The sun is (or at least should be!) shining, it’s that time of year. And May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. All in all, it is time to review sun, UV, sunburns and sunscreens. Here are some tips to help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to this burning topic (no pun intended…).
Myth: I don’t need to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day.
Truth: Up to 85% of UV can penetrate light cloud cover
Myth: I have a tan, so I won’t burn.
Truth: Having a tan is only the equivalent of about SPF 4, and does not mean you won’t burn.
Myth: I am young, I don’t need to worry about skin cancer.
Truth: Melanoma (skin cancer) is the number one cancer seen in ages 25-29
Myth: I need more vitamin D so I shouldn’t wear sunscreen.
Truth: You only need about 10 minutes of sun exposure per day to get enough vitamin D for your wellbeing. (And remember, even with sunscreen on you will get sun exposure).
Myth: Getting just one sunburn won’t really harm my skin.
Truth: A single sunburn in childhood will increase the risk of melanoma. And it can take up to 5 years for the skin to fully recover from a single sunburn!
Myth: Tanning beds are sage.
Truth: UVs matter inside and out; indoor tanning may increase the chance of getting melanoma up to 75%
Myth: Sunscreen will block all UV
Truth: “Sunscreen is not enough” as said Dr. Karen Burke. Remember to layer your antioxidants under your sunscreen, so you have a second line of defense (try our Diode 1 + 2 serums for your face, and our Alexandrite gel for neck and bust for your body).
Other interesting facts about the sun and sunscreens…
UVA versus UVB:
- UVA damage DNA and lead to skin cancer (damages not initially visible to the naked eye)
- UVB lead to redness and ultimately wrinkles (the visible sunburn effects)
Chemical versus physical sunscreens:
- Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays. These are typically lighter sunscreens.
- Physical sunscreens (really known as sunblocks) reflect UV rays. Ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are used in physical sunscreens. The usual “thick, white, sticky” feel of sunscreens comes mostly from physical sunscreens.
Water-resistant versus waterproof sunscreens:
- Water-resistant sunscreens maintain their SPF levels after 40 minutes of water exposure
- Waterproof sunscreens maintain their SPF levels after 80 minutes of water exposure
The sun’s reflective powers are great:
- 17% on sand
- 80% on snow
If you want to learn more about the sunscreens I like, watch this week’s segment on Let’s Talk Live. And remember, no sun is safe sun. And you earn the skin you’re in!