Five tanning myths busted

The summer is nearing its end, so we should enjoy the sun while we still can! Before we know it we’ll be back in the seemingly endless winter, and lazy days on the beach will be a distant memory. Now’s the time to top up your tan. We’re writing this article while looking out at a gorgeous cloud-free blue sky – we hope the weather is just as cheery as you’re reading it. Before you step outside to start tanning however, are you sure you know your UVA from your UVB? Direct Cosmetics takes a look at some of all-too common tanning myths, and busts them conclusively…

SPF 100 is twice as good as SPF 50

Sun protection factor (SPF) rating is the fraction of harmful UV rays that are blocked by the sunscreen. That means that SPF 15 allows one-fifteenth of sunburn-causing UV rays to reach the skin, while SPF 5 allows one-fifth of rays to the skin – provided that the sunscreen is applied correctly. When you start to reach high levels of SPF, only a tiny fraction of rays are reaching your skin. In practice, there’s little to no difference between SPF 50 and SPF 100. That’s why in many countries the highest SPF rating you see on sun protection products reads SPF 50+. Higher numbers would only mislead consumers.
No burning means no skin damage
If you’re lucky enough not to burn in the sun, you might think that you can get away with not wearing sunscreen. However, your skin tans when it’s trying to protect your cells from sun damage, so a tan in itself can be a sign of skin damage. Damage is done to cells in a deeper layer of skin. Even if the damage isn’t visible, it still increases the chance of you developing skin cancer. We all need to protect our skin – not just those of us with pale skin!

SPF fake tans protect you from the sun

Some fake tans come with an SPF rating attached – that means that they’ll protect you from the sun, right? Wrong. It’s likely that any sun protection will wear off in a couple of hours in the same way that normal sunscreen works. The protection certainly won’t last as long as the tan does, anyway. You still need to apply sun protection over your SPF tanning product.
Only summer sun is damaging
While the sun is clearly more intense in summer, UV radiation can damage your skin throughout the year, even when it’s overcast. The effects of UV radiation can also be intensified when light reflects off water, snow, ice and sand. Experts suggest that we should wear sunscreen every day of the year, regardless of the weather.

One bottle of sunscreen should last the holiday

Few of us apply as much sunscreen as is necessary to protect our skin. If you’re relying on your SPF 15 foundation to see you through the summer months, you may be surprised to hear that experts recommend you use at least a teaspoon on your face and neck, two teaspoons on your torso and 1 teaspoon on each arm. Overall, if you want to ensure you’re protected from head to toe, you’ll need at least nine teaspoons of sunscreen, which equates to about 55ml. Considering that sunscreen bottles are only usually around 300-400ml, you’ll be hard pressed to make it through a week-long holiday on a single bottle – particularly if you’re applying it religiously. Take three bottles for every two family members, at the very least.

Looking for some products with SPF to see you through the rest of the summer? Check out Direct Cosmetics full range of SPF products.

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