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Sunscreen Facts & Myths

With the sun already warming our pools, it’s time to talk safety, safety inside and outside the pool. With research and information changing over time, it’s hard to know how to best protect your skin from the sun. there are varying opinions on how much sunscreen is enough, how often you need to reapply, and what SPF you actually need. Don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you! Find out what falls under fact or fiction when it comes to sun protection.

HAVING A BASE TAN OR DARK SKIN MEANS YOU DON’T NEED SUNSCREEN

Myth! To understand why let’s examine what tanning really does to your skin. When your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays, your immune system jumps into action and sends enzymes to repair the damage. While it’s doing these repairs, it tries to defend you from further damage by putting darker pigments in place. The damage caused by UV rays actually damages the DNA of your skin and can never be completely fixed. That “healthy glow” you think you’ve got is actually unhealthy permanent damage!2 Even if you have naturally darker skin, sun exposure still does permanent skin damage. Though your risk of skin cancer may be lower, it is also generally diagnosed later because of that lower risk. By the time it’s diagnosed, it can be harder to treat. So, don’t skimp out on the sunscreen just because you think you’re not at risk!1

HIGHER SPF’S MEAN MORE PROTECTION

This one is tricky because it is both fact and myth. SPF 15 to 50 can provide you with varying levels of protection, but the main variant is in how much and how often you apply. For most of us, using an SPF 50 is really only giving us the protection of SPF 20 because we tend to underapply sunscreen.1 An SPF over 50 can give you a false sense of security and lead you to believe that you can stay out in the sun safely for a longer period of time. The best practice is to apply thoroughly and often.

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