3 Myths About Sunscreen

We all know that sunscreen plays an important role in year-round skin care, but many continue to believe these three prevalent myths.

Sponsored by Derma E
July 2017

Myth 1: Sprays are as effective as lotions

While a sunscreen spray may be convenient, there are many reasons why a sunscreen lotion is not only better for you, but for the environment as well! Yes, the “spray and play” aspect might sound appealing, but sunscreen sprays often apply unevenly to the skin, leaving you and loved ones at a higher risk of burning.

Derma E suncare products
Photo courtesy Derma E.

Even the safest, most natural sunscreens contain powerful ingredients, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are strong minerals that reflect the sun’s rays. These ingredients are amazing, as they can start protecting your skin from the moment you apply them. When you use a sunscreen spray, however, you’re not just putting those ingredients on your skin, you’re also inhaling the spray into your lungs. While it’s common for sunscreen companies to include warning labels cautioning users to seek medical help if the product is swallowed, the reason sprays are more harmful is because they are so easily inhaled. So stick with your sunscreen lotion and be better protected from the sun (as well as those powerful ingredients)!

Myth 2: Sunscreen is waterproof

Many people believe sunscreens are waterproof, but they’re actually water resistant. This means that although the sunscreen protects your skin from harmful rays when in water or sweating, the sun can still penetrate the skin to some degree if sunscreen is not reapplied as directed. Recent FDA rulings have required sunscreen companies to display a water resistant amount of 40 or 80 minutes, so make sure you read the label and reapply as needed. This is especially important if you’re active in water or working up a sweat!

happy woman on beach
Photo courtesy Derma E.

Another common misconception is that water-resistant sunscreen won’t wash off in water, but this is false! Even the best water-resistant sun care products can wash off to a certain extent. A good tip is to look out for sunscreens that are “Reef Safe.” This means that, when you do go into the water, the minerals that wash off from the sunscreen won’t damage the environment. Ingredients like oxybenzone can bleach coral and are extremely dangerous to the animals that live there.

Myth 3: Higher SPF means better protection

It’s a common misconception that the higher your SPF is, the stronger protection you’ll have against the sun’s rays. It’s important to realize, however, that while you could be using SPF 50, if you don’t apply it properly, you will still burn. In fact, the key to good sun protection is to wear a SPF 30+ sunscreen, to cover up the skin as much as possible, and to reapply your sun care products every two to three hours. Wearing items such as hats, sunglasses, and rash-guards is another great way to keep sensitive areas out of the sun. UVA and UVB rays are strongest when the sun is at its peak, usually between 12 to 3 p.m., so it’s best to be extra cautious during these hours.

derma e suncare
Photo courtesy Derma E.

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