Sunscreen myths, busted
Summer or winter, inside or outside, sunny or cloudy, your skin is always exposed to light, in other words, UV radiation. It's unavoidable. Everyone is increasingly aware that all forms of light, including device screens, fluorescent lights and even energy-saving light bulbs emit UV radiation which can cause long-term damage to the skin. You can’t hide from the sun, but, you can reduce its effects. A good place to start, is to know the facts.
Myth 1:You should avoid the sun completely.
Most people concentrate on blocking out the sun completely, as if the sun itself is the enemy. On the contrary, exposure to sunlight (albeit only for 20 minutes a day) is essential for the formation of vitamin D in the body, which prevents the softening of bones. Life is like that – a delicate balance of getting just enough and not too much. The safety of sun exposure and the balance of protection are improved by replenishing the skin with essential vitamins A, C and E everyday. Find out more about Environ’s vitamin A essential skin care ranges.
Myth 2:One application of sunscreen is enough to last all day.
It is scientifically shown that sunscreen ingredients degrade over a period of time. Direct exposure to UV also speeds up the degradation. The general rule for safe, effective sun protection is to choose a lower SPF sunscreen (with less chemical sunscreen ingredients) and reapply it every 1.5 to 2 hours if you’re going to be directly exposed to UV radiation.
Myth 3:Tanning beds are a safe way to get a base tan.
Environ strongly opposes the use of tanning beds because they emit mostly UVA radiation which causes skin damage and increases the risk of photo-ageing as well as skin cancer. There is no safe or healthy way to get a tan for any skin photo-type. Dr Des Fernandes, Environ Founder and Scientific Director, claims that a tan is actually a scar. Skin going darker is the sign that your DNA is messaging your skin to make more melanin in an attempt to protect itself from further damage.
Myth 4:Makeup with an SPF is enough to protect the face.
Although most foundations contain SPF15, it is not enough to protect your skin against the damaging effects of UV radiation. UV depletes the skin of vitamin A and essential nutrients. Additionally, one must remember that no sunscreen is effective in blocking UVA, which triggers additional free radical damage. Environ recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is rich in antioxidants for safe, effective protection.
Myth 5:Sunscreen is not always necessary, especially when it’s cloudy or when you’re not directly exposed to the sun.
Perhaps the biggest myth of all is to think that skin is protected in what seems to be less harsh conditions. The reality is, skin is always exposed to light, and UV light is always harmful to skin regardless of the amount of exposure. That is why sunscreen should form part of one’s daily skin care routine. A low SPF, with additional antioxidants, applied more often is the route to safe, effective daily sun protection.
Myth 6:Sunscreen can’t expire.
The active ingredients in sunscreen do break down over time, which will cause sunscreen to be ineffective when used after its expiry date.
Myth 7:A higher SPF is more effective in preventing sunburn.
Higher SPFs are formulated with more chemical sunscreen ingredients to prevent sunburn over a longer period of time, however, it is scientifically proven that they actually provide minimal added protection against UVB. In fact, there is less than a 5% difference in UVB protection between SPF15 and SPF50. The higher concentrations of chemical sunscreen ingredients can result in increased free radical assault on the skin. Environ recommends a low SPF, combined with antioxidants and frequent reapplication for safe, effective protection against sunburn.