Demystifying sun exposure myths

by Lynn

There are multiple sun exposure myths out there. To ensure you’re safe we are demystifying the sun exposure myths. The ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause several skin complications including cancer. Here are some of the sun exposure myths demystified:

You can’t burn in the shade

A common misconception when it comes to sun exposure is that you can’t burn in the shade. This is one of the most common sun exposure myths. You can actually get burnt in the shade. The ultraviolet rays can reflect off of nearby surfaces like water, sand and in some instances even leaves. This is why it’s always important to ensure you are wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen and wear clothes that will protect you from the sun.

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If you have dark skin, you don’t need sunscreen

The sun does not spare you simply because you have dark skin. You may not have the redness to show for a sunburn however it still affects you regardless. Sun exposure may still cause early formation of wrinkles, skin complications and in some extreme cases skin cancer. Having extra melanin can cushion some of the effects of the sun however you will still be affected. Invest in a high spectrum SPF.

Sun exposure is required for vitamin D

Despite the myth that you need sun exposure to get more vitamin D, you really don’t. The longer you stay in the sun the higher your chances at a skin complication or premature wrinkles. If you want to get vitamin D from the sun the best time is from 6 AM to 9 AM. When the sun is at its peak you’re just increasing your chances of skin complications. You can stay out for 5 minutes a day or expose just your hand to the sun and you will have gotten your dose of vitamin D. If you have a vitamin D deficiency you can talk to your doctor about getting supplements.

SPF will protect me from the sun

A common misconception about SPF is that the higher the SPF the longer it will protect you. An SPF above 30 is recommended before heading out to the sun. When staying outside for longer periods than usual, you should reapply your SPF every 2 hours. This is regardless of the SPF you’re using.

SPF can’t give you all day protection. If you plan on staying out in the sun for longer periods it’s easier to protect yourself from the sun with clothes.

Makeup with SPF will protect my skin

The recommended SPF is 30 and above. Cosmetics and make up rarely have the recommended SPF. Make sure you apply SPF before applying your make up. This way you still look fab while protecting your skin. Even with make up, you would still have to regularly apply your SPF if you plan on being in the sun too long.

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You can’t burn when it’s cold & cloudy

Another common myth and misconception about sun exposure is that you can’t get exposed to sun damage on a cold and windy day. Sun damage is not caused by the light the sun emits but from the ultraviolet radiation. In some instances the damage may be even worse because of reflection from the clouds. Apply your sunscreen on the regular even on those cold days.

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