Debunking These Common Sunscreen Myths

Updated: Jun 26, 2019




Just like that, we're about to say hello to the summer season once again!


In a previous post on Bergen County Moms, we talked about empowering activities you can do during the summer. But besides taking a break and basking in nature, another thing you can do to take care of yourself is by loading up on sun protection. While sunscreen should already be a part of your daily regimen, you should look to get extra serious with your usage. After all, it's possibly one of the most important steps in your skin care routine. Despite that, there are a lot of myths surrounding this hero product. We're here to debunk them so you can stock up on sunscreen with confidence.

Higher SPF means you don’t have to reapply as often

SPF stands for skin protecting factor, and the number next to it denotes how much more time you can spend outdoors when you’ve got it on (ie. an SPF 30 means you can stay out in the sun 30 minutes longer). The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreen with SPF upwards of 30, but even sunscreen with SPF 50+ needs to be constantly reapplied every 90 minutes or so. That said, reapplication is the golden rule of sunscreen. Beauty blogger Shannon Feetham recommends Kiehl's sunscreen, thanks to its generous SPF, fast absorption, and a non-tacky feel.

Sunscreen is all you need

Dermatologists emphasize that sunscreen isn’t enough to protect you from the sun on its own. For this reason, clothing can provide an extra protective layer. Resident beach bums already know that cover-ups are a must-have for trips. But even in the city, it's important to cover up as much as you can. The straight leg pants featured on Woman Within, are a good alternative to your denim shorts, shielding your skin from outside elements and the harsh sun. If you're worried about feeling too warm, their soft knit fabric is light enough to keep you cool. Make sure you’re also armed with a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses too.

You don’t need to wear sunscreen if it’s cloudy

Direct exposure to the sun isn’t the only way you can get UVA and UVB radiation. Even if it's cloudy outside, they offer very little protection against UV rays. On top of this, the sun’s rays can also be reflected by water, concrete, grass, and sand. So rain or shine, the weather is no excuse to skip out on the SPF. And even if you may not be sunburnt, your skin could still get penetrated by sun damage that might lead to skin cancer.

Your skin is the only surface that needs sunscreen

Anything that the sun touches — from your skin to your eyes — is susceptible to sun damage. While having a good sunscreen is a necessary first step, you should also make sure to invest in some eyewear and lip balm with SPF. The variety of sunglasses on Gamma Ray are polarized against UV rays, ensuring that your eyes are shielded but still look stylish. Sunglasses without UV protection can actually harm your eyes even further, since your pupils dilate to allow more light in.

Tan people don’t need sunscreen

Everybody needs sunscreen, regardless of skin color. Dark or tanned skin is attributed to higher degrees of melanin, which naturally blocks out some UVB rays — but not all. In fact, darker skin types can still get sunburnt even though it may not show up as prominently, leaving your skin uncomfortably raw and painful to the touch. Plus, it does not write off the possibility of skin cancer either.


Protect your skin and enjoy your summer!

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