1) One application of sunscreen lasts all day
Many people think that sunscreen will last all day after just one application. In reality, sunscreen breaks down in the light and loses its effectiveness over a short period of time.
People should apply sunscreen every 2 to 4 hours, at least.
2) Sunscreen is waterproof
Sunscreen labeled as water-resistant or sweat-resistant, or marketed as sunscreen for sports, may appear to be waterproof. Unfortunately, this is an overstatement of what sunscreen can do.
No sunscreen product can be 100 percent waterproof. People must always reapply water-resistant sunscreens after water exposure. Allow sunscreen to settle on the skin for at least 10 to 15 minutes before going in the water.
3) You cannot tan while wearing sunscreen
Sunscreen helps protect against UVA and UVB rays, but it may not protect the body completely. It is still possible to get a tan while using sunscreen, even when someone applies it multiple times throughout the day.
A tan is the body’s natural protective response to UV exposure. To avoid a tan, it is best to apply sunscreen and cover up with a hat and long clothing.
4) I have sunscreen in my makeup, I don’t need more.
While it is true that makeup may provide a little protection from the sun, it is not much and is not a replacement for a good sunscreen.
Makeup should be seen as an additional layer of protection, not the only layer of protection.
5) People with darker skin tones do not need sunscreen
Some people believe that those with more melanin in their skin do not need to use sunscreen. This is because melanin acts to diffuse UVB rays and may protect against sunburns, to some extent.
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.
Melanin will also not protect the skin from extreme sun exposure, such as spending long hours in the sun unprotected. People with darker skin are also not protected against skin cancer.
One study noted that skin cancer survival rates were lowest in people with darker skin, including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. These results indicated a need for better screening and awareness of the risk of skin cancer.
6) I don’t need sunscreen when it’s cloudy.
Many people think that you don’t need to protect your skin on cool, cloudy days. Sun damage is actually caused by UV radiation, with 90% of UV rays being able to pass through clouds. It is important to remember to protect your skin every day, no matter the weather.
7) You can’t get burnt in the car or through a window.
False Glass reduces, but does not completely block, transmission of UV radiation, so you can still get burnt if you spend a long time in the car
or behind a window when the UV is high.
8) If you tan but don’t burn, you don’t need to bother with sun protection.
False If your skin turns brown, it is a sign of sun damage, even if there is no redness or peeling. It’s your skin’s way of trying to protect itself because UV rays are damaging living cells.
Tanning without burning can also cause premature skin ageing and skin cancer. All Victorians need to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide during the daily sun protection times.
9) Using fake tan means you don’t need sun protection.
False Some fake tanning products may include a high SPF sunscreen, but these provide protection for a maximum of two hours after application.
Protection does not last for the length of the tan, so sun protection is still required.
10) Only sunbathers get skin cancer.
False Many people get UV damage when they are not deliberately seeking a tan. In Victoria, we can be exposed to high UV levels during all sorts of daily activities, such as working outdoors, gardening, running, walking the dog or having a picnic.
UV exposure adds up over time and increases our risk of skin cancer.