Sunscreen myth #1: People with dark skin don’t need to use sunscreen
No matter how dark or light skinned you are, sunscreen is important. Everyone’s skin has the potential to burn, the potential to prematurely age and the potential to develop skin cancer when left unprotected. Don’t believe for a second that if you have dark skin you can skip the sunscreen. Everyone, regardless of their skin colour, should wear sunscreen on a regular basis.
Sunscreen myth #2: There’s no need to apply sunscreen if it’s in my makeup
I used to get very excited at the idea of having my sunscreen needs covered by my makeup. Talk about being lulled into a false sense of security. Unfortunately, what I learned was the opposite. Foundations, blush, bronzing powders, all seem to contain SPF these days but it isn’t enough. Makeup with SPF is usually applied unevenly. Think about the quick dusting of blush, or the little dab of foundation we often apply. It’s simply not enough coverage to offer appropriate protection. While it is a nice added benefit for those areas that do get ample coverage, it’s most important to double up on our protection and use a sunscreen as well. Opt for a daily moisturizer with SPF 30. You’ll get added moisture and protection in one easy step.
Sunscreen myth #3: If your sunscreen says its waterproof, you don’t need to reapply
You must reapply at least every 2 hours, and even more frequently if you are swimming or sweating. It’s easy to forget about reapplication when you are having fun at the beach or pool. Keep your sunscreen in a visible place so it doesn’t go unnoticed. If you just can’t seem to make it happen, put a reminder on your phone or other mobile device to prompt yourself. If you are like me, the sunscreen may be tucked away in my beach bag but my phone is never far from sight.
Sunscreen myth #4: Sunscreens are only meant for certain areas of the body, not everywhere
If you have skin that’s exposed, it needs sunscreen. This includes your feet, ears, back, arms, legs, neck… If it’s an exposed body part, it needs protection. I’m always most concerned about my face, because I want to keep those fine lines and wrinkles at bay. But after close inspection of my body, I had a very rude awakening. My shoulders have many dark spots on them, as does my cleavage area. Even my legs are riddled with sun damage due to my youthful sunscreen neglect in pursuit of the perfect tan. I have become obsessive about the backs of my hands and now keep sunscreen in the cup holder in my car. If it can be seen, it needs sunscreen!
Sunscreen myth #5: Sunscreens made for adults are not as protective as those made for children
Sunscreens contain the same active ingredients, whether they are for kids or adults. If you’re looking at two products with the same sun protection factor, whether for kids or adults, the protection is comparable. There are different types of formulations, however, and many sunscreens made for children focus on gentler formulas developed for more sensitive skin. They can be fragrance free, with no added paraben. Many products for kids are tear-free to avoid any stinging of the eyes.
Sunscreen myth #6: That bottle from last year is OK to use this year
If you have a leftover bottle of sunscreen from the year before, do yourself a favour and throw it away. First and foremost, if you’re using sunscreen every day, you won’t ever have left over product. A good rule of thumb is to not treat your sunscreen as a seasonal product, but realize its importance all year round. Always check the expiration dates on your bottles. The dates can be found on the label itself or embossed into the crimped edge of a tube. Nothing lasts forever and sunscreens will lose their effectiveness over time. Pay attention to expiration dates, and make sure you’re slathering on something that will actually protect your skin.
Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife. Discover the HerbalifeSKIN line here.