“If It’s Cloudy You Won’t Get Burned,” and Other Sun Protection Myths

Jul 24 • 2017

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States – in fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. Many people feel that they are protected by putting on a layer of sunscreen before they step outside, but the truth is, that isn’t always enough. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions about how to best keep yourself safe from the sun’s dangerous UV rays. We’ve debunked some of the most common sun protection myths below.

Myth 1: Wearing makeup with SPF can replace sunscreen.

Many foundations and face lotions do contain SPF, but it is important to still wear sunscreen under your makeup when you are planning to be outside for more than a short period of time. You should also reapply sunscreen every two hours to ensure that you are protected throughout the day. Additionally, most makeup products don’t meet the minimum recommendation of SPF30.

Myth 2: If it’s cloudy, you won’t get sunburned.

Just because the sun isn’t out in full force doesn’t mean you won’t get burned. UV rays are what cause sunburn – not temperature itself or how much the sun is showing. In fact, UV radiation can come through the clouds and reflect off the bottom of them, causing you to get burnt. You can use an app or check a weather website in the morning to find out the UV index. Checking the index will give you a better idea of your risk of sunburn.

Myth 3: You need a lot of sun exposure to ensure you have enough Vitamin D.

Most people get the necessary amount of Vitamin D through normal sun exposure throughout the day. There is no need to experience high levels of UV rays and using sunscreen and other methods of sun protection don’t put you at risk for low levels of Vitamin D.

Myth 4: You don’t need sunscreen if you’re going for a drive because you can’t get burnt.

While glass does reduce the amount of UV radiation coming through, it does not stop it completely. If you’re taking a long drive, putting on some sunscreen is a good idea whether you have the windows up or down.

Concerned about sun exposure? As a precaution, it’s good to apply a sunscreen of at least SPF30 anytime you’re planning to be outside. Keeping your skin protected is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer.