You now have all the basic facts about sunscreens but we’d like to round of this section by busting a few of the common misconceptions too. Here are some of the myths and facts about sunscreen:
Myth : You can increase the SPF by adding another layer of sunscreen. Fact : The SPF does not increase by adding more layers. The only way to increase the SPF is by using a higher factor sunscreen. All SPFs should be reapplied every couple of hours in prolonged sun exposure to remain effective.
Myth : The higher the Sun Protection Factor, the better the protection. Fact : This is true, but beware, the difference is not twice as much between, for example, SPF 15 and SPF 30. SPF 15 is fine for daily usage and offers 93% protection against UVB. SPF 30 offers only 4% more protection. Higher SPFs can actually limit the protection the product provides against UVA so check with your skincare professional for more information before you make a purchase.
Myth : You don’t have to reapply water resistant and waterproof sunscreen. Fact : It’s true that these type of sunscreens have more staying power, but it’s still advisable to reapply after prolonged swimming or sweating as their effectiveness may be diminished by smearing or smudging.
Myth : Using a sunbed before your holiday helps to prepare your skin for a holiday. Fact : The lamps used in tanning beds give off a much higher amount of UVA than the actual sun. Whilst you might think you’re safe due to not burning, sunbeds hugely increase your risk of skin cancer, premature ageing and wrinkles. They should be avoided completely.
Myth : Fake tan also protects your skin against UV rays. Fact : Fake tan offers no sun protection, unless the packaging states otherwise by carrying an SPF rating or UVA deflecting ingredients. It is, however, a good alternative to a real tan if you want a tanned look without the skin damage. Sunscreens can be used on top of fake tans for the ideal combination.
Myth : You don’t need to use sunscreens on children. Fact : Children under six months are generally OK without protection as they are protected by clothing, sunshades and are not exposed to direct sunlight. Children from the age of six months should be protected with sunscreens but clothing and shading precautions should still be taken.