The Biggest Myths About Sunscreen

Is makeup a reliable way to get good sun protection? Do you need to go out in the sun to get your vitamin D? We asked the experts for the top myths when it comes to sunscreen.

Myth #1: You don't need to apply extra SPF if your makeup has it.
“Sunscreens don’t work if you rely on your makeup or moisturizers,” says says Las Vegas plastic surgeon Goesel Anson, MD. “The majority of users significantly underestimate their protection.”

Myth #2: You need to go out in the sun to get your vitamin D.
“The sun does provide vitamin D, but most people, when out in the sun, overdo it,” says New York dermatologist Michael Shapiro, MD. “You can obtain vitamin D from vitamins and supplements to meet your daily requirements.”

Myth #3: A higher SPF equals more protection.
Regardless of the number, there is no sunscreen that can protect 100 percent of the sun’s rays (an SPF of 30 protects 97 percent). Also, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), lower-number SPFs last the same amount of time as higher ones.

Myth #4: Darker skin tones are immune to skin cancer.
Darker skin is not immune to skin cancer, and because of this belief, many non-Caucasians are diagnosed with later, harder-totreat stages of the disease.

Myth #5: The ingredients in sunscreens can put your health at risk.
The ingredients in sunscreens get a lot of scrutiny, but the AAD stands by this one: Scientific evidence supports the benefits of using sunscreen to minimize short-term and long-term skin damage. Preventing skin cancer and sunburn outweigh unproven claims of toxicity or human health hazard from ingredients in sunscreens.

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