8 Common Myths About Sunscreens – Lifestyle Factors, Limitations and Much More
Summers are just around the corner and it means we have to deal with scorching heat throughout the day. Summer not only changes our clothing and eating preferences but also tends to change our skincare routine.
When you are swapping your cleansers and exfoliating agents, it also adds up a variety of sun protecting agents to your daily skincare routine. However, choosing sunscreen can be really tricky. Because if you are not protecting your skin from sun damage, you may end up having sunspots and skin pigmentation.
I never cared about my skin health during my college years and had this worst skin pigmentation. This was followed by the many struggling years to regain an even-toned skin. For this, I went to a top skin specialist in Lahore who treated me for the problem. The doctor told me this was due to negligence I showed in protecting my skin against the sun. The truth was I never wore sunscreen and didn’t know what it was actually about.
Sunscreens – What the Hype is About?
I am sure most of you can relate to this. With little or no knowledge about sunscreen, we often tend to skip it or not use it properly. So, I thought to clear all of your misconceptions about sunscreen in this piece of information. Let’s debunk some of the common sunscreen myths and see what the truth is about:
Myth # 1
If you wear makeup you don’t need a sunscreen
This is absolutely wrong. No matter how many layers of makeup you are wearing, this doesn’t work like sunscreen. Though some of the makeup products claim to have natural sunscreen in them, this is not true. These products offer very little protection against the sunlight so sunscreen is a must.
Myth # 2
People with darker skin tones don’t need a sunscreen
There is another common misconception about sunscreens that people who have darker skin tones don’t need to use sunscreens. But no matter what skin tone you have you still need to protect yourself from the sun causing damage. Though it is true that darker toned skins are less prone to sun damage, using sunscreen can minimize the extent of sun damage.
Myth # 3
You need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours
Sunscreen, no matter what category it belongs to, needs to be reapplied every 2 hours. This is something we commonly hear about sunscreen and is absolutely true. This is because after some time the protective layer of sunscreen becomes less effective and for this very reason you need to reapply it every 2 hours. The efficacy of sunscreen is affected fast if you are staying outdoors or have high sweating.
Myth # 4
You should only apply sunscreen on your facial skin
This is one of the most commonly believed and practised things about sunscreen. However, it is recommended to apply sunscreen on all the exposed areas of your skin including your lips, feet, hands and even neck.
Myth # 5
Sunscreen gives 100% protection against the sun rays
Let’s face the truth. No matter how good a sunscreen is, none of it can provide 100% protection against the sun. According to the SPF, the extent of sun protection varies. SPF 30 and 50 give 97% and 98% protection accordingly.
Myth # 6
Sunscreens allergies are quite common
No, this is just a myth. Many people believe that they are allergic to sunscreen but they are actually not. Though sunscreen allergies are a thing but less common than we think. Sunscreens contain the ingredients many people are tolerant too. So, sunscreen allergies are not very common. If you are trying to switch to sunscreen, make sure to do a patch test on your skin to determine your susceptibility.
Myth # 7
You don’t need sunscreen if it’s cloudy outside
Many people believe that they only need sunscreen if the sunlight intensity is higher outside which means that there is no need to apply sunscreen if the weather is cloudy outside. However, no matter if you are staying indoors or the weather outside is cloudy, you always need sunscreen.
Myth # 8
Sunscreens can be water-resistant
There is no such thing as completely waterproof sunscreen and this is no more than a marketing hack. According to the recent guidelines. A very resistant sunscreen is the one that lasts for 40 minutes under the water and a very-water resistant one provides 80 minutes of protection.
Sunscreens are an essential part of any skincare routine, especially in summers. There are a variety of sunscreens available in the market offering different levels of sun protection. However, choosing sunscreen can be tricky. Here are things you need to keep in mind while choosing a sunscreen:
- Go for broadspectrum products (SPF 15-50) and avoid the ones offering higher levels of SPF (> 50)
- Avoid products with vitamin A derivatives
- Go for mineral-based products
- Water-resistant products can be a good choice
You can also consult a dermatologist while choosing a sunscreen to make an informed decision.
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