There's a lot of misconceptions when it comes to sun protection. We all know that it's important to protect our skin, but the myths arise around how sun damage happens and how much/how often we need to apply coverage from the sun.
We've collected a few of the most common sun myths below and explain why they are indeed myths.
1. I can't get sun damage when it's windy, cloudy or cool outside.
FALSE You CAN get sun damage on windy, cloudy and cool days...yup, even in the winter. Ultraviolet radiation (UV) causes sun damage, not temperature, which means that winter days can still have similar UV levels to a hot summer day!
Even when it's cloudy or if you're indoors, UV radiation can penetrate through clouds and windows (and may even be stronger due to reflection) which can cause sun damage when you're least expecting it.
2. If I use a fake tanner, my darker skin will protect me from the sun.
FALSE Fake tanning lotion does not protect you from the sun! Certain fake tanning lotions have some SPF, but it's never nearly enough to protect you from the sun and should never be solely relied on. For proper coverage, you'll need to wear UPF50+ clothing or apply SPF50+ sunscreen every two hours.
3. My makeup has SPF in it so I don't need to wear more sunscreen.
FALSE These days many foundations, powders, tinted moisturizers, etc have a level of SPF in them, but it's not enough to protect your face for the whole day. For proper sun protection, you need two full fingers worth of sunscreen to adequately protect your skin from the sun (which you may not be willing to put that much makeup on everyday).
It's recommended to apply your regular SPF50+ sunscreen first, then use your SPF makeup, and reapply sunscreen every two hours throughout the day. For more information on this, read our blog post on why SPF makeup is not enough!
4. I have olive skin so I'm not at risk of skin cancer.
FALSE Regardless of skin type, exposure to UV radiation can cause skin to be permanently damaged. While olive skinned people may never have a sunburn, you're not free from the harmful effects of the sun.
5. I'm wearing SPF50+ instead of SPF30 so I can stay in the sun longer.
FALSE It may sound like a big difference, but SPF50+ only offers a bit better protection than SPF30. SPF30 sunscreens filter about 96.7% of UV radiation, while SPF50+ sunscreens filter 98% of UV. We recommend wearing Tutublue UPF50+ clothing which blocks out 98% of UVA and UVB rays all day long, without the need to reapply sunscreen.
6. Plenty of sun exposure is required to avoid vitamin D deficiency.
FALSE You shouldn't expose yourself to harmful UV rays in order to get more vitamin D. Research shows that just a few minutes of sun exposure while completing everyday tasks - like walking to the car or shops - is enough vitamin D for your body.
If you believe you're at risk of vitamin D deficiency, speak to your doctor.
7. I'm not worried about skin cancer. If it happens I'll see it and it's easy to treat.
FALSE Skin cancer is often very difficult to find and can be in spots that you wouldn't normally see - scalp, bottoms of feet, in between fingers, etc. Treatment for skin cancer is often times more serious than simply having a lesion ‘burnt off’, it can include surgery, chemotherapy and can result in permanent scarring.
8. I don't sun bathe so I don't have to be as careful.
FALSE While people who actively seek out the sun to lay out for a tan have the highest risk, everyone is still susceptible to sun damage. Sun exposure adds up over over time and all your daily activities of walking the dog, gardening, having a picnic, working outdoors will catch up to you! Wear sunscreen and UPF50+ clothing daily to avoid sun exposure even when you're least expecting it.
9. I don't burn...I only tan so I don't need to bother with sun protection.
FALSE If you get a tan, that means you have sun damage. Skin darkens as a way of trying to protect itself because the UV rays are damaging living cells. Even if you didn't burn and have no signs of redness or peeling! If you tan easily you are still at risk of skin cancer and need to use proper sun protection.
10. I'll just be driving, so I don't need sunscreen.
FALSE Similar to how you can still get sun damage through clouds, the same goes for car windows. UV rays can penetrate through glass, which means it's a good idea to have sunscreen and a UPF50+ top handy in your car.