Sunscreen Myths 101
by Claudia Christin on Apr 20, 2023
There is so much misinformation circulating online about sunscreen. Let’s break some of the most common skincare myths that you should stop believing, so that you can be wiser regarding your sun protection.
#Myth 1: Applying sunscreen once a day is enough
Many believe that it is enough to apply sunscreen just once in the morning to protect your skin all day. The truth is, your sunscreen can wear off and its protection strength lessens by time.
It will be best to reapply your sunscreen every 3-4 hours, especially if you are doing outdoor activities or sweating.
#Myth 2: Sunscreen is only needed for your face
Your body skin needs protection from the sun too! Especially in those area not covered by clothing. Would you want a youthful face skin with an elderly body skin?
Some commonly missed areas:
#Myth 3: Sunscreen is not necessary when it’s raining, cloudy or snowing outside.
When it's cloudy or raining outside, and the sun is hiding, many people think it is not necessary to wear sunscreen. Truth is, even on rainy days, the UV index still scores high.
On rainy days at 12 to 2 pm, UV index can score 6, which is considerably high. So you will still need to use sunscreen!UVA from sun rays can also penetrate our window, so it is best to put sunscreen on even when indoors!
#Myth 4: Sunscreen blocks the absorption of Vitamin D
We got Vitamin D from UV exposure. But the essence of sunscreen is to protect our skin from UV exposure. Theoretically speaking, we cannot get the Vitamin D we need if we use sunscreen. Where do we get our Vitamin D from then? Since sunlight can penetrate clothing, and we most likely will forget to put sunscreen on every time we see the sun, we can still get the Vitamin D we need.
Many scientists and dermatologists suggest that just 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure per day even when wearing sunscreen can create the proper amount of vitamin D in the body. Besides, there isn't sufficient study that supports this claim.
#Myth 5: Sunscreen is only for people with lighter skin tone/color
The myth is that people with darker skin color don't tan easily so they don’t need to apply sunscreen. While it is true that melanin may protect against sunburn by diffusing UV B, there’s also UV A from the sun that our skin needs protection from.
Sun rays contain UVA and UV B, and sunscreen protects our skin from both of them. Sunscreen helps people with darker skin color to prevent aging and also protect them from skin cancer.
#Myth 6: SPF in makeup is enough to protect your face
When you look at your foundation or cushion packaging, you might notice the label SPF and PA protection as well. It often gets people thinking whether they can just skip their sunscreen, if there’s enough protection from their makeup.
Truth is, the protection of SPF in your makeup is not as good as they think! Remember that you have to apply at least 2 fingers of sunscreen for your face and neck to get desired protection. Imagine putting as much makeup on your face!
You can think of it as additional protection, but you shouldn’t skip or replace the sunscreen with your makeup if it’s not urgent.
#Myth 7: Sunscreen is all you need to get appropriate protection
False! Sunscreen still has shortcomings as it doesn’t cover you from sun rays 100%. Adding physical protection such as a brimmed hat and clothing will protect your skin better.
- Wide brimmed hat
- UPF protective clothing
#Myth 8: You won’t tan if you’re using sunscreen
Tanning is your body’s natural response to UV exposure, even if you wear sunscreen the protection is not enough to keep you from tanning. Sunscreen does wear off throughout the day and they are not 100% protective. It is best to add hat and clothing protection if you don't want to tan.