Have you ever applied sunscreen and still ended up with a nasty sunburn? There is a right and wrong way to apply sunscreen— and effects of sun exposure include damaged skin, cancer, and aging. Read through these common myths and misconceptions, learn how to correctly use sunscreen, and have a safe, healthy summer.
1. Sunscreen can be applied right before going out in the sun.
Nope! Sunscreen needs 15 minutes to sink in. And don’t forget to take sunscreen with you! Experts recommend reapplying every 2 hours.
2. You don’t need to apply sunscreen when it’s cloudy.
This is a common misconception. It’s actually the angle of the sun, not the temperature that determines your sun exposure.
3. Sunscreen prevents Vitamin D from reaching your skin.
A myth. Only a small amount of sun exposure is needed to avoid a Vitamin D deficiency. If you’re concerned about Vitamin D, fortified dairy products and oily fish such as tuna or salmon are good choices. If you don't eat those foods and get very little sun, talk to a dietician or take small amounts of a supplement.
4. I can expose sunburnt skin, new tattoos, scrapes and other raw skin to the sun, as long as I apply sunscreen.
Ew, no. Sun exposure can slow healing and may increase the likelihood of scarring. Don’t risk it!
5. Spray on sunscreens deplete the ozone layer.
Ozone-depleting chemicals are no longer used in consumer products. But there are still chemicals in sunscreen, so take care when you spray not to breathe it in.
6. Expensive sunscreens provide more protection.
More money doesn't equal more coverage. The expensive ones may feel good going on. That's what you're paying for, not extra protection. In fact, you might even use an expensive sunscreen more sparingly. Better to buy an inexpensive brand that is broad-spectrum and has an SPF of 30 and slather it on than to buy a pricey brand and use a tiny amount.