Sunscreen and Myths {Skin Care}

One of the reasons why I am doing many posts on sunscreen again is to raise the awareness that it is an important part of skin care routine. Today, I shall be talking about some of the myths concerning sunscreens. Hope this helps clear some of your doubts.

Myth: Sunblocks are better than Sunscreens
There is no such thing as sunblock and I have mentioned this in one of earlier posts too. Earlier, physical sunscreens (which include Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide) were called sunblocks as they scatter or reflect the sun’s rays when they fall int he skin as opposed to being absorbed and converted into heat energy which happens in case of using chemical sunscreens. 
But, now, FDA (Food and Drug Administration), US has passed out certain rules regarding the labelling of sunscreens in which it has banned the use of certain terms “sweat-proof, water-proof, sunblock, dermatologist tested” as they are misleading. I know these rules are not applicable on Indian products but it at least shows that these terms do not really mean anything. 
Even the labels of spf 70, spf 90, spf 100 have been banned. If a sunscreen provides higher protection, it should be labelled as spf 50+. You can see Neutrogena following these labelling standards to get an idea.  
“Waterproof,” “sweatproof” or “sunblock” claims. Manufacturers cannot label sunscreens as “waterproof” or “sweatproof,” or identify their products as “sunblocks,” because these claims overstate their effectiveness. Sunscreens also cannot claim to provide sun protection for more than 2 hours without reapplication or to provide protection immediately after application (for example– “instant protection”) without submitting data to support these claims and obtaining FDA approval. (Source)
Myth: SPF 100 gives me better protection than SPF 50
Spf 15 filters out 93% sun’s rays, spf 30 filters out 96.4% sun’s rays and spf 50 filters out 97.6% (near abouts). And, any spf higher than 50 gives only a marginal increase but there is no sunscreen which can filter out 100% sun’s rays. For Indian climate, spf 30 is enough but if you are over-inclined, spf 50 is good. Anything higher is a false claim.
Myth: Layering of products with sunscreen will give me enough protection
I have talked of this issue earlier that spf’s of various products do not add up!!! They all act as a single layer of sunscreen and provide the protection of the highest spf factor.

Myth: I don’t need a sunscreen when indoors
UVA rays can penetrate through windows and glass. Read this post for more information about them. So, you need at least an spf 15 when staying indoors.

Myth: A drop of my new sunscreen keeps my face protected.
As a rule, you should apply one teaspoon or two fingers length of sunscreen to your face and neck. And, I know that’s a lot. But, if you do not apply the said amount, the efficacy of your sunscreen is reduced according to the amount applied. So, even if you are using a spf 50 sunscreen, improper application might be giving you benefits of only spf 10 or 20. So, apply proper amount of sunscreen to protect yourself well.

These are some of the myths I have come across in my course of blogging, the top most being the confusion between sunscreen and sunblock. I hope this post helps to debunk those myths.


    • says

      I am so glad Indu :)
      I do understand that sunscreens are too oily to even apply a layer of moisturiser and seriously, I also try to skip it whenever I can but it a good habit to use a moisturiser. technically, sunscreen should be as close to skin as possible so that it can act effectively so I always apply it after moisturiser whenever I am using one and these days I have made a rule to use one. but, if you wanna skip it in summers, that’s ok ;D

  1. Indu indgal says

    and more doubt. what should be used first? sunscreen or moisturiser. These days I am just applying sunscreen. Is that ok??

    • says

      if I can say this (and, I really don’t know if I should), I got the spf 90 for review and I was like WTF!!! I know so many things are wrong with the labels on the product but I don’t want to bang down the product just like that…have used it only twice till now. and, it becomes very difficult for me to treat sunscreen objectively as a product while reviewing it. its gonna be a huge task for me.

  2. Anonymous says

    Does sunscreens prevents from tanning or is it just for protecting skin from skin cancer n other disease??
    Is there any method by which sunscreen could be made in home
    any natural way or herb etc which can work as sunscreen so dont have to waste much money on sunscreens?

    • says

      hey….some sunscreens do prevent from tanning but many don’t!!! if you are using zinc oxide based sunscreen, it prevents tanning but even then, depending on the spf, some of the sun’s rays do pass to the skin. example, if you are using spf 30 with PA+++ protection, 3% of the sun’s rays still pass to the skin directly and that can cause tanning.
      chemical sunscreens might or might not prevent tanning depending on their stability but the same rule as above still holds.
      no, there is no home remedy which can act as a sunscreen and I would strongly suggest to invest in a good sunscreen which is stable!!!
      hope this helps :)

    • Anonymous says

      which is the best sunscreen then which includes Zinc oxide in it and prevents from tanning n also stays on face with no side effects.

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