2. My cosmetics already have SPF.
Some makeup offer SPF (sun protection factor), but most people don’t wear enough foundation, eye shadow, or lipstick to offer completely protect skin, plus most cosmetics don’t contain enough SPF. “The majority of makeup products have SPF 15. That’s not enough for adequate protection,” says Dr. Freiman. “And when people put makeup on, they put it on the face so it doesn’t address the rest of the body.”
Dermatologists recommend you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 in addition to your cosmetics. Broad-spectrum means that the product will protect your skin from two types of ultra violet rays, UVA and UVB. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburn. Too much exposure to both UVA and UVB rays can lead to the development of skin cancer. To ensure that you’re applying enough sunscreen to cover your face and body, Dr. Freiman suggests using a golfball or shot glass-sized amount, and plan to reapply it every two hours.
3. Sunscreen is too sticky.
A visit to the drugstore will uncover many products that aren’t gooey or sticky. Ingredients including zinc formulations have a lighter, less tacky feel. “There are a lot of sprays, lotions and emulsions that people can use. Some zinc products have micro-ionized particles so they can be less sticky,” says Dr. Freiman.
4. The chemicals in sunscreen are bad for me.
This excuse is based on a popular misconception, says Dr. Freiman. No scientific studies exist that prove a link between sunscreen ingredients and health concerns, however, there are studies that show that unprotected skin can develop cancer. “We do know that not wearing sunscreen and being in the sun causes cancer. That’s a proven fact,” he says. Sunscreen is just one aspect of several safe sun strategies – ‘Stay out of the sun during peak hours [between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.], wear sun protective clothing including hats, and sunglasses with proper coverage,’ says Dr. Freiman.
Look for sun protective clothing that features an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) label. “Sun-protective clothing typically has UPF 30 or higher; UPF 30 means that only 1 in 30 (three percent) of UV rays will pass through [the clothing to the skin],” says Dr. Freiman. Compare that figure to a regular cotton t-shirt. The Skin Cancer Foundation says a typical cotton t-shirt will only have a UPF of about five. If that shirt gets wet, that number drops to three. As for sunglasses, look for a label claiming it blocks 99 to 100 percent of all UV radiation.