There’s no doubt that a sunscreen is a basic must-have in a person’s skin care arsenal all year round. Yes, sunscreen is not only needed when the sun is high or during hot summer days, but even if it’s cool or cloudy outside. Some people may not include sunscreen in their daily skin care regimen because it’s either they do not see the value of wearing sunscreen every day or they are not aware of the short and long term effects of the sun’s harmful rays on the skin.
Let’s take a look at the common misconceptions about sunscreen and debunk them. It’s not too late to get your facts straight.
1. Spending time Outside without Sun protection on a cloudy Day won’t harm the Skin – According to the SCF, up to 80% of the sun’s UVA (or aging rays) and UVB (or burning rays) can seep through clouds and glass. In fact, water, sand and snow would also increase the need for sunscreen as they reflect the sun’s rays. This means you can get awful sunburns or sun damage even on overcast days or if you are indoors but sits or stays near a window. It can penetrate deeper in the skin’s dermis, which can silently damage DNA in cells, elastin fibres and collagen.
2. Not Everyone is required to Wear Sunscreen
Some people might think that people with fairer skin must wear sunscreen more frequently than people with brown or dark skin. The truth is that wearing sunscreen everyday can help prevent skin cancer by shielding your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. So regardless of your age or skin color, you are at risk of developing skin cancer, hence wearing sunscreen is required.
3. It’s okay to use Any kind of Sunscreen. A lot of people might just rush to the nearest pharmacy or supermarket to quickly grab whatever sunscreen that they can find or probably choose the cheapest one – which is wrong. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests to wear a sunscreen with the following benefits:
- Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher – this should be sufficient to block 97% of the sun’s rays.
- Water-resistant, which means it must be effective for up to 80 minutes in water. Remember that no sunscreen is waterproof or sweat proof.
- Offers a broad spectrum of protection, which means, it should protect your skin against UVA and UVB rays.
Note that if you have sensitive skin, the best sunscreen for sensitive skin should not be greasy nor has thick consistency as it can trigger acne breakout. Select a sunscreen that does not contain fragrances, dye and alcohol as these could also cause allergic reactions.
4. Applying Sunscreen once a day is Enough – Well, this isn’t enough. It’s recommended to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outdoors. Apply it on any part of the body that is not covered by clothing, including your face and lips. Re-application must be done approximately every 2 hours or after sweating or swimming.
It’ fun to bask in the sun, however arm yourself with ample sun protection to keep your skin protected from painful sunburn, premature signs of skin aging and skin cancer.