No More Excuses- Common Sun Protection Myths Busted
It’s no secret that we’re supposed to wear sunscreen. For those of us that burn, as soon as summer rolls around it’s time to bring out a seasonal arsenal of sun protection. Still many of us, whether because we think that our tan protects us, or we need vitamin D, or it will look bad, or because “it’s too late to start worrying about it now,” pass off sunscreen as a preference, rather than as necessity. Since that really isn’t the case, let’s work through these blocks.
First thing first: tanning easily, and having darker skin, doesn't protect you from skin cancer. True, more melanin can offer some protection from UVB rays that primarily cause burning, but melanin does not protect from UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate deeper under the skin and alters your skin’s DNA, increasing your risk of skin cancer. When shopping for sunscreen, look for a “broad-spectrum SPF” that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
In most cases, a few minutes of the sun exposure is enough to supply you with your daily dose of vitamin D. If you are concerned about a vitamin D deficiency, talk to your pharmacist or doctor about it.
Many of us may remember the days of thick, white, zinc sunscreens being slathered over faces and shoulders. For the most part, those days are gone (though the option does still exist if it really appeals to you). Zinc and titanium provide a physical block from the sun, and although they are more visible, they start working immediately. Sunscreens that provide a chemical block, rather than a physical barrier, are practically invisible on the skin. Plus, there are plenty options specifically for faces that tend to be lighter, less oily, and designed for sensitive skin. Make sure to apply chemical blocks 20 minutes before going outside. Always reapply regularly!
Okay, so you never wore sunscreen growing up, and by now you’re pretty sure that if you’re going to get skin cancer, you’re going to get it and a little sunscreen now isn't going to change that. Guess what? You’re probably right! But hey, it’s never too late for skin care. Broad-spectrum sunscreen blocks ageing UVA rays, and face-specific sunscreens often include moisturizers.
So we’re all going to start wearing sunscreen, right? Right. Great! So glad you’re on board! Seriously, it doesn’t have to be much to start- just including an SPF-30 in your morning routine is a great place to start. Swing by Living Room Pharmacy, check out our supply, and don't hesitate to ask questions.