It’s that time of the year, finally! We’ve been waiting for many cold, wet winter’s days to be able to get back into the pool and enjoy the glorious sunny days of summer and now it’s here. But not so fast! While summer is a great time to enjoy long, warm days outdoors, it places serious strain on your body’s biggest organ – the skin – which can result in serious long-term damage. In this post, we will aim to bust some of the biggest skin care myths and in doing so, help you to avoid premature ageing, skin discoloration, melanoma and skin cancer.
Myth #1 – “My makeup contains UV protection, so I’m good to go!”
Not so fast. If you read carefully, you will see that your makeup only offers UV defence, but not broad spectrum protection. That means that some of the sun’s harmful rays make it through your make-up, which is really designed to protect you during short periods of intermittent exposure. If you’re planning on spending the day next to the pool, the sunscreens in your makeup will offer little to no benefit at all.
Myth #2 – “Warts Only Come From Toads.”
Warts are not only grim, but they can also cause great discomfort and pain. Most people have a common understanding about warts and its treatment. The common myth among people is that warts only come from toads. The truth is; the root cause of wart growth is the HPV virus. According to a Web MD study, approximately 20 million people in the USA are infected with HPV. But warts on the feets and hands caused by HPV can be treated with the use of wart cream which acts against the viruses which cause warts and herpes outbreaks.
Myth #3 – “My skin is dark, so I won’t get skin cancer.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, people with more melanin have a lower risk of burns, but skin cancer can happen to anyone, whether they are fair, or deep black. While darker skin offers natural sunscreen protection of up to 13 SPF (not that much!), most sunscreen products are really designed for fair skin. The good news is that there are options that work for darker skin.
Myth #4 – “I put sunscreen on this morning, so I’m set for the day!”
No, you’re not! If you’re swimming, you need to reapply every two hours. The FDA recently amended their labeling laws, as sunscreen does not offer much protection beyond SPF 50. Frequent applications may leave your skin feeling greasy, so you may wish to experiment with different brands to find the one that works for you. Additionally, you should wear UV glasses to protect your eyes, as well as cover ups and hats.
Myth #5 – “A base tan will help prevent sun burns.”
As soon as the sunny weather hits Canada, people start planning their ‘base tans’, which means spending a bit of time outdoors every day, thinking it will protect them from serious burns. The truth is that ‘base tanning’ only provide about SPF 3 worth of protection, and in generating false confidence, it can lead you to stay outdoors for longer, resulting in serious burns. And if you’re thinking about indoor tanning – don’t. That’s even worse.
Myth #6 – “I use cover ups, so I’m protected.”
Although loose clothing that covers you from top to bottom can help a little, they are not sufficient without added SPF. A sarong won’t cut it either – your whole body must be covered if you want to prevent burns. Spend time in the shade. Take advantage of the stylish, mysterious glamor of a parasol and big hat. You can also buy coverups with sun protection.
Myth #7 – “I need my vitamin D!”
You can get the right amount of vitamin D from spending 20 minutes a day (not between 10 am and 3pm) outdoors, covered up and with sunscreen on. You could also speak to your doctor about ways in which you can supplement, if your diet doesn’t provide sufficient vitamin D.
Bottom line is this: Everyone is at risk of skin cancer, even those who are careful. Follow the Skin Cancer Foundation’s guide to skin self-examination and follow up skin changes with your doctor.
And as always – Bradford Skin Clinic offers a wide rang of skin care products that are complimentary to your skin. Schedule an appointment today to find out which products are best for your skin for those sunny days ahead.