It’s surprising to me at how much gets passed on from one person to the next about certain products. This information isn’t always factual and sometimes it turns into more of a Wives Tale. I’ve posted 7 things you didn’t know about sunscreen below and I bet you’ll be surprised at some of them. I know that most items on the market today are hyped up so consumers feel they need to buy them. This list just goes to show that sunscreen manufacturers are just as guilty of milking consumers for cash as everyone else.
7. Higher SPFs Aren’t Necessarily Better
I’ve heard this one before, but found information on it again online when I was searching for facts about sunscreen. Supposedly anything higher than SPF 50 doesn’t provide any additional protection against the sun’s rays. From what I’ve read, the marketing of sunscreen products with extremely high SPFs is simply a way to get more money out of consumers.
6. One Additive to Sunscreens Actually Speeds up Skin Cancer
Isn’t it ironic that the vitamin A added to most sunscreens has been proven to cause lesions and skin tumors to develop faster? Vitamin A does slow the aging of skin, which is why manufacturers of sunscreen add this ingredient to their products. However, when exposed to sunlight, vitamin A has the potential to cause cancerous tumors.
5. Sunscreen Needs to Be Applied before You Go out into the Sun
I see people sitting in the sun and applying sunscreen. It should actually be applied to the skin at least 30 minutes before you head outside. Be sure to put it on thick and allow it to soak in.
4. It Hasn’t Been Proven to Prevent Skin Cancer
Both the FDA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have yet to come across any supporting data stating that sunscreen prevents skin cancer at all. It is recommended that you wear long sleeves, a hat, and sit in the shade if you wish to prevent skin cancer.
3. Sunscreen and Sunblock Are Two Different Products
A sunscreen provides a thin layer of chemicals on the skin that will absorb UVB and UVA rays. A sunblock contains ingredients that will physically block out UVB and UVA light. Sunblocks aren’t colorless like sunscreens are, so they are often less appealing by people who spend time out in the sun to socialize and catch the eye of a passerby.
2. There is a Difference between ‘water-resistant’ and ‘waterproof’
You might already know this one, but I know of a few people who think these two words mean the same thing. In short, you can hang out in the water for 80 minutes with a waterproof sunscreen on and it will still have the same SPF protection as it did when you first slathered it on. With a water-resistant sunscreen this time is cut in half.
1. Sunscreen Reduces the Amount of Vitamin D Absorbed by the Body
People need at least 10 minutes of sunlight 3 or 4 times a week without sunscreen on. This allows the body to absorb an adequate dosage of vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D reduces the risk of many types of cancers, makes bones stronger, and boosts the immune system. Supplemental formulas of vitamin D are always available on the market, but they may not be providing the correct amount. The level of vitamin D provided by supplements is still debatable.
I still use sunscreen regularly, but I go for the low SPF formulas, wear a large-brimmed hat, and try to limit my time in the sun. Thankfully I don’t have an outdoor job where I’m required to spend most of the day outdoors, so I’m able to come inside out of the sunshine when I need to. From this list of 7 things you didn’t know about sunscreen, were there any you actually had already heard of?
Top Photo Credit: HB Art