Wednesday, July 6, 2016

5 Sunscreen Myths and Mistakes

Chances are, this is what some of you are still feeling like after your 4th of July celebrations:

But don't feel alone! We've all been there. We used sunscreen, we scoped out the shade, and we even wore those ugly hats that we grabbed last second at Walmart. So where did we go wrong? Here are 5 common mistakes and myths that help keep us lobster bright every summer.


1. We don't use enough sunscreen. Did you know it takes a full ounce to cover the average human body? That's enough to fill a shot glass. Unfortunately for our rosy red glow, studies show that most of us are only putting on a quarter to half as much as we need.

2. We don't reapply often enough. Just because it says "waterproof" or "sweat-proof" doesn't mean it's going to stick with you through thick and thin. While simply being wet or sweaty may not wash it away, that dive for the volleyball on the sand, drying off with your towel, or wiping the water out of your eyes while swimming certainly will. Remember, it's sweat-proof; not abrasion-proof. This is especially important for parents of active babies and children.

3. Being tan/dark complected doesn't mean you can't burn. Melanin distribution is one of your skin's natural defenses against the great ball of fire in the sky, though those of us with fair skin may have very little for the body to distribute. For those of you with loads of it, remember this: While it does make you more resistant to burning, it definitely doesn't make you immune. It simply means you can be exposed longer before burning.

4. Being tan/dark complected doesn't mean you can use a lower SPF. I've heard it a million times: "I'm already tan, so my SPF15 face lotion is enough." NOPE. Nuh-uh. The SPF rating has less to do with the level of protection it offers and everything to do with the length of your exposure. If you usually burn in 10 minutes, SPF15 is supposed to allow you to be in the sun 15 times longer without burning, or 150 minutes. SPF20 20 times longer, and so forth.  (Note - don't forget #2! No matter the SPF rating, you can still inadvertently remove it.) If you're going to be out all day, just go ahead and reach for the 30 or higher. Your future self will thank you.


5. It's cloudy, so I don't need as much sunscreen. That's another NOPE. Especially if you're on the beach or on the water. That pristine white sand and those lapping waves are bouncing all of those rays right back at you for a double dose of UV. Worse, these rays sneak right in under that ugly hat because they're coming from all angles like little evil laser beams.

Yes, the ground IS lava. via GIPHY

So it's your turn to dish! What are your best sunburn tips, advice, and stories?


  1. I finally decided that being a white girl was OK with me. I avoid lots of sun, and am not embarrassed to carry an umbrella in the bright sunlight :)

    1. Same here! I decided I had two color options- white and red, and red is painful.


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