While the sun brings warmth and light to our lives, it also requires we use caution. Sun exposure is no joke, and sun damage to skin can cause aging and even cancer. Unfortunately, myths about sun exposure can keep people from using the proper sun protection and leave people vulnerable to harm. Here are a few of the most common myths about the sun.
Myth 1: You Can Protect Yourself With a “Base Tan”
It seems like whenever the weather gets warm, droves of people opt to go without sunscreen and UV protection in the name of establishing a “base tan”. Misguidedly, “base tans” are thought to be protection from sunburns and sun damage to the skin as the warm season grows hotter and more intense.
Unfortunately, the myth of a “base tan” is nonsense. Any sort of tanning to the skin represents sun damage and an increased risk of dermatological issues. Tanning is an issue regardless of your natural skin pigmentation, and sunscreen should always be worn to prevent harm from the sun.
Tanning in less sunny weather is not “healthier” than tanning in peak summer sun, and can’t offer your skin protection from future burning. Tanning isn’t healthy, plain and simple.
Myth 2: You Need Unprotected Sun Exposure for Vitamin D
While sunlight is part of how the body sources Vitamin D, it isn’t our only source of the vitamin – nor should it be. Vitamin D can be found in many foods as a supplement including milk and cereals and can also be ingested a vitamin or powdered nutrient. Vitamin D plays a roll in healthy energy levels, bone structure and calcium absorption.
Incidental sunlight we get throughout the day should be augmented with dietary Vitamin D, and together we can reach our healthy daily vitamin intake level. Our body’s Vitamin D production is limited to short 15 minute intervals, and then our body stops creating the vitamin in order to avoid an over supply. Directly soaking up the sun’s rays in long stretches will do more harm to your skin and cell structures than it will ever offer you in nutritional benefit.
Myth 3: Clothing Protects You From the Sun
It is a common misperception that all clothing is protective from the sun. In truth, most fabrics, including many lightweight summer textiles let a lot of sunlight through to your skin. A basic white t-shirt can only offer you protection comparable to a sunscreen of SPF 7. Furthermore, that protection only applies if the shirt is dry. A wet t-shirt at the pool or beach is giving you SPF 3.
To get a sense of how sun-proof your clothing is, simply hold a garment up to direct sunlight. The amount of light you can see shining through the textile is sunlight that reaches your skin when you are wearing it.
Myth 4: You Don’t Need Sunscreen On an Overcast Day
If you are spending extended time outdoors, you need sunscreen to protect your skin. Overcast and chilly days may be especially deceptive in the amount of sun you are being exposed to and it’s affect on your skin.
If you are on a beach or in the snow you need to be especially careful, even if you don’t feel hot. Clouds only block 20% of the sun’s harmful UV rays from reaching the Earth’s surface. Snow and sand can be deceptive as well: sand reflects 17% of the sunlight that hits it back up, while snow reflects 80%. As a result, you can get a surprising amount of sun exposure even if it is cloudy and cold.
Myth 5: Most Sun Damage Occurs While You Are Young
It is true that burning your skin while you are young is lasting damage, however protecting our skin is a life-long task. Skin damage from the sun can occur at any age and can contribute to dermatological concerns like wrinkles and, yes, skin cancer. While our skin becomes a little tougher as we age, the effects of sun exposure are ongoing throughout our life and there’s no “cut off” age where we can stop thinking about protecting ourselves from harmful UV.
If you’re ready to protect yourself and your family from the sun, CC Sunscreens is ready to hear from you. We offer custom, long-lasting sun blocking for your entire home. CC Sunscreens are naturally attractive as well as energy saving. For a comfortable home and quality protection from the sun, contact CC Sunscreens today.