You’ll hear it a million times before the summer is through—wear sunscreen! You’ll also be bombarded by a million tidbits of advice regarding sun protection. To help you sort through all the SPF clutter, we’ve compiled some of the most common sunscreen blunders.
To keep your skin safe this summer, here’s a list of the top sunscreen myths, dispelled:
Myth #1: Anything higher than SPF 30 is a waste.
Everyone loves to say this, but don’t rule out higher SPFs entirely. While it is true that SPF 90 only provides a 3 percent boost in protection over SPF 30 (99% versus 96%, respectively), that extra 3% can make all the difference if you happen to have exceptionally fair skin. Plus, that extra protection can really add up over a lifetime!
Myth #2: The SPF in my makeup is enough.
You know the saying that a little goes a long way? Well, the exact opposite is true with sunscreen! The SPF in your makeup certainly helps, but it’s not enough to protect you the entire day. If you find yourself outside for extended periods of time, slather on extra sunscreen, and keep reapplying throughout the day, especially after swimming. A helpful hint: To cover your entire body sufficiently with SPF protection, you should use enough sunscreen to fill a shot-sized glass.
Myth #3: Last year’s bottle is still ok.
SPF can actually break down and lose its effectiveness over time, particularly sunscreens with UVA protection. So pay attention to the expiration date, and keep in mind that if you’re applying enough, you shouldn’t have sunscreen leftovers the following season.