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11 sunscreen myths and facts

Modern sunscreens are highly developed and offer more protection than ever before.
There are some common myths and misconceptions surrounding sunscreens that people should be aware of before buying their next bottle. We have listed them here.

1. Sunscreen is not always necessary
Many people believe that sunscreen is only necessary when their entire body is exposed to sunlight, such as by the pool or swimming in the sea. Ultraviolet light is still harmful to exposed skin, no matter how much of it is exposed.

Some people also believe that sunscreen is not necessary on cloudy days because the sun doesn't feel as strong as it normally does. The truth is that when the body is exposed to the light of the sun, it is exposed to UV rays, even if it is a cloudy day.

2. Sunscreen will prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for health and the body makes it easy through exposure to UV rays. However, sunscreen blocks UV rays. So, in theory, using sunscreen 100 percent of the time would prevent a person from getting proper levels of vitamin D.

However, sunlight can penetrate clothing, sunscreens lose their effectiveness over time and a person is likely to forget to apply sunscreen every time they see the sun.

Many scientists and dermatologists suggest that just 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure per day can create the right amount of vitamin D in the body.
3. Dark-skinned people don't need sunscreen
Some people believe that people with more melanin in the skin do not need sunscreen. This is because melanin diffuses UVB rays and can protect against sunburn to some extent.

Although darker-skinned people are more protected from the sun, they should still use a full spectrum sunscreen. UVA damage is not blocked in the same way by melanin and can lead to premature skin aging and wrinkles.

Melanin also doesn't protect the skin from extreme sun exposure, such as spending long hours in the sun unprotected. Dark-skinned people are also not protected against skin cancer.

4. Tanning beds provide a protective base tan
Some people believe that they should use tanning beds to get a quick tan before summer comes, or before exposing themselves to a lot of sun, for example when on vacation.

Tanning beds use high concentrations of UVA light to quickly darken the skin, while the sun contains both UVA and UVB light. Exposure of the body to high levels of UVA light from a tanning bed creates a temporary tan that will do little to protect the skin from sun exposure and sunburn caused by UVB light.

5. Make-up is sufficient to protect the face
While it's true that makeup can provide a little sun protection, it's not much and is not a substitute for a good sunscreen. Make-up should be seen as an extra layer of protection, not the only one.

6. Sunscreen works better than covering up
It can be tempting to think that a layer of sunscreen makes the body invincible to the sun. Many people who use sunscreen believe that it allows them to stay protected all day long, even if a lot of skin is exposed.

The truth is that covering the skin provides much better protection than sunscreen. A hat and clothing that cover the skin will protect the skin better than sunscreen.

7. You cannot tan while wearing sunscreen
Sunscreen protects the skin from most light rays, but some continue to reach the skin. This means it is still possible to get a tan while wearing sunscreen.

Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but may not protect the body completely. It is still possible to get a tan while using sunscreen even when someone applies it several times a day.

Tan is the body's natural protective response to UV exposure. To avoid sunburn, it is best to apply sunscreen and wear a hat and long clothes.

8. All sunscreens are the same
There is a common misconception that all sunscreens are about the same and will do the same job. However, there are several ingredients in sunscreens and they can protect against different levels of sun exposure.

Active ingredients such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and ecamsule are commonly used to filter out UVA and UVB rays. There are also chemical blockers, such as avobenzone. These ingredients block the sun in several ways. Using a full spectrum sunscreen is important as it will protect the skin from the widest range of UV light.

9. One application of sunscreen protects all day
Many people think that sunscreen lasts all day after just one application. In reality, sunscreen loses its effectiveness in a short time. People should apply sunscreen at least every 2 to 4 hours.

10. Sunscreen is waterproof Sunscreen labeled as water-resistant or sweat-resistant, or marketed as a sports sunscreen, may appear waterproof. Unfortunately, this is an exaggeration of what sunscreen can do. No sunscreen product can be 100 percent waterproof. People should always reapply waterproof sunscreens after exposure to water. Leave the sunscreen on the skin for at least 10 to 15 minutes before entering the water.

11. Sunscreen never expires
Contrary to popular belief, the sunscreen comes naturally. The active ingredients can break down over time and using expired sunblock can leave the skin unprotected.