A SPF 30 moisturiser and SPF 15 foundation give SPF 45 protection
Fiction: SPF does not accumulate, your sun protection is only as strong as the highest SPF, you can’t add them up, so in this case you have SPF 30 protection. This means that only one of your morningtime products needs to have SPF of 30 or higher.
Standard maths equations don’t apply to sun cream, another example of this is that factor 30 does not offer double the protection of SPF 15; SPF 15 blocks 94% of UVB rays and SPF 30 blocks 97%. Above 30 SPF the increase in protection is incremental.
All skin tones need to wear SPF
Fact: All skin tones and skin types are susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer and should be protecting their skin with sun cream. Skin pigment only offers the equivalent of SPF 4, this also applies to those who believe that a base tan will stop them from burning. Just because you already have a tan doesn’t mean you won’t burn. A base tan will offer at best an SPF of 4. Whether you burn easily or not, your skin needs to be protected from both UVA and UVB rays as any change in skin colour from tanning is a sign of damage from UV radiation and can lead to premature and skin cancer.
Getting a suntan is ok as long as you don’t burn
Fiction: It’s a common myth that if you slowly tan without burning then you haven’t caused any skin damage but any tan indicates damage to your skin. A tan is actually the skin trying to protect itself from more damage. Although a base tan gives you at best an SPF of 4 the more sun you get, the more likely it is that you will suffer from premature ageing and the likelihood of developing skin cancer also increases. Wearing sunscreen and reapplying regularly helps to protect skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
If it’s overcast outside you don’t need sun cream
Fiction: Sun damage isn’t limited to the summer or trips to the beach, you are exposed to the sun every day even if it’s a cloudy, rainy, snowy winter day meaning you should be wearing sun cream all year round. While UVB (the burning rays) are stronger in the summer, UVA (the ageing rays) are the same strength year-round. UVA can also penetrate through windows so if you’re sitting reading or at your desk by a window or driving in a car you’re exposed to the sun’s rays. Even during those short moments spent outside running errands, heading to work or grabbing lunch the sun can damage your skin. This damage is cumulative so even short doses of exposures can have long term effects. As the song says ‘wear sunscreen’.
A beach umbrella can’t block the sun
Fact: While it is a good idea to stay in the shade or under an umbrella, these are not substitutes for sun cream as there is no foolproof way to block the sun. UV rays reflect off the surfaces around you, such as sand, so rays will reach you under an umbrella and in the shade. Even if you aren’t directly sitting in the sun you should wear sun cream to protect you against these rays.