The arrival of warm weather increases exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, and the best way to protect the skin from the negative effects of these rays is by applying sunscreen.
There are many myths around sunscreens, and that is why in this post, I will reveal what is behind the best known, so you can know if they are as true as they say.
Only fair-skinned people should wear sunscreen.
You have likely heard the phrase, and I will tell you that it is false; the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays affects all skins. That’s why, no matter the color of your skin, you should wear sunscreen.
A study by the American Cancer Association indicates that while it is true that people with light skin and eyes are more likely to suffer from sun damage, dark skin can also be affected.
Dark skin and other ethnic origins produce a greater amount of melanin, which acts as a barrier to UV rays, making them more resistant to the action of the sun.
But in the same way, a high prolongation can damage them. So that’s where the sunscreen comes into action, giving you another layer of shelter.
If the weather is cloudy, you don’t have to use sunscreen
At first glance, it seems logical that you do not use sunscreen if you do not do it, but the reality is very different: ultraviolet rays arrive in the same way, no matter if the day is sunny or cloudy.
The Skin Cancer Foundation points out that ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a cloudy day by up to 40%, so going out without applying sunscreen is not a good option.
If you wear sunscreen on the beach, don’t tan.
This is a half-baked myth and depends on 2 factors– the amount of sunscreen you use and how long you expose yourself to the sun’s rays.
Luis Rodríguez, a dermatologist at the Hospital de Monforte, indicates that a low time of exposure to the sun’s rays added to apply a sunscreen with a high factor and in the right amount should prevent you from tanning.
At this point, keep in mind that tanning is the body’s way of telling you that it’s getting an unusual amount of solar radiation— which isn’t really good.
Therefore, if you want to take color but protecting your skin, you must expose yourself for short periods of time to the king star, always avoiding the hours of greatest radiation (between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm) and applying sunscreen with a high factor.
If I use sunscreen, I will have vitamin D deficiency
This is another half-bakedmyth: vitamin D is necessary as it is responsible for maintaining correct calcium levels in the body, which will be used to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures.
But keep in mind that the sun isn’t the only source you can get vitamin D from.
The American Cancer Association points out that it is better to obtain the vitamin D needed for the body from foods or vitamin supplements rather than exposure to the sun’s rays. This is because sunbathing for a long time increases the risk of skin cancer.
So, if you have vitamin D deficiency, you should start by eating foods rich in it (milk, fish, among others) instead of tostarte in the sun.
Sunscreen doesn’t expire.
If you have heard this before, I comment that it is not correct; most sunscreens indicate the expiration date on the bottle, and you should discard it when that date has passed.
You may also come across sunscreens that don’t include an expiration date. Regarding this, Dr. Lawrence Gibson, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic, points out that sunscreens with no expiration date can be used for up to 3 years, as long as they retain the same color and consistency.
So if you had sunscreen last year (which you shouldn’t because you have to apply it daily), you could use it this year, taking into account the above points.
If I go swimming, I don’t need sunscreen.
This myth is false: you should always apply sunscreen and more when being underwater since it acts as a mirror enhancing the action of the sun’s rays.
Of course, when you go to the beach or pool, you have to use sunscreen with water resistance, this being the only one that will stay on your skin.
Dr. Lawrence, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic, indicates that a sunscreen with water resistance stays on the skin for up to 40 minutes and a very water-resistant one for up to 80 minutes.
The fact is that on a beach day, swimming or not, you should wear a protector, and it is best to choose one with a high SPF (greater than 30)and very resistant to water for more safety.
Here are some exciting articles that, if you care about the sun’s rays, you should visit:
- Umbrellas with sun protection: how they are and how they work
- The best sunscreens to buy: types, formats, tips…
- Would you like to make your own sunscreen at home with natural ingredients? Visit How to prepare a homemade sunscreen.