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Sunscreen: Myths & Misconceptions
Top 6 Myths & Misconceptions
- "Sunscreen can cause cancer." Some chemicals found in sunscreen, such as oxybenzone, have come under fire in recent years and are blamed for an increased risk of developing cancer. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, there is currently no eveidence to make this link. What remains known is that protecting your skin from the sun when it's the strongest (or, even better, avoiding it during these times) is the best defense against skin cancer. If you're concerned about chemicals in sunscreens, your best bet is to switch to a formula with physical blockers like EltaMD UV Physical.
- "Only fair-skinned people need to use sunscreen or sunblock." While olive and darker-skinned individuals are less likely to burn, no one is exempt from sun-damage - especially in our current environment. Another thing to consider? Darker skin types are more prone to hyperpigmentation because of higher melanin levels in the skin, so keeping skin protected helps prevent future pigment problems and maintain an even skin tone.
- "I need the sun for Vitamin D" - As the benefits of vitamin D have been popularized, there is increasing confusion over whether wearing sunscreen blocks the body from absorbing vitamin D. Many experts say the amount of sun exposure needed to get vitamin D is minimal, and most people get enough with their daily exposure. Vitamin D is also readily available in foods like fish, milk and eggs or supplements.
- "Sunscreen is too greasy and it makes me break out." - There's no arguing greasiness could be a problem with some options on the market, but it definetly doesn't apply across the board. Look for oil-free and non- comedogenic formulas, like EltaMD UV Defense, and try before you buy to ensure the texture is right for you (the goal, after all, is to find something you'll want every day!). Sunscreens containing zinc or titanium are generally better tolerated by sensitive skin types, including those with acne or rosacea.
- "All sunblocks are the same." - Not true! Always look for sunscreen labelled "broad spectrum" to ensure you're getting UVA and UVB protection. The most recognized UVA blocker is zinc oxide.
- "I only need sunscreen in the summer." - Any time you're outside or exposed to sunlight (yes, that means when you're driving), you should be wearing sunscreen. Overcast weather doesn't mean you're covered because UV rays can pass through clouds, so use a sunscreen every day to ensure you're always protected - even if you're only briefly outdoors. When you're outside in the summer for extended periods (like at the beach), it's a wise idea to change to a waterproof formula.
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