Summer is edging closer and we are starting to welcome more sunshine into our day. But whilst we are savouring the warmth of the sun on the skin, we need to think not just about using sunscreen, but our beliefs around how to use it!
Here we bust some of the common myths around sunscreen.
1. APPLICATION - I DON'T NEED MUCH
Whilst most Aussie's know they need to apply to all exposed areas 20 minutes before they head outdoors, most are not putting enough on and many are certainly forgetting to reapply often enough.
Basically, you need to use at least 5ml per body area. So, 5ml for the face, 5ml for each arm, leg, chest, etc. That's about 75ml for all your body, which is about the size of a shot glass! Fact is you can't use too much, so be generous to ensure you cover all exposed areas properly.
Once is not enough! Sunscreen properties break down when exposed to light so that means you need to reapply when exposed to the sun. You should apply EVERY 2 - 4 HOURS AT LEAST and definitely after swimming, towelling or sweating.
2. ALL SUNSCREEN MAKES MY SKIN REACT
There is a common misconception that sunscreen creates skin reactions and redness. Usually it is not the sunscreen itself that causes a reaction but the preservatives or fragrances used in the cream. Look for a sunscreen free from synthetic preservatives and one with a fragrance free option if you suffer from sensitive skin.
3. USING SUNSCREEN DAILY MEANS I WON'T GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D
Not true! The truth is most Australians get enough Vitamin D on a day to day basis and around 10 - 15 minutes is enough to get a healthy dose. Sunlight can penetrate clothing and sunscreen too so you will be surprised just how much you are inadvertently gaining. No sunscreen can completely block out 100% of UV light so you are absorbing UV light and converting it to Vitamin D.
4. A TAN PROTECTS YOU FROM SUN DAMAGE
This is absolutely not the case. Any skin, tanned or not, is at risk to sun damage including sun spots, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, cancer and melanomas. A tan is the body's response to sun exposure and no tan should be considered healthy. Your skin tans when dangerous UV rays penetrate the skin and your body produces melanin in an attempt to deflect the rays. Tanned skin basically means damage at a DNA level to your skin.
The same goes for naturally darker skinned people. Whilst they have more melanin they are still at risk of sun damage and skin cancer.
5. MAKEUP IS ENOUGH TO PROTECT YOUR FACE
Whilst makeup can provide some UV protection, it simply is not enough! You should always apply a sunscreen under your makeup for optimum protection.