Eight myths about sun creams

The more sun cream we put on, the more protected we will be.” “On cloudy days we can not use photoprotection.” “Without cream I get more brown.” These are some of the beliefs that revolve around sun protection. But what is true and false in all of them? Elia Róo, member of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology , debunks some myths.

1) The more sunscreen, the more protection

Not that the more cream, the more protection. Actually, the recommendation is to apply a good amount of product, but at one point, adding more does not protect better.

Róo explains that the sun protection factor indicated in each product is the protection achieved with the application of two milligrams of product per square centimeter.

“This would imply putting on a 30 milliliter container every time we protect ourselves. However, the usual application is usually 0.5 milligrams per square centimeter. ” It is a big difference and, to supply it, the dermatologist urges to use sun creams with a protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more and reapply every two hours.

“You should not skimp and apply about 36 grams to cover the body of an adult (about six tablespoons of coffee),” he says.

2) On cloudy days there is no need to use cream

It is true that if a cloudy day comes out in winter a lower protection factor can be used. However, the expert warns that you have to be careful with cloudy days in summer, since many UV rays can filter . Róo adds that “the clouds that protect the most are the low and thick clouds”.

3) If I bathe with cream, all the effectiveness is lost

The reality is that sun creams resist if we are in the water for a while, but drying with the towel removes 80 percent of the product. This also happens if the bath time is very long.

For water resistant products , protection remains at 70 percent after 40 minutes of immersion (two 20 minute baths).

The waterproof creams (very resistant to water) resist after four baths of 20 minutes each. Even so, “it is advisable to put cream again after a bath of more than 20 minutes.”

4) It is not necessary to put the cream in advance

Róo acknowledges that “the ideal is to apply the cream half an hour before leaving home, especially with chemical filters, as this ensures its absorption and effectiveness.”

5) With two or three times that we put cream on the beach is enough

The times you reapply the cream on the beach or the pool depends on the time you are in it. The dermatologist suggests doing it every two hours.

6) You can use sun cream from previous years

Sun creams, like other cosmetics, have an expiration date that is indicated on the packaging. This date is indicated on the figure of a jar with the lid open. Inside appears a number, which corresponds to the number of months that product can last open.

“It normally expires after nine months of being open . It should always be kept tightly closed and in a dry and sunless place. If its color changes or has an unpleasant odor, it should not be used ”, explains Róo.

7) The cream is enough to avoid skin problems

This statement is not true, since, as Róo explains, ” there is no cream that protects us completely .” Thus, it suggests avoiding exposure in the central hours of the day (between 12 and 5 pm) and protecting yourself with clothing and a hat. It is also necessary to use sunglasses that protect from UVA and UVB rays.


by Abdullah Sam
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