Winter Sun SPF Myths - What You Need to Know
Posted on 22 January 2018
The seasons might have changed, but that's no reason to pack away your SPF with your beach towels. Here are 5 of the most common misconceptions about wearing sunscreen in the colder months.
Allure magazine interviewed a top dermatologist to bust common winter sun myths. Here are the top 5 winter sun spf myths.
1. THE MYTH:
My makeup contains SPF 15, so I'm protected from the sun.
Makeup with SPF won't fully protect your skin unless you really cake it on, so you're getting a false sense of security. Science has shown that for you to get an adequate amount of protection you need a teaspoon or two of sunscreen just for your face. Then, a shot glass full for your arms, another for your chest and abdomen, and so on.
Also, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends a minimum SPF of 30 to protect against skin cancer. So make sure your daily application if sunscreen contains an SPF of at least 30, is broad-spectrum and water resistant.
For more information on sunscreen use, please read the AAD site on commonly asked questions about sunscreen. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs
2. THE MYTH:
The sun is the only way to get enough vitamin D.
"This is one of the biggest controversies," says Dr. Carlos Gomez-Meade, Little Leaves co-founder and a skin cancer specialist. "As a dermatologist, 90 percent of the cause of skin cancer that I see is due to long-term sun exposure. People do need vitamin D, but you can get it from supplements or by eating fish and green leafy vegetables, or by drinking fortified milk. If you are in the sun for 15 minutes per day you will have received all the vitamin D you need — just make sure to put on sunscreen first."
3. THE MYTH:
SPF 80 is better than SPF 30.
SPF 80 IS better than SPF 30.
However, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of the sun's UVB rays. Sunscreens with higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun's UVB rays, and no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun's UVB rays.
There are three ingredients to look for: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and mexoryl. As for the SPF number, you shouldn't be wearing anything less than SPF 30 with UVA/UVB protection
4. THE MYTH:
Getting a base tan at the tanning salon will prevent me from burning on vacation.
Tanning beds have now been labeled as a carcinogen by the government, in the same category as asbestos and the chemicals found in tobacco.
In fact, the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization labeled ultraviolet radiation from either the sun or artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, to be a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).
Any tan, including a base tan, is a sign of damage to your skin — because the actual tan is the result of your body increasing pigmenation in an attempt to protect itself against ultraviolet damage.
“A tan may look good for a few days short-term but the long-term consequences are much less rewarding. Such negative effects include faster skin aging and wrinkles earlier in life along with increasing your chance of developing skin cancer at some point in your life.”, says Dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon, Dr. Carlos Gomez-Meade.
5. THE MYTH:
I don't sit outside in the winter, so I don't need to wear SPF.
The winter may not be warm, but the sun's rays still exist. On a clear day your skin will still absorb them and be slowly damaged over time. Even if you're only outside for a total of 30 minutes, five times per week (walking to work or taking a lunch break) — over a year that adds up to 7,800 minutes in the sun. UV rays also penetrate the glass of car windows and your house!
Bottom line, stay vigilant with your sun protection year round for your health, and your families! The most convenient and effective sun protection is clothing. Little Leaves sun protective clothing blocks 98% of harmful UV rays, and our wardrobe staples can be worn year round.