Popular myths about sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential to protecting your skin from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. No matter what time of day or year it is, the sun’s rays can damage and age your skin. This damage is avoidable when you correctly apply your sunscreen. Unfortunately, not everyone believes in the helpful powers of sunscreen. Some get caught up in the false rumors floating around the internet and think that it is safer to go outside without sunscreen, while others apply sunscreen when they are not even anticipating going outside and remain indoors on a rainy day. We believe everything in moderation. Don’t drive yourself crazy!! Here are a couple of helpful tips:

Last year’s bottle is fine: Sunscreen has an expiration date for a reason. Different brands break down faster than others. Putting on expired sunscreen is useless for preventing damage from the sun. Not to mention, if you are using sunscreen correctly, you will run out of sunscreen before you get a chance to use it a year later.

Dark skin is safe without sunscreen: While people with darker skin have less chances of developing skin cancer, they are not immune to the harmful rays from the sun. This rumor is especially dangerous because it may lead to skin cancer being diagnosed later in people of color.

The type of sunscreen doesn’t matter: Because the skin is a living organ, the largest of the body, anything applied to the body becomes absorbed. At Rapaport Dermatology, we believe in only broad-spectrum sunscreens with zinc and/or titanium dioxide should be applied. Whether they are tinted, clear or come in a powder form, a minimum SPF 30 applied every couple of hours is beneficial in order to optimize protection of your skin. There are many brands that come in an aerosol spray in order to cover a larger area of the body, which we always recommend a water-resistant for outdoor activities, with reapplying every 3 – 4 hours. Wearing a hat, sunglasses, shirt-guard and bathing suit cover up is always recommended for long hours outdoors.