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Busted! Seven Sunscreen Myths You Believed

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For the longest time of my life, I always considered the blessed sunscreen to be a once-in-a-while wonder, almost as if they were the highlighters of the skincare world. Stupid me… though I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one of my kind.
Sunscreens have always been and continue to be understated in most beauty kitties. They lie at the bottom and are considered far less important than the beloved nail paints or lippies. Guess what, here’s your wakeup call. A sunscreen is almost as basic as your moisturiser or your lip balm and we’re not even putting that up for a debate. And by the time we’re done, you’ll be convinced about never skipping that sunscreen ever again.

Myth #1

It’s pouring outside. I def don’t need to slather on sunscreen today.

The good news is that clouds filter sunlight. The bad news is that up to 80% of harmful UV rays still manage to pass through with ease. Plus, UV rays can bounce off clouds and hit your skin directly. So yes, sun or clouds, indoors or outdoors, the sunscreen ain’t goin’ anywhere baby.
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Myth #2

I can use the same SPF 15 infused formula for both occasional and prolonged exposure to the sun.

When you’re outside for just a few minutes, SPF 15 filters about 93% of UV radiation and is enough. Extended, intense exposure requires a minimum of SPF 30 or SPF 50, which exceptionally protects you from 97 to 98% of harmful rays. So, going to the movies, SPF 15 is enough, but day on the beach calls for SPF 50. Now you know.

Myth #3

I can now happily ditch my daily sunscreen because I’ve invested in an SPF infused day cream that does double duty.

Contrary to popular belief, SPF or the Sun Protection Factor isn’t the only element in your sunscreen tube that protects you from the sun. Your day cream may not be formulated to shield you from UVA and UVB rays if it is not broad-spectrum. Also, a sunscreen tube contains physical and chemical blockers that reflect sunlight, which your day cream most likely doesn’t contain.
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Myth #4

Sunscreen should be the last step in my beauty routine to be really effective.

An average sunscreen needs about 20 minutes to get absorbed into the top layers of skin. Ideally, you should begin your base makeup with a liberal amount of sunscreen and then layer it up with an SPF infused foundation as a bonus.

Myth #5

A little sunscreen once a day, just for my face, does the job pretty well.

The sun doesn’t burn you selectively, so why bar the rest of your exposed body from much-needed protection? Make sure your lip balm also has a minimal amount of SPF in it. Reapplying sunscreen is almost as necessary as applying it in the first place. If you’re sweating/swimming, fish out the tube every couple of hours. If you’re dry, five to six hours may suffice. Take this as an opportunity to retouch ’cause protecting your skin from cancer is clearly more important than a flawless base. Amirite or amirite?
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Myth #6

I have a dusky skin tone. I get tanned, but I rarely burn? No point blowing up money on a sunscreen, right?

Wrong! Like sunburn, a tan is also the result of DNA damage from exposure to the sun’s harmful UV radiation. So yes, sunscreen is as vital for you as your fair-skinned counterparts. Additionally, we’d advise you to be wary of titanium dioxide-based products because they can look chalky on your skin tone. Look for a transparent formulation; the see-through texture will melt onto skin, without leaving a white residue.

Myth #7

I’ve been using the same bottle for years. Never heard of a sunscreen that expires.

If your bottle is stamped with an expiration date, you should rightfully pay heed to it. In other cases, remember that a sunscreen is ideally designed to remain at its original strength for up to three years. However, you’re doing it wrong if you’re carrying a tube from one year to the next. It’s a sign that you’re aren’t using enough; one tube shouldn’t last an entire season.
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