Myths and Facts About Sunscreens

With more and more people becoming increasingly aware about the harmful effects of UV exposure, sunscreens are being seen as a common retort. But all that you know about sunscreens may not be true. So, here is a close look at some of the facts and myths concerning sunscreens.


People with dark skin do not need sunscreen. There is a common perception that people with a dark skin do not need a sunscreen as they are already tanned. However, this is not true at all. Everybody regardless of their skin color needs to use a sunscreen. Even people who have a highly pigmented skin or those who rarely get sunburn also need a sunscreen. The EPA recommends the use of sunscreen for one and all.

Sunscreen prevents your body from making vitamin D from sunshine. Many people believe that using a sunscreen will prevent their skin from absorbing sunshine and prevent the formation of vitamin D. But your skin does not need sunlight in great quantities to make vitamin D. A few minutes in the sunlight is sufficient to give your body the required dose of vitamin D.

SPF 30 is twice better than SPF 15. A sunscreen with a SPF of 30 is in no way twice as better as a sunscreen with a SPF of 15. SPF 15 alone can offer up to 93% protection from the sun's rays. On the other hand SPF 30 only offers 4% more protection than SPF 15 i.e. 97%. However, SPF 2 offers 50% sun protection only.

Sweat  proof and water proof sunscreens can resist water and sweat completely. No matter how sweat or water resistant your sunscreen may be, it is impossible for it to stay on through sweat and water. After a good 80 minutes in water, no sunscreen will be able to stay. Most sunscreens are wiped away when you sweat profusely.


The efficacy of sunscreen is judged by the SPF.
SPF or Sun Protecting factor determines the efficacy of a sunscreen. The higher the SPF, the better it is. Sunscreen with a SPF 15-30 are generally recommended for most of the people.

No sunscreen can provide you all day protection. Even if your sunscreen reads 'all day protection guaranteed' , it will not be able to protect your skin all day long. When you are in the sun, you sweat which could wipe away the sunscreen. So, it is advised that you apply your sunscreen after every two to three hours.

Apply the sunscreen 15-30 minutes in advance. Your skin takes time to absorb the sunscreen. So, applying a sunscreen right when you step out in the sun will not offer you immediate protection. Make sure that you apply your sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before heading out in the sun.

Sunscreens do not prevent skin damage from sun completely. It must be noted that sunscreens only offer protection from UVB rays. They do not protect you from UVA rays which also damage your skin to a certain extent. So, just because you have applied a sunscreen, you may not have all the reasons to go out in the sun.