5 Things Even Smart People Get Wrong About Sunscreen

Sun damage is a leading cause of beautiful skin aging prematurely. Issues like uneven skin texture and tone, wrinkles, freckles, melasma, and skin cancer are all dangers associated with too much exposure to harmful UV rays. It’s well-known that sunscreen can protect us from these complications. Still, there are too many myths and misconceptions people believe about using a sunblock. We at ICLS Dermatology and Plastic Surgery want to dispel these falsehoods.

1. You Don’t Always Need Sunscreen Outside

This myth can bring disastrous results. Some people believe sunscreen is not necessary during outdoor activities when you’re wearing clothes to cover most of your skin. However, UV rays can cause damage regardless of how little you expose.

Another illusion is you can skip applying sunscreen on overcast days. The reality is that the sun’s dangerous rays are just as harmful on cloudy days as when the sky is clear.

Sunscreen is necessary anytime you go outside. You should apply it early and often to protect your skin to allow it to look young for many years to come. If you find yourself outside regularly because you like to do yard work or gardening, you should also invest in a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face. Men with thinning hair also need SPF on their scalp if they are not wearing a hat. Also, don’t forget ears and back of neck, as these are both common areas often overlooked during application.

2. Dark-Skinned People Need Not Worry About Sunscreen

Although melanin does provide some protection against sunburns, dark-skinned people still need to worry about exposing themselves to the sun. If you are a person of color, you should use sunblock regardless of the season.

3. Tanning Beds Are Good for a “Base Tan”

We often hear from patients that they make sure they have a good base tan so they can ignore sunscreen. Many use a tanning booth for this reason. These beds that produce high-intensity UVA light to darken skin quickly do not keep you safe from sunburns or the equally dangerous UVB light. The truth is there is no healthy way to tan. Some studies indicate one indoor tanning session may increase the risk of skin cancer by as much as 75%.

4. You Only Need One Application of Sunscreen Each Day

It takes sunscreen about 30 minutes to begin to break down on your skin. This fact should tell you that multiple applications are necessary to keep your skin safe. When swimming or sweating, this breakdown intensifies. We suggest if you’re out in the sun all day, apply sunscreen liberally, about every half-hour or so.

5. Makeup With SPF Is Enough Protection

Makeup with built-in SPF is not a bad product; it’s just not enough. While makeup can provide an added layer of protection, you will need more. We suggest applying a medical-grade sunscreen before putting on your SPF makeup to get the protection you need.

ICLS’ Premier Skin-Care Expert

As a dermatologist, Dr. Sheetal Sapra cares about keeping his patients’ skin healthy-looking and young. We feature a number of recommended skincare products on at our skincare store designed to improve skin quality and restore beauty. Wondering which products will provide optimal protection your skin? Book a consultation with our Skin Spa to find out today.