12 July 2018

Five Shady Suncream Myths you Should Block Out


There’s nothing more irritating than trying to get an even tan, for your skin to start peeling just few days later from overexposure to the sun’s rays. The worst part? It’s totally avoidable. All you have to do is wear sun cream. Protecting yourself with a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can save your skin. 

More than 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in the UK.

All the hot weather we’ve been experiencing lately has got us thinking about sun protection. Skin cancer rates in the UK are on the rise and for the first  time, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published an online guide on how to select and correctly use the right products to keep safe in the sun.

The advice for sun-worshipers is as follows: Apply one ounce of sun cream per adult before stepping into the sun, ensuring that it’s reapplied throughout the day if out and about, ideally every two hours. So, what is preventing people from using sun cream?

Some of the shady myths surrounding sun protection include...

1.) Sunscreen will prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for human health. In order to get the amount you need, you need to be exposed to the sun for about fifteen minutes a day. After the needed amount of time, your body’s production of Vitamin D stops. We do not continuously make and produce Vitamin D every time we are exposed to the sun. 

2.) People with dark skin do not need sunscreen

While people with darker skin are more protected from the sun, they should still use a full spectrum sunscreen. UVA damage is not blocked by melanin in the same way and can lead to premature skin aging and wrinkles.

3.) If you wear makeup you don’t need to wear sun cream

While it is true that makeup may provide a little protection from the sun, it is not much and is not a replacement for sunscreen.

4.) Sunscreen never expires

Like all other skincare products, sunscreen naturally expires. The active ingredients can break down over time, and using expired sunblock will leave the skin unprotected.

5.)  If you sit under a beach umbrella, you don’t need sunscreen 

Think again. Sand reflects 17% of UV radiation. You still need to wear sunscreen and protective clothing if you’re relaxing under an umbrella on the beach. 

If you're concerned about the ingredients of your sun cream, here are some tips on what to keep an eye out for...

Things you want in your sunscreen:

  • SPF 30 
  • Broad Spectrum and/or PA+
  • Water Resistant
  • Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Restorative Omegas, Meadowfoam Seed

Things to avoid in your sunscreen:

  • Oxybenzone (A skincare allergen)
  • SPF values over 50 (SPF benefits top out at 50)
  • Parabens
  • Retinyl Palmitate—or Vitamin A (Studies suggest this antioxidant can speed up the growth of skin cancer)
  • Fragrances (Often irritating and usually responsible for burning the eyes)

Sunscreens should not be used as an alternative to clothing and shade, rather they offer additional protection.