Debunking Myths on Sun Protection: 6 Myths You Should Know | SunSense

Debunking Myths on Sun Protection: 6 Myths You Should Know

When it comes to keeping sun smart you need to know what's fact or fiction. We bust 6 common sun protection myths. 

We’ve all heard our fair share of myths. When it comes to keeping sun smart, it’s crucial you know what's fact and what’s fiction. We bust 6 common sun protection myths so you can feel safe in the sun all year round.

        1. I can't get burnt in the shade

Yes, you absolutely can. UV rays are more harmful than you think as there are many risks involved with UVR exposure. A shady area isn’t enough to protect against UV rays as they can still cause sunburn. You can never be fully sun protecte

It’s still worth seeking shade during the hottest peak hours of the day to avoid direct sunlight, but make sure to wear appropriate protection from the sun all the same. This includes wearing sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and clothing for better protection
 

        2. I can’t get burnt when it’s a cloudy day

False, you can still get burnt on a cloudy day. You may think the clouds will shield you from harmful UV rays, but this is not the case. Most clouds cannot block UV rays which means you still need to take precautions even if it’s overcast(1). To help protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays, make sure to use Broad Spectrum sunscreen even when in the shade and wear protective clothing.
 

        3. My makeup contains SPF, so I don’t need sunscreen

Not all makeups have a level of SPF. Consider checking the SPF level of your makeup prior to sun exposure and to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and sunburn. If you are unsure about the SPF levels in your makeup, consider using Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen over your whole body to help reduce the risk of sunburn. Also remember sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 2 hours to help maintain protection.

    4. I don’t burn, so I don’t need to worry about skin damage

False. Even if you don’t burn easily, you still need to think about skin damage from the sun. Everyone's skin reacts differently to UV rays. No tan is a safe or healthy tan. Any skin discoloration could be a sign of potential skin damaged by the sun's UV rays(2). Everyone should take appropriate sun safe action.

Remember to be sun safe and take appropriate precautions when outside, such as wearing sunscreen, covering up in loose clothing, and wearing a hat and sunglasses. Everyone should take appropriate sun safe action. 

    5. My fake tan will protect me against the sun


False, your fake tan will not protect you against the sun. A fake tan cannot be used as a barrier against the sun's UV rays. Fake tans can actually conceal current burnt skin, and if burnt skin is not treated early,  further damage to your skin can occur if you remain in the sun. We advise applying Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen when in the sun to help avoid skin damage. 

 

    6. Sunscreen is enough sun protection


False. Sunscreen is only one step in practicing sun safety. Sunscreen is a big factor in helping to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, but there are other steps we advise you to follow. Your skincare is our number one priority. For more sun safety tips and recommendations, read more about Sun Aware steps here.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk. Frequent re-application is required.

 

(1)     Joshua Townley 2017, SPF Explained, Ego Expert Skincare Hub, viewed 6 December 2019, <https://www.egoskinexpert.com.au/suncare/spf-explained/>.

(2)     Ultraviolet Radiation 2019, The known health effects of UV, World Health Organization, viewed 6 December 2019, <https://www.who.int/uv/faq/uvhealtfac/en/index2.html>.