In the moment when we’re enjoying the warmth and comfort of the sun, or basking in the bronzed glow in our skin, we’re not thinking about the long-term health consequences of prolonged sun exposure. Unfortunately, as educated as we are about sun damage, the allure of a tan seems to outweigh the possibility of developing skin cancer.
For those who are interested in doing what you can to protect your skin and invest in its health and beauty for years to come, Oakville Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skincare has a wealth of knowledge, cosmetic solutions and skincare tools to help you along the way. To start, in this article, we discuss some of the top myths about sun protection to help you protect your skin the right way this summer.
Top sun protection myths.
Sunscreen is only necessary for pale skin types.
While having the ability to tan can reduce the risk of skin damage, it shouldn’t be a green light to go golden – as tempting as that may be. A tan is a sign that your skin has incurred damage; skin cancer risk and aging is therefore accelerated.
A base tan will protect your skin.
This is also a false assumption. While a tan is not equivalent to the damage of a sunburn, it is still a sign of damage. Some healthy ways to protect the skin and minimize damage from the sun are to apply sunscreen, wear protective clothing and plan to avoid exposure at the height of the UV index.
Sunscreen is only needed when you’re planning to be outside for long periods of time.
The fact is that harmful UVA rays penetrate through glass so when you’re indoors damage to your skin can still occur. This adds up to a lot of unprotected sun exposure over days, months and years. Any sun exposure, regardless of how long, leads to skin damage.
SPF 15 is enough.
The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) recommends the use of a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. While SPF 15 protects against 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 provides 97% UVB protection. Over time, this added protection substantially reduces potential skin damage.
Layering different sunscreen products increase the sun protection factor.
Unfortunately, layering an SPF 15 product under an SPF 30 product doesn’t equate to an SPF of 45. However, layering sunscreen products my increase the coverage achieved because most people do not apply enough sunscreen with their initial application to achieve full SPF protection. The CDA recommends applying at least 2-3 tablespoons of sunscreen to cover the entire body and one teaspoon for the face.
We hope that by dispelling these sunscreen myths, we have empowered Oakville clients with knowledge to enjoy the sun safely and responsibly this summer. Part of avoiding sunscreen fatigue is finding a product(s) that you love. Oakville Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skincare has a variety of medical grade broad spectrum sunscreens amongst which you’re sure to find a sunscreen you love and look forward to wearing (think: lightweight texture and no artificial fragrance). We welcome you to visit us for a sunscreen demo. Call 905.901.9545 or email [email protected] to arrange a consultation.