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Five Sun Protection Myths

As the weather gets warmer and the sun starts showing its bright and cheery face more, you’ll need to start preparing yourself for more time spent outdoors. But if you think sunscreen is needed only for cloudless days when the sun is blazing, you may need to think again. Here are five sun protection myths that could lead you to damaging your skin without realising it.

Myth 1: You Can’t Be Sunburned on a Cool or Cloudy Day

Actually, up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, so if you’re walking around unprotected under overcast skies, chances are you’ll walk away with sunburn. The shade will protect you, but UV rays can be bounced off surfaces and reach your skin.

Furthermore, sun damage is caused by exposure to UV rays, not temperature, so you’re just as likely to be sunburned on a cool day than you are on a hot summer day (in fact, snow in the winter can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays).

Myth 2: The Darker Your Skin, the Less Likely You Are to Get Sun Damage

This applies to fake tans, suntans, and naturally darker skin. While melanin does protect the body from developing harmful cancers, exposure to UV radiation can still permanently damage skin in other ways. Even those with naturally darker skin tones can be significantly sun damaged, even if it takes them longer than someone with a fairer complexion. It’s important to use sunscreen no matter how naturally pale or dark you are. What’s more, a suntan indicates damaged skin, which means a higher risk for skin cancer.

Fake tan also darkens your skin externally and does not increase your melanin. On top of that, the SPF count in fake tan products isn't high enough to adequately protect you from sun damage, so do make sure you use sunscreen in addition to your fake tan.

Myth 3: You Can’t Get Sun Damaged Through a Window

Yes, you can! While UVB rays can be blocked by glass, UVA rays penetrate much deeper, which can be especially harmful if you spend a lot of time exposed to the sun in your car. People may find themselves with sunburns or freckles on the right side of their face from the sun filtering in through their car window.

Look into getting tinted car windows, which can keep out up to four times more UVA rays than regular glass windows. If you spend a lot of time indoors near a window, consider putting on sunscreen or covering vulnerable areas (like your face, hands, and forearms).

Myth 4: A Higher Number SPF Means You Can Stay Out in the Sun Longer

While you may think that SPF50 sunscreen is much stronger than SPF30 sunscreen, both will provide roughly the same amount of protection. Sunscreen should always be reapplied every two hours, or more often if you’re swimming or sweating. Going hours after applying a high-SPF sunscreen will only spell sun damage for you.

Myth 5: One Sunburn Doesn’t Hurt in the Long Run

You might also think that getting sunburnt once won’t cause long-term damage, but the reality is that getting sunburnt just once ever two years can triple the risk of melanoma. Now think about how high that risk is if you get sunburnt more often!

Always be cautious when going outside. We stock a wide range of sun protection products to fit your needs – have a browse here.

Have any questions about these products? Let us know in the comments below or reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs stop using the product or medication immediately.

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