A Guide to Myths on Sun Protection, Here’s What You Need to Know

By Charlotte Carson

Photos By Chris Haylett

sun protection

With the onset of summer, shelves with sunscreen stores are quickly becoming empty, meaning less consumers are getting what they need for sun protection. Now most are familiar with the consequences of the negative effects of ultraviolet rays and accordingly, with the need to apply SPF-means. However, not everyone knows how to choose and apply the cream to really keep your skin healthy. Today ClearLife’s green beauty experts, helps debunk the main beauty myths about sun protection and tell you how to buy and use a product to avoid dryness and burns, as well as reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Myth 1. You need to protect only from UVB-rays. First, let’s look at the terminology. Ultraviolet radiation, which protects the sunscreen, is divided into several subgroups. These subgroups are based on the wavelength of ultraviolet rays: the long waves are called UVA, the medium ones are UVB and the short ones are UVC. Since the latter reach only the ozone layer of the Earth, without affecting humans, in some articles, UVB is designated as short wave. All sunscreens primarily protect against UVB rays, which are considered one of the main causes the occurrence of skin cancer. But not all products protect against UVA radiation, which penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin. UVA rays are primarily known to promote photo-aging, that is, premature aging caused by regular exposure to the sun. By the way, the last few years, research increasingly shows that UVA is also involved in an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, sunscreen should protect against all types of rays.

You may like this story as well: 

Myth 2. Marking is the same everywhere. Protection against UVB rays really has the same label in all countries. It is denoted by the abbreviation SPF (Sun Protection Factor), followed by a number. The higher the number, the more radiation the tool blocks. Unlike the designation SPF, the marking of protection against UVA rays is different. On European packages, the abbreviation itself is usually indicated, and on American media one can see the broad spectrum (‘wide spectrum’) mark, which implies protection from both types of rays. There is also a third designation common in Asia. This is a PA (Protection Grade) sign, next to which are pluses. The more advantages, the stronger the protection. The maximum number of pluses is four. Sometimes manufacturers simply put pros or replace PA with UVB. For example, Lumene Nordic Hydra [Lähde] vegan oxygen fluid is protected by SPF 30 UVB, which is necessary for light skin that burns easily in the sun. And it also contains PA +++, that is, a high level of protection against UVA rays. Owners of any skin type can use this fluid, plus it is suitable for holidays and summer in the city.

Myth 3. SPF is the amount of protection. SPF sometimes confuses buyers. Some believe that this is the designation of the amount of protection in the facility. If you talk like that, it turns out that the cream with SPF 15 protects two times weaker than with SPF 30. It is not. In fact, this designation shows how much UVB radiation the skin can withstand before it burns, compared to the lack of a cream. For example, if you use sunscreen with SPF 15, then the skin will burn 15 times longer than without cream. SPF 15 is considered to reflect 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 – 97%, and SPF 50 – 98%. But It is worth noting that the intensity of the sun is not always the same, therefore, these figures may vary.

what you should know on sun protection

You may like this story as well:

Myth 4. One layer is enough Despite the fact that moisturizers and sunscreens are similar in name, these are two different products. In order to achieve the protection indicated on the package, it is necessary to apply several layers on the skin. This is usually about two to four times the size of regular cream. In addition, exposure to the sun makes our skin dry. Therefore, moisturizing ingredients are a nice bonus for sunscreen. Lumene Nordic Hydra [Lähde] is produced with the addition of organic birch sap that moisturizes and nourishes the skin thanks to amino acids, minerals and vitamins. It is also based on Arctic spring water, the pH level of which is close to the pH level of the skin. In addition, this fluid is made with the addition of an oxygenation complex. This technology helps to deliver oxygen to the skin and make it fresh and smooth. If you spend time on the street, in order not to burn, you need to apply a sunscreen every two to three hours. And if you swim in the pool or the sea, then more often, because the lotion layers are washed away. If you spend all day in the office, you should apply the cream in the morning and renew the layer in the evening.