You think you know everything you need to about sun protection — but do you really? There are plenty of sunscreen myths out there that could be wasting your time, or worse, actually harming your skin. But don't panic, because I spoke to a dermatologist to debunk some of these popular sunscreen myths so that you're actually doing what you need to be doing for your skin this summer.
It seems like there is new skincare advice every time you open up the Internet, and while some of it is legit, there is also plenty that is not. Some things are just unnecessary, and others are downright damaging, so that's some scary territory. Since it's hard to deduce what's valid and what's not, I interviewed Dr. Mona Gohara from the American Academy of Dermatology to find out the truth on some of the more widely known sunscreen myths.
Spoiler: You probably have accepted at least some things on this list as fact at one point or another, and when you find out the truth, your mind will be blown. But no worries, because it's never too late to change up your skincare routine.
1. You Only Need Sunscreen If The Sun Is Out
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen, $40, walgreens.com
Think the clouds are shielding you from a burn? Not so much. According to Gohara, "UV light comes through the clouds and rain. If you can see your hand in front of your face, you need to have on SPF."
2. If You Have A Tan, You Don't Have To Worry About Burns
"Tans are a sign that your skin has been severely damaged by the sun. It is essential to reapply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors with intense sun exposure, SPF 30 or higher," Gohara said. Myth=busted.
3. Your Face Is More Important Than Your Body
If you've been giving preferential treatment to your face, it's time to reevaluate. Gohara says that any exposed area is important to protect, so don't place emphasis on one over the other.
4. Once You Apply Sunscreen, You're Good For The Day
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen, $19.99, walgreens.com
Gohara says we need to apply sunscreen every two hours, so don't think that because you put it on in the morning, you're set for the rest of the day.
5. People With Brown Skin Don't Need Sunscreen
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Daily Tone Correcting Primer; $39.99; laroche-posay.us
This is one of the biggest myths Gohara hears, and it's entirely false. Everyone, regardless of skin color, needs sunscreen.
6. SPF 100 Blocks Out All 100 Percent Of Rays
Just because it says SPF 100, doesn't mean it's blocking out all the rays — the number just reflects the amount of time you can stay in the sun with protection, however, it is still recommended to reapply every two hours, even with SPF 100.
Now that you know the truth, go forth into summer with more knowledge to protect your skin!
Images: Pexels; Walgreens; La Roche Posay