Every year there comes a time when sun shines bright in the sky, and all the people who were begging for heat when they were covered in snow would very much like to eat their words. During such periods each of us tries to survive the sun unscathed, but the very foundations of our defensive strategy are usually plagued with myths and misconceptions. What better example can we offer than overall lack of knowledge concerning sunscreens? So, let us breeze through some common beliefs about these products and see if we can help you fill in the gaps, and most importantly, fight the ‘burn more efficiently’.
My base tan allows me to be safe even without sunscreen.
False: We can’t stress enough how important it is for people to understand that there is no such thing as a safe tan. As a matter of fact, your tan is how your skin responds when it is injured by UV exposure, because when your cells are exposed to UV light they produce more melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin a darker tone. Although damaged skin is less likely to be burned that easy next time, that doesn’t changes the fact that it is already damaged.
The Sun helps my body to produce enough vitamin D.
True: The Sun indeed stimulates your body to produce vitamin D, but take this myth with a grain of salt, because you need much less time exposed to reach adequate levels of this fat-soluble secosteroid then you might think. After approximately 15 minutes, the vitamin D factory that is your body simply overloads and stops, because if this was not the case, excessive exposure to the Sun could lead to toxic amounts of vitamin D in the organism. Summa summarum, there is no need to remain unprotected during the day.
I have some waterproof sunscreen on me, it will get me through the day
False: It is strongly recommended to reapply your sunscreen every few hours (2-4 hours to be more precise), especially if you are exposing yourself to the Sun for prolonged periods. If you don’t to use that much sunscreen, try to at least cover some more vulnerable parts of your body with clothes. Entering the water will wear off sunscreen faster so don’t believe the sweatproof and waterproof label on your tube of sunscreen. Although they are somewhat more practical than the ordinary ones, the brands certainly oversell themselves.
Sticks or lotions, they are all the same.
True: There are no major differences between all of these products, they all serve as a method of application, and it’s up to you to find out which method suits you the most. For example, men will often choose alcohol-based sprays because they don’t make them greasy. Women, on the other side, like their skin moisturized so they are ok with creamier products and lotions. That doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to experiment. Just be sure to apply any of these products 15-30 minutes before exposing yourself to sun.
We hope that we cleared some of the facts and debunked some myths for you. In the end, what’s most important for everyone is to be safe and don’t permanently damage the skin. You cannot put a price on your health so be free to try using sunscreens, you have nothing to lose.