience in the medical skin care field working with Environ. Trow and her husband own DermaConcepts, the exclusive United States distributor of Environ Skin Care.
Rob Trow has published more than 100 articles on skin care science and practical business solutions. Trow frequently speaks about topics of interest at national and international meetings, as well as to medical spas, estheticians and physicians.