Due to scientific advances and a need for skin care to be protective as well as create a pleasing aesthetic, modern sun screens are highly developed and offer more protection than ever before.
As with most things in life there are myths and misconceptions around the use, benefits and dangers of SPF. So in order to send you out fully equipped into the sun’s radiance we set out some of the most common misconceptions.
Knowing your UVA from your UVB
A simple way of distinguishing the two would be that UVB rays are most likely to cause sunburn whilst UVA rays are most likely to cause wrinkles.
Using a full spectrum sunscreen is important because it will protect the skin against a full range of UV light.
Sunscreen is not always necessary
Anytime your body is exposed to light from the sun, it is exposed to UV rays, even on those cloudy overcast days. Ultraviolet light is harmful to your skin, so whether it’s your full body on show or just your face and arms, you would do well to ensure that your exposed skin is protected.
Another misconception in this respect is that people with darker skin do not need to use sunscreen. Wrong! Whilst people with darker skin are more protected from the sun, that does not mean that you are immune to UVA damage.
Sunscreen causes health problems
Oxybenzone, one of the active ingredients in sunscreen and cited as a reason not to use it. The ingredient had an adverse effect when tested on rats but after 40 years being used as an active ingredient in sunscreen, there have been no published studies that demonstrate the toxic effects in humans caused by absorbed oxybenzone.
Make-up is enough protection for your face
Make-up can be used as an additional layer of protection but it should not be used in isolation. The beauty industry has diversified over the years and many make-up ranges now include SPF in their product lines.
Sunscreen with SPF-15 protects against 93% of UVB rays, while an SPF-30 protects against 97% of UVB rays. Super High SPF numbers (SPF-100+) are mostly marketing ploys. Most experts believe SPF-30 is enough, provided you put on enough.
There are a number of misconceptions around sunscreen and we have addressed some of the main ones here. However, the greatest danger in sunscreen use is the false sense of security most people have in its protective powers. Sunscreen is a protective method but it cannot be applied in isolation and it needs to be applied properly i.e. regularly and with the correct coverage.