Five important myths about Sunscreen

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Time and again we have been subjected to hearing about the numerous benefits of wearing sunscreen, and the pitfalls of not choosing to do so. However, not all these facts seem to be true and some of them are largely considered to be myths. Here are five of the more popular myths about sunscreen and the truth behind them!

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Myth #1: I don’t need sunscreen in winter or on cloudy days

The UV (both UVA and UVB) rays of the sun can penetrate even the deepest of fogs and clouds to reach your skin. So be it a scorching hot day in the summer or a rainy, chilly or cloudy day in the winter, make sure you apply sunscreen before you step out. And keep applying it at regular intervals in between (at least after a couple of hours) to keep your skin safe.

Myth #2: The sunscreen I apply in the morning would protect me all day.

Ever wonder what the SPF factor of a sunscreen means? Short for the Sun Protection Factor, the SPF of a sunscreen literally translates to the amount of time it would protect you from the sun’s UV rays.

Let’s say for instance that without any protection from the sun, your skin will start to develop a sunburn after about 20 minutes. Now if you choose a sunscreen with a SPF of 15, the maximum amount of time you would be protected from the sun would be approximately ‘15×20’, aka 300 minutes, i.e. 5 hours. This means you need to reapply the sunscreen after about 5 hours for extended protection.

Myth #3: I don’t need sunscreen if I’m indoors or inside a car

Don’t be too judgmental!  The UV rays of the sun can easily reflect off and pass through concrete walls, and can even pass through windows. So stay safe and lather on some sunscreen even if you plan to stay indoors all day.

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Myth #4: I can skip sunscreen if I wear long sleeved clothes

A long sleeved shirt, coat or dress would offer you the same amount of protection as an umbrella. With time, the heat of the sun would start getting to you and the UV rays would penetrate the clothing to cause irritation and sunburns on your skin. So irrespective of whether you wear short sleeved, long sleeved or even sleeveless clothes, make sure you apply some sunscreen to keep your skin safe.

Myth #5: Sunscreen can cause breakouts on the skin surface

Unless you have hypersensitive skin, a good quality sunscreen would not harm your body in any way. Nevertheless, if you feel apprehensive about choosing the right sunscreen for your skin type, opt for an oilfree formula that would suit all skin types.

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