Myth – The higher the SPF the higher the safer you are in the sun
The answer is actually yes and no but as you get up into the higher levels the difference is very little in comparison to the huge amount of extra chemicals required to create the higher SPF. SPF 15 filters around 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 filter 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens filter 98%, and SPF 100 filter 99%. The higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. Sunscreens are classified by the strength of their sun protection factor (SPF). These numbers refer to the product’s ability to deflect the sun’s burning rays (UVB). However, some sunscreens now include compounds such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide which help protect against UVA rays as well, these are called broad spectrum sunscreens, natural and organic sunscreens widely use these. Personally I don’t generally wear sunscreens higher than 30 keeping chemicals down to a minimum.
Myth – I only need to wear sunscreen when the sun is out or in the summer
UVA rays are there all year round, these are the ageing rays, they penetrate clouds and glass, they also will penetrate the skins dermis impacting on the collagen elastine damage DNA and impact on your melanin and also cause cancer.
For those concerned about photo-ageing and skin cancer the trick is to find a moisturiser with an SPF 15 – 20 to wear daily inside and out all year round increasing the SPF when we are into the summer months. I will wear a mineral makeup all year around or a moisturiser wit ha minimum of 15 through the winter months also.
Myth – Getting a base tan is a good idea before going on holiday
Sunbeds are never a good idea, this is synthetic UVA rays which will only damage, age the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. the tan you get from a tanning bed doesn’t protect you, It’s a different kind of tan because it’s from high amounts of UVA, which darkens the skin quickly rather than a natural tan created from full spectrum sunlight.
Myth – I have darker skin tone so I don’t need sunscreen
Being a child of the 80’s and one that tans easily I was regularly thrown out in the Spanish sun with Hawaiian tropic oil plastered on and left to return coffee brown, not something that would happen today. Although darker skin tones do not burn so easily in the sun as fair skin, the sun will still damage and age the skin. Often people who do tan easily will expose them self more to sndamage because their skin does go brown where as the fair skinned who may at best turn a slightly pink shade of red will avoid lying in the sun and therefore be more sun savey and be saving their skin from premature photo-aging and higher risks of skin cancer.
Myth – I shouldn’t wear SPF because I wont get enough Vitamin D
The realistic answer to this is as humans we desperately do need Vitamin D for our bodies to function correctly, it has been proven to be vital in the fight against skin cancer, exposing yourself to full sun for 20 minutes a day is enough to get the level of Vitamin D we require, so no need to sunbath to fill up on Vitamin D. We dont get enough sun exposure in the UK so it should be a must to take a daily supplement of Vitamin D.