Myths about sun exposure

We all know that sun exposure is the greatest risk factor associated in the development of skin cancer. There are also some very common misconceptions about sun exposure. We take a look at a few of these below.

Myth: Achieving a base tan protects the skin. Truth: There is absolutely no such thing as a safe tan. What you view as a base tan is actually damage to the skin.

Myth: Cloudy days offer protection from sun exposure. Truth: Up to 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through clouds.

Myth: Using a sunscreen will protect my skin from wrinkles and age spots. Truth: The SPF factor in sunscreens only refers to the level of protection in UVB rays. It’s the UVA rays that penetrate deep into the skin, causing premature aging, wrinkles, and age spots.

Myth: Facial makeup helps protect your skin against the sun. Truth: Compressed powder provides a certain amount of protection, as well as eye creams, foundations, and lipsticks with a SPF rating of 15 or higher. Avoid shiny, glossy looking lipsticks, as they can act like baby oil and attract UV rays to lips. It’s best to apply colored lipstick first, and then top with a clear gloss to give it shine. Don’t rely solely on makeup to protect yourself.

Myth: Window glass offers sun protection. Truth: While UVB rays can’t penetrate window glass, UVA rays can. You won’t get sunburn, but skin aging is accelerated due to UVA ray exposure.

Myth: Light colored clothes offer more protection than dark colored clothes. Truth: In general, UV rays pass through light colored fabrics easier than dark colored fabrics. If you can see light through fabrics when holding them up to light, the sun’s rays are passing through to your skin. Wear deep blue, black, or bright colors such as orange and red.

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