Sun Protection Myths and Facts: From Geelong Veins, Skin and Laser

Summer is just around the corner – and our Geelong Veins, Skin and Laser is filling up with pre-summer skin checks. You see this time of the year, we are all talking about slip-slop-slap… sun protection… it is the season for it, right?  However our clinic staff are always amazed at the confusion that our patients have between fact and fiction of sun protection.  So here we will de-bunk some myths and clarify what you need to know to protect your skin this Summer…

Myth: Sunscreen needs to be reapplied


Correct! Sunscreen should be reapplied at regular intervals, usually around every three to four hours (be guided by the sunscreen brand that you are using). However if you’re swimming, or exercising, you should reapply at least every two hours as the sunscreen can easily wash or wipe off.


Myth: You won’t get sunburnt on windy, cool or cloudy days


Sun’s out, sunscreen’s on! Wind, clouds and cooler weather doesn’t negate the potency of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is the cause of skin damage. In fact clouds can even add to the intensity of UV rays due to reflection.


Myth: Sunscreen has a use-by date


You wouldn’t drink spoilt milk (ew!) so don’t use spoilt sunscreen! Sunscreens generally last around three years and they’re have a use-by-date printed on the bottle. A sunscreen past its due date may no longer provide adequate protection.


Myth: It doesn’t matter where you store your sunscreen


Leaving your bottle of sunscreen in hot car’s glove box is not doing it any favours! Ideally sunscreen should be kept out of direct sunlight and below 48 degrees. If you notice your sunscreen has split, changed colour or smells funky, then it’s probably spoilt. Ditch it.


Myth: If your skin care or make-up contains SPF, you don’t need to wear sunscreen


Moisturisers or foundations that contain sunscreen provide skin protection for short outdoors bursts – but that’s it. If you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time outdoors than these alone don’t cut it.


Myth: People with naturally olive skin are not at risk of sun damage


Having naturally darker skin doesn’t make you exempt from sun protection. People with this skin tone are at a lower risk of their skin burning compared to someone with fairer skin, but this doesn’t make them completely exempt from skin damage.


Myth: A fake tan gives your skin added protection from the sun


Fake tanning products are brilliant for replicating a sun-kissed glow – but just because the skin looks darker doesn’t mean it’s any more protected from the sun. Apply a sunscreen as you normally would to protect your fake-tanned bod.


Myth: You can get sunburnt through a car or glass window


Whether you’re in your car or gazing out the window – being indoors doesn’t protect you from UV radiation. The glass reduces some of the harmful rays but if you spend a long time next to a sunny window then the chances of UV penetrating are high. Try covering up exposed skin and wear sunscreen.

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