10 Sunscreen Myths Busted | Donaldson Plastic Surgery

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By Nikki Rucinsky |

10 Sunscreen Myths Busted 

Sunscreen Myths Busted

Detangling The Facts From Fiction About SPF 

Navigating through the vast sea of skincare advice can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to the ubiquitous topic of sunscreen. From hearsay passed down through generations to the latest trends on social media, myths about sun protection are all too prevalent, often clouding the clarity needed for proper skincare. 

Our skin health experts aim to debunk the prevalent misconceptions surrounding sunscreen, shedding light on the truths that will empower you to make informed choices. Say farewell to the myths, embrace the facts and discover the science behind effective sun protection.

Sunscreen Is Only Necessary On Sunny Days 

The Facts: UV rays can penetrate clouds, which are present year-round, even on cloudy or overcast days. It’s essential to use sunscreen daily to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation.

You Don’t Need To Reapply Sunscreen If It’s Labeled As Water-Resistant

The Facts: While water-resistant sunscreens offer some protection during water activities, they should still be reapplied regularly, especially after swimming or sweating. Check the label for specific instructions.

A Higher SPF Means You Can Apply Less Frequently

The Facts: No matter the SPF, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or more frequently if you are swimming, sweating or towel-drying. Higher SPF provides more extended protection but does not eliminate the need for regular reapplication.

Applying Sunscreen Once A Day Is Sufficient

The Facts: Sunscreen effectiveness diminishes over time due to factors like sweating, swimming and contact with clothing. It’s crucial to reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day for continuous protection.

Woman with dark skin tone applying sunscreen

Dark Skin Tones Don’t Need Sunscreen

The Facts: While people with darker skin may have a lower risk of skin cancer due to higher melanin levels, they are still susceptible to sun damage. Sunscreen helps protect against both UVB and UVA rays, reducing the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

You Don’t Need Sunscreen If You Have Makeup With SPF

The Facts: While makeup with SPF offers some protection, it’s usually not enough on its own. You should still apply a dedicated sunscreen underneath your makeup to ensure adequate coverage.

You Don’t Need Sunscreen In The Winter

The Facts: UV rays are present throughout the year, even in winter. Snow can also reflect UV radiation, increasing your exposure. It’s important to use sunscreen in all seasons.

Sunscreen Can Cause A Vitamin D Deficiency 

The Facts: Sunscreen use does reduce vitamin D synthesis, but it’s generally not enough to cause a deficiency. You can still get enough vitamin D through diet and supplements if necessary.

All Mineral Sunscreens Have A White Cast

The Facts: Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide used in mineral sunscreens block the sun rays and can sometimes leave a white cast, specifically on darker skin tones. Opt for sunscreens that use micronized or nano-sized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide particles, as they are known for their ability to blend seamlessly into the skin without leaving a noticeable white residue. Additionally, you can choose a sunscreen with a tinted or sheer formula to further minimize any potential whitening effect. 

By choosing a physical sunscreen that is specifically formulated to avoid white casting or a properly tinted option, you can avoid this aesthetic side effect. We recommend working with an aesthetician to find the perfect pairing for you and your skin! 

You Don’t Need Sunscreen If You’re Working Inside All Day

The Facts: While windows can filter out some UVB rays, UVA rays — which penetrate deeper into the skin and contribute to aging and skin damage — can still pass through glass. Prolonged exposure to indoor sunlight, especially in spaces with ample natural light (like our cars and cubicles), can result in cumulative skin damage over time. 


Nikki Rucinsky Author Bio Medspa

About The Author 

Nikki Rucinsky is an experienced medical aesthetician at Donaldson Plastic Surgery. With a deep appreciation for total skin health, she helps patients make better decisions for themselves by explaining the pros and cons of the ingredients found in skincare products. When she isn’t providing education, Nikki can be found performing relaxing facials, providing rejuvenating chemical peels and creating custom acne treatment programs in our private medspa. 

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