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Sun Protection - Facts & Myths

  1. Higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) offers better protection. 
  2. Makeup with built-in SPF is as effective as sunblock. 
  3. Sunblock is not necessary on a cloudy day. 
  4. Sunblock will prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D. 
  5. Sunblock causes health problems. 
  6. People with dark skin do not need sunblock. 
  7. Tanning beds are safer than sunlight. 

  1. Higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) offers better protection.
    Sunblock 

    SPF is a measure of how well a sunblock will protect the skin from ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburn, damages skin, and can contribute to skin cancer. Although higher SPF values do offer some benefit, UVB protection alone is insufficient. Choose a broad spectrum sunblock that protects against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB rays and with an SPF of at least 30. It is important to note that you should reapply sunblock every 2 hours, even for those with high SPF levels.  

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  3. Makeup with built-in SPF is as effective as sunblock.

    Cosmetic products with built-in SPF may not provide sufficient protection from the sun, unless used in large amount. Thus, they should not be used alone and should be used together with a sunblock. Furthermore, other exposed parts of the body such as the neck, hands and legs should be protected as well. When outdoors, reapply sunblock every two hours for effective protection.  

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  5. Sunblock is not necessary on a cloudy day.
    Sun and cloud

    This is not always true.  

    Up to 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays pass through clouds. UVA rays, which are responsible for skin aging, are able to reach your skin through clouds or window glass. Hence, it is important to apply sunblock regardless of the weather. 

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  7. Sunblock will prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D.

    The body makes Vitamin D easily when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunblock blocks UV rays and this can prevent the person from getting the proper level of Vitamin D. However, doctors specialized in skin care suggest that just five to thirty minutes of sun exposure per day can create the proper amount of vitamin D in the body. Furthermore, vitamin D is also available in food such as tuna, salmon, cheese and egg yolk.   

    It is important that people with diabetes visit their healthcare providers regularly to check for diabetes related problems of the foot, eyes and kidney. 

     
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  9. Sunblock causes health problems.
    Most sunblock have been tested to be safe and are not absorbed by the body. Although rare skin allergies have been reported, daily use of sunblock is unlikely to cause harm for most people.
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  11. People with dark skin do not need sunblock.
    Regardless of skin tone, everyone is at risk of UV rays exposure. Melanin, the pigment that gives us our skin, hair and eye colour, protects our skin. People with dark skin have more melanin. If you have a lighter skin tone, you have less melanin and are more likely to get sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer from too much sun exposure. However, people who have darker skin tones can still get sunburned and will need to apply sunblock.
     
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  13. Tanning beds are safer than sunlight.
    Tanning beds expose you to UV radiation as well and increase your risk of skin cancer. The amount of radiation produced is similar to, or stronger than that, of the sun.
     
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Updated on Nov 2019 

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