Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares the truth about sunscreen myths

When it comes to proper skin care, many people know sunscreen is an essential. However, with myths and other false information floating around, there are still consumers who may not understand the full story on the ways of sun protection. As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Joel Schlessinger always wants people to know the truth.

Myths about tanning, skin cancer and UV damage can lead to harmful sun exposure, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

When looking for a sunscreen, many consumers only look at the SPF, which is not the best way to determine if your sunscreen is adequate. SPF only explains how well a product protects against UVB rays, not UVA. Both types of UV exposure cause skin cancer so you need a product that is designated as broad spectrum such as EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen.

Two common misconceptions include the belief that having a darker skin tone or getting a “base tan” will protect you from sun damage. This is untrue as a base tan is only good for about an SPF of 4!  People with dark skin tones are still at risk for skin cancer and need to protect themselves with sunscreen. Additionally, tanning isn’t safer than burning as any change in skin tone indicates UV damage.

Many individuals also believe the sun’s rays can’t penetrate through clouds, windows, umbrellas and other objects. Sunscreen is still essential when the sky is overcast, while you’re under a beach umbrella or spending your day at the office. Sun damage can reach through clouds and windows. Additionally, the sun’s rays can reflect off of sand or snow.

It’s important to know the truth behind sunscreen myths, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

There have been several debates about the safety of chemical ingredients in sunscreen, leading people to believe these products can cause allergic reactions or harm the skin. With physical, mineral and chemical formulas to choose from, however, it’s easy for everyone to find a sunscreen that works for their skin type.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other dermatologists recommend applying a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and reapplying every two hours. However, sunscreen is only half of the equation. For optimal sun protection, avoid excessive sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun is most intense. It’s also important to protect your skin with proper clothing such as loose-fitting long sleeve shirts and pants, as well as wide-brimmed hats. Heliocare Sun Protection Pills are daily supplements that can provide added UV protection. Read more sun safety tips from Dr. Joel Schlessinger here.

Do you have questions about sunscreen for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

Posted Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 4:01 pm
Filed Under Category: Skin Cancer, Skin Care, Skin Care Myths, Sun Damage, Sun Protection, Sunscreen Tips
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