“Tans are healthy.”
“A good base tan helps prevent
“Tanning beds are safe.”
“One application of sunscreen is
Over the years, there have been
countless myths about tanning, sunscreen and sun safety. Thankfully, we’re becoming more aware as consumers and as a
country about how important it is to protect ourselves from the harmful rays of
the sun, and how exactly to go about it.
That being said, not all myths have
been eradicated, and there’s a few that we continue to hear popping up around
Here are four sunscreen myths to listen
need to wear sunscreen on overcast days
It’s recommended that everyone wears sunscreen on days with a UV index of 3 or
above. However, you can still have a cloudy or windy day with a high UV index,
which means that you can still get sunburnt.
This is because while the clouds
may diffuse the sun’s direct light, UVA and UVB rays can still penetrate
through the cloud cover. On top of this, there are reflective surfaces like
snow and water that can reflect UV radiation, even on cloudy or overcast days.
If you’re in doubt, it’s better to
be safe than sorry and apply sunscreen on cloudy and overcast days. You can
check the UV index in your city on the Bureau
of Meteorology (BoM) website
or download the free SunSmart app which can tell you when sun protection is recommended in your
olive, tanned, or darker skin don’t need to wear sunscreen
People with darker skin have more
melanin, a skin pigment produced by skin cells. Because of this, they are
better protected from the sun — however, it’s important to note that they are
not completely protected, and there is still a level of risk.
For example, the rate of skin cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people in
Australia (who tend to have darker skin tones) is lower than it is for
non-indigenous people, but there are still occurrences of skin cancer.
According to Cancer Council:
“Naturally dark (or olive) skin
does not protect against skin cancer. Naturally dark-skinned people do have a
lower risk of skin cancer than fair-skinned people. Nevertheless, dark-skinned
people still get skin cancer, although their skin cancers may develop in unusual
places, for example under their fingernails or on the soles of their feet.”
It’s still important for people
with olive or dark skin to protect themselves from the harmful UV rays of the
SPF means you don’t have to reapply as often
Applying a sunscreen with a high
SPF such as 50 is a smart choice in protecting yourself against the sun.
However, no matter how high the SPF
is, one application in the morning is simply not enough protection for the
Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours if you’re spending time outdoors, and after
swimming, sweating or drying yourself with a towel. Even a four-hour water
resistant sunscreen needs more frequent application after extreme activity!
It’s also important to reapply
sunscreen if you’re travelling in the car, on a bus, or on a plane as you can
still get sunburnt through the window.
Another reason to regularly reapply
your sunscreen is that many of us miss a spot when putting on sunscreen. In fact, studies have shown that most people miss about 10% of their face when applying
sunscreen — so imagine how much you
could miss in a full-body application!
need to cover up if you’re wearing sunscreen
Sunscreen is important in
protecting yourself from sun damage, but unfortunately, it still can’t provide
This is for a number of reasons,
including that most of us don’t apply enough sunscreen, fail to cover our whole
bodies, forget to reapply, and miss spots on our skin. Sunscreen also can’t
protect every part of your body, for example, the eyes, which are also vulnerable to damage from UV radiation.
Sunscreen is an important part of
sun protection, but it’s not the only part. Cancer Council Australia recommends that when the UV index is 3 or
above, you should protect yourself in five ways:
water-resistant sunscreen - preferably SPF 50
Slap on a
Remember to choose sunglasses that
wrap around and sit close to your face, providing protection for the delicate
skin around the eyes, and the eyes themselves. Keep an eye out for the
Australian/New Zealand Standard which should be visible on the sunglasses, and
choose a style that meets category 2, 3, or 4.
information about sun safety for you and your family, speak to your local
Capital Chemist pharmacist or check out our Sun Care brochure.