The heat is on and it’s time to slather on the sun protection. Though it’s one of the best defences against aging and helping to protect against skin cancer, many still skip this important step. A lot of that has to do with misconceptions about sun exposure and even sunscreen formulas, which have come a long way since the heavy, chalky lotions of the past.
Here, we’ve addressed the biggest myths about sun protection and why you need to stock up for the sunny days ahead.
Myth: I don’t need sunscreen because I’m not “lying out” in the sun.
Fact: Just because you’re not sunning yourself by the pool doesn’t mean you’re not being exposed to the sun. Simply by going about your daily routine, and even going to and from work, the store or elsewhere, you’re bound to get hit by UV rays, which are stronger in the summer. Even driving in your car on your daily commute, “UVA rays can get through the glass, so you’re still getting a lot of exposure day to day,” says Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Kucy Pon.
Myth: Sunscreen is too heavy to wear and can cause breakouts.
Fact: Many sunscreen formulas, especially for the face, are non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores and lead to acne flare-ups. What’s more, newer formulas are lightweight and lack the heavy or oily feel of sunscreens of old. If you’re still concerned, choose a lightweight face moisturizer with built-in sun protection and a minimum SPF of 30, says Pon, to wear on a daily basis.
Myth: Makeup with SPF can protect you against the sun.
Fact: This is partially true, but Pon says it’s difficult to get the full level of SPF of certain foundations or powders because people don’t use enough product to be adequately protected. “You need to use a half teaspoon on the face to get the full SPF protection,” says Pon. “Head to toe, you should use two tablespoons of sunscreen or the size of a shot glass for the whole body.”