Our resident skin guru Susan believes in straight talking. So when we saw a recent survey by Australia’s Cancer Council’s National Sun Protection that gives all sorts of reasons why people don't wear sunscreen, well, we wanted to know what Susan thought about that.
"As a cosmetic nurse, I’ve heard practically every objection to wearing sunscreen and I want to set the record straight on a few of these myths" she said.
Myth 1: Sunscreen is not safe when used on a daily basis.
BUSTED: Sunscreen ingredients are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to ensure they are both safe and effective.
Myth 2: Using sunscreen will prevent you from getting enough vitamin D.
BUSTED: Studies prove that sunscreen use has minimal impact on Vitamin D levels, with most New Zealanders getting enough Vitamin D through incidental sun exposure. If you want to ensure you are getting enough Vitamin D, we recommend 15 to 20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure twice a week during non-peak burn times.
Myth 3: A good sunscreen is enough to protect you from the sun.
BUSTED: Sunscreen needs to be used in conjunction with protective clothing, seeking shade, a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses during peak burn times (10.30AM – 4.30PM).
Myth 4: You only need to apply sunscreen once a day.
BUSTED: Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, regardless of the level of water resistance and SPF rating.
Myth 5: You only need a little bit of SPF50+ to be protected.
BUSTED: You need to apply sunscreen liberally when outdoors in summer. At least 35ml (7 teaspoons) of sunscreen (at least one per limb, one for your front, one for your back and one for your head).
Myth 6: Sunscreen can give you cancer.
BUSTED: While there’s a lot of scaremongering on the internet, there is no scientific evidence that proves sunscreen ingredients can cause cancer. There is plenty of robust scientific evidence that unprotected sun exposure is the number one cause of skin cancer.
Myth 7: I never burn.
BUSTED: What's that? Your skin doesn't burn? You still need to wear sunscreen! All skin types (not just the folks with pale skin) are susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer, so even if you don't burn, be sure to slather on the sunscreen
Myth 8: It’s a cloudy day, so I don’t need sunscreen.
BUSTED: Even when the sun doesn’t appear to be shining brightly, UV rays are still present. So if you want to avoid premature skin aging, you still need sunscreen. If you want to protect yourself from the risk of developing skin cancer, you still need sunscreen.
Myth 9: I never go out in the sun.
BUSTED: Unless you are an earthworm, you’re going to be exposed to the sun. Driving to and from work, shopping, and running errands exposes us to UV radiation so get into the habit of using sunscreen daily.
The National Sun Protection Survey is conducted every three to four years, with the 2016-17 survey collecting responses from 3,614 adults. The Cancer Council Australia has reported that the results reveal an alarming level of public confusion about sunscreen.