7 Common SPF Myths Not to Fall For

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Meta-Description: There are many myths and rumours about sunscreen that can be misleading. Discover seven common myths about SPF and why you shouldn't fall for them.

There are a number of reasons why you need protection from the sun. Skincare with sun protection factor (SPF) included helps your skin remain healthy and youthful, and helps to lower your risk against skin cancer too. 

The sun's rays are very powerful, so it's important to use sunblock or sunscreen whenever you can. There are a number of misconceptions about SPF, however. Before you believe what you hear, you should consider these seven common myths about SPF:

You Don't Need as Much Protection When you Have a Tan Already

Dermatologists cringe at a number of common SPF myths, but this one might just take the cake!Some people believe that if you have a tan, it provides a sort of protective layer from the sun's harmful rays. 

In reality, having a tan is actually proof that your skin has been damaged by the sun. It's not surprising that this myth has become popular however, because technically speaking, tanned skin does provide a tiny SPF equivalent to about 4.

Now, before you say 'oh, so the myth is true', it should be noted that simply wearing a white T-shirt provides an SPF of 7. This negligible amount should definitely not be a substitute for sunblock! Even if you have tanned skin, you should still wear sunblock. In fact, you should be even more diligent in wearing sunscreen because your skin is already damaged! 

Sun Damage Happens When You're Young, So Who Cares

Another common myth with regards to SPF and sunscreen is that sun damage is similar to growth and development in an adolescent or young adult . Like a teenage boy's voice breaking, you only get sun damage up until the age of 18. 

Most, or all, of the damage has been done, so you might as well lay out in the sun and take advantage of being immune. This is a complete myth! Do not fall for this one, as you could do severe damage to your skin.

Darker Skin Tones Don't Need as Much Protection

For some reason, we tend to associate porcelain white skin with being the most vulnerable to the sun, and black skin as being the least. This is probably because porcelain white skin tends to burn and blister very easily, even after a short time in the sun. 

Yes, there are different skin types, and different skin types have a different reaction to the sun. This does not mean that one skin type is more damaged than the other. All skin, no matter what colour, needs SPF products to protect it from the sun.

Only the Face Needs Sunblock

People tend to worry more about their face than their body when sunbathing. This is because sun damage is more noticeable on the face, and ages a person more than a slight wrinkle on an arm will. However, it is a myth to think that only your face needs sunblock. 

Remember: you're not just putting it on to avoid the leather-skin-look of someone who overindulges in sunbathing. The most important reason to put sunblock on is to reduce the risk of skin cancer, and you can get this on any part of your body. Always remember to put sunblock on every exposed area before going out in the sun.

You Never Need Higher than SPF 15

The variety of SPF products available can be overwhelming, so it's no surprise that this myth has come to light. You might wonder why there are a number of different SPFs: surely the lowest one is enough if the product has made it onto the supermarket shelf, you say to yourself. 

The truth is that people often don't apply a thick enough layer of sunblock, or don't re-apply it often enough, so when you buy a low SPF product you wind up getting lower protection than you should. In reality, if you apply a thin layer of SPF 50 sunblock, youreally only have a good coverage of around 20 or 30 SPF. So, to say that SPF 15 is strong enough is a myth.

You Only Need SPF Products if You Plan to Sunbathe

You need SPF skincare products even if you're only going to be in the sun for thirty minutes. Some people believe that you only pack sunblock if you're planning to spend an entire day at the beach. 

The sun has powerful rays, even if you're only exposed to it for a short time. Have you ever been in the sun during incredibly hot weather? You often come back inside in lessthan twenty minutes with some colour, so it's evident the sun still has the potential to damage your skin.

If the Sun Isn't Strong, You Don't Need SPF

Just because the sun isn't making beads of sweat on your forehead doesn't mean its rays aren't damaging. Did you know that fallen snow actually amplifies the sun's rays because it reflects them? 

We tend to associate the strength of the sun with how warm and sunny it is, so we might think we don't need sunblock if it's cloudy. It's a myth to believe that if the sun isn't strong, you don't need SPF .

Some of the myths described above might be less silly than others, but that's no reason to fall for them. Now that you're aware of seven common SPF myths, you can correct anyone who spreads them around in your own circle of friends or family. Help protect you and the people you love by arming everyone around you with the truth about SPF.

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