The first day of summer may be two weeks away, but that doesn’t stop the sun from shining. And it definitely doesn’t stop you from tanning. I care about you and don’t want you to damage that beautiful skin. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States! That’s scary!
A national survey supported by the CDC shows that U.S. youth and adults (men and women) are being exposed to ultraviolet radiation and could do a lot more to protect themselves! That’s why I’ve decided to breakdown five summer skin care myths for all ages, sexes, and ethnicities.
Myth #1: “I have dark skin, I can’t get sunburned.”
Wrong! Just because you have a darker complexion doesn’t mean can’t get a sunburn. It’s true, that those with a fairer skin color burn faster, but all skin complexions can burn. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people of color are often diagnosed later in life with skin cancer. Because of this thinking, this can make treatment less effective.
Myth #2: “I only tan at a tanning salon. Those are safe.”
Incorrect again! A tan is a tan. No matter if you get it from the sun or by a tanning lamp. The Skin Cancer Foundation wants you to know that all tans are caused by dangerous and harmful UV (ultra violet) radiation. And if you have one, then most likely you’ve sustained some skin cell damage. Try using self-tanners or bronzers for a healthy glow!
Myth #3: “I’m wearing a cover-up, I won’t burn.”
False! Unless you’re wearing a cover-up with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) label, then you could definitely get a sunburn. Most of our cover-ups are sheer and don’t offer any protection from the sun. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends clothing items with a UPF of 30 or higher. This is even offered in select swimwear. Also, make sure you’re wearing sunglasses and hats to fashionably shield you from the sun.
Myth #4: “It’s cloudy outside, I don’t have to wear sunscreen.”
Sorry to burst your cloudy bubble, but this is also false! According to the CDC, even on those cloudy days, the UV radiation from the sun reaches our earth’s surface. And as a side note, they also state that UV rays reflect off of lots of surfaces like water, cement, sand, snow, and could even pass through windows. Make sure you apply your sunscreen as directed.
Myth #5: “The higher the SPF Sunscreen I wear, the more protected I am.”
This myth is a little tricky. Let me explain. We all know that SPF stands for sun protection factor and that we should use a sunscreen with at least a SPF of 15. Yes, higher numbers mean more protection. But, what some don’t know is that the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) recently announced major changes to sunscreen labels. It turns out that nothing over 50 SPF will offer better sun protection. And they note you should look for a sunscreen with “Broad Spectrum” on the label. This helps protect against UVA and UVB rays. Watch the video below for more information from the FDA.
I hope these myths I busted are helpful. The bottom line is, you need to protect your skin at all costs, continue to keep an eye on your body, and examine yourself monthly for any suspecting signs of skin cancer. Here’s an great Step by Step Self-Examination list from the Skin Cancer Foundation.