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Sundaily myth busters: the real deal on all things sunscreen

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When deciding on a personal sun protection plan, let’s make sure we’re dealing with facts, not myths such as these…

I only need sunscreen on sunny days in the summer.
While complete cloud cover do help decrease UV exposure, broken clouds and partly-cloudy skies can reflect and enhance exposure. Additionally, in the winter time the sun is still shining. Snow can reflect up to 80% of sunlight and cause sunburn. As a result, sun protection is important 365-days per year.

Applying sunscreen once a day is enough.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours, and every hour when swimming or doing outdoor activities that make you sweat. This reapplication is especially important given that people tend to use only ¼ to ½ of the amount of sunscreen required to achieve the SPF listed on the bottle.

I can’t get sun damage indoors.
It is true that the UVB light causing sunburn and skin cancer does not pass through windows, however aging UVA light can pass through many types of glass. In fact, one study showed that people who had one side of their face exposed to sunlight through a window for a prolonged period of time had more wrinkles, rougher skin and more uneven skin tone on that side of their face compared to the unexposed side (Mac-Mary S, Assessment of cumulative exposure to UVA through the study of asymmetric facial aging, Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2010). A stunning example is this case report of a truck driver of 28- years with severe aging only on one side of his face.

Image courtesy NEJM: http://bit.ly/2n4pJsG

Sunscreen in my makeup protects me.
Unfortunately, no. As we discussed before, the amount of sunscreen required to achieve the label SPF is pretty thick. This would likely mean layers and layers of makeup. This is why it is recommended to use sunscreen in addition to makeup, and sun protection strategies to protect your face. Also, remember that other areas of your body are still exposed, like your neck, your chest and your hands!

Sunscreen will make me vitamin D deficient.
The scientific jury is still out on this. Researchers have difficulty finding subjects who consistently apply enough sunscreen to test this! No question, though, Vitamin D is a very important nutrient for our health. In an upcoming article, we will explore the science around vitamin D, our health and the sun. Vitamin D-rich foods and supplements are ways to ensure that you have enough D in your system. To help make this easier, we have formulated The Base Layer gummies with the only available plant-based source of vitamin D3. 

So don’t let myths sidetrack you.
Protecting your skin from sun damage requires a holistic approach: sunscreen, sun protective clothing, The Base Layer gummies, and limiting your time in the sun when possible.

Have you heard these myths? What are other things you've heard about sun protection that you'd like to know what the science says? Ask us below!

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  • | Jana

    Are sunspots reversible? BoJ

  • | Juliet Shield-Taylor

    What are the potential side effects, if any, of using Sundots daily?