Sunscreen. Very, very important always, but especially in these upcoming hot summer months, since we’re talking all about summer beauty tips. Unfortunately there are a lot of confusing information about how to use them, so here, I debunk some sunscreen myths…
Sunscreen Myth #1: Dark skin doesn’t burn, so we don’t need sunscreen.
Unfortunately, all complexions can burn.
Sunscreen Myth #2: The higher the SPF, the better the sunscreen.
Wrong again. I see a lot of “SPF 100+” and SPF “120” products now which is just ridiculous – you cannot have 100% protection from the sun while you’re outside. Most experts still recommend SPF 15 or 30 daily:
- SPF 2: 50% of rays defected
- SPF 15: 93% of rays are defected
- SPF 30: 97% of the rays are defected
Sunscreen Myth #3: A thin layer of sunscreen is all I need.
Most people only apply about 20% of sunscreen they really need. The recommended amount for the average body is the amount of one shot glass.
Sunscreen Myth #4: If I apply tons of sunscreen first thing in the morning, it’ll protect my skin all day long.
Sorry, you might still end up with a sunburn. Sunscreen wears off and should be re-applied every 2-3 hours, and even more frequently when you’re out in the sun sweating or swimming.
Sunscreen Myth #5: It’s a cloudy day; and when there’s no sun, there’s no need for sunscreen.
A very large chunk of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds, and then get reflected off surfaces and onto our skin. For example, UV rays can reflect off buildings, cars, windows, you name it – so always wear sunscreen.
Sunscreen Myth #6: I’m staying indoors all day – I don’t need sunscreen.
As mentioned above, UV rays can be reflected from things in your home. Not to mention, stuff around your house like lights, TV screens and laptop monitors also generate UV rays. My recommendation is to just make sure your daily day moisturizer has some SPF in it, you don’t have to worry too much while at home.
Sunscreen Myth #7: OK fine. Sunscreen. Everyday. I’ll stock up!
Just remember that sunscreens have a shelf life of 2 years from the date of manufacture – don’t ever go past the 2 year mark. By then, your sunscreen is actually completely useless – it’s no different than slathering ice cream on your skin! (So I’ve heard.)
My Favorite Sunscreens
- Great all-rounder: La-Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF60 and Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 50 Oil-Free.
- For oily + acne prone skin: Clinique’s Super City Block SPF40 and this recent one, probably my favorite sunscreen of them all.
- With makeup and color coverage: Dior Diorsnow White Reveal Moisturizing UV Protection SPF 50. A BB cream with fantastic coverage if you’re looking for coverage too.
- Apply 30 minutes before going in the sun. This gives the sunscreen time to work – it takes about 20 minutes for sunscreen to sink in. (Source)
- Reapply often. The recommendation is to reapply every 2 hours, or every hour if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.
- Avoid sunscreens with Vitamin A in it. While Vitamin A is great for us, it may not be the best in suncreen, as government data showed that tumors and lesions developed faster on skin that had products with vitamin A (also called retinyl palmitate or retinol or Retin-A). (Source)
- Double up the protection. The sun is really damaging to our skin, so remember to add more sun protection, be it a big floppy hat, sunglasses, or clothes/cover ups. The darker the color of your clothes, the higher the sun protection. (Source)