5 Sunscreen Myths That Dermatologists Debunks!

5 Sunscreen Myths That Dermatologists Debunks!


By Dr. Jeetendra Khatuja, Dermatology

Repetitive sun exposure without any protection on your skin can cause tanning, sunburn and wrinkles. It also increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Most of the times, you are not too sure about the type of sunscreen suitable for your skin. You may also have doubts or wrong ideas regarding its usage, which could potentially damage your skin. Following are the facts and myths associated to sunscreen.

Myth 1: Sunscreen containing SPF-30 can provide twice the amount of protection than SPF-15.

In reality, sunscreen containing SPF-15 can keep away 93% of the harmful UVB rays whereas SPF-30 provides protection against 97% of them. The products which claim to have SPF-100 are simply duping the customers. Most experts are of the opinion that SPF-30 is sufficient if you apply an adequate amount on your skin.

Myth 2: Waterproof sunscreen does not require repeated application and can protect you all day long.

No sunscreen can provide protection throughout the day even if your product claims so. Ideally sunscreen should be applied after every two hours as it eventually loses it’s effectiveness after being in contact with water for 40 minutes. It should be reapplied specially after excessive sweating or swimming.

Myth 3: Sunscreen is not required on cloudy days.

It is a strange misconception that sunscreen or any other sort of protection is unnecessary if it’s a cloudy day. About 80% of the UV rays can penetrate clouds hence; you can get tanned even in the shade. It is also advisable to tint your car windows as ultraviolet ray can also pass through them.

Myth 4: My makeup has enough sunscreen.

Some of you may depend on the sunscreen in your makeup for protection but it is usually not enough. A few spots of foundation on your face cannot keep your skin safe all day long. It is recommended that you wear a sunscreen moisturizer before you put on your makeup. Subsequently, your makeup will add another protective layer on your skin.

Myth 5: One Sunscreen can be used by all skin types.

Many sunscreen companies are promoting a single sunscreen which they claim suits all skin types. Sunscreen has to be chosen properly which should suit not only your skin type but also your age, present skin condition (for dry skin: cream based sunscreen; for oily skin: gel-based sunscreen) and if you have acne you cannot use higher spf as high spf sunscreens contain high oil. So, ideally your dermatologist should asses your skin and all other factors to decide the best sunscreen to suit your skin.