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Debunking Skin Cancer Myths & Misconceptions

Debunking Skin Cancer Myths & Misconceptions

Skin cancer myths are dangerous, so we wanted to take a minute to debunk some of them. Today, we鈥檒l chat about the causes of skin cancer, and answer a couple of questions: do I need sunscreen in winter and does tanning prevent sunburns? Let鈥檚 get started.

5 Skin Cancer Myths & Misconceptions

Myth 1: Tanning Prevents Sunburns

In order to make sense of this, let鈥檚 first keep in mind that not all tanning comes from sunburns 鈥 sunburns are a serious problem.

There is a modicum of truth to this myth, though. Melanin does help protect the skin from UV damage, just not enough to make a massive difference if you鈥檙e out baking your skin in the sun. Check out this quote from a 2020 study:

鈥淚n most phenotypes (types of people), endogenous (natural) melanin is not enough for full protection, especially in the summertime.鈥

In short, it鈥檚 not worth the risk.

Myth 2: You Don't Need Sunscreen In Winter

If you鈥檙e wondering 鈥渄o I need sunscreen in winter,鈥 the answer as to how much you need is going to depend on where you live and how much sun exposure you鈥檙e expecting to get. It鈥檚 important to remember that, the further north or south you go from the equator, the less intense the sun鈥檚 rays are during the winter time.聽

However, that doesn鈥檛 mean you don鈥檛 need sunscreen at all during the winter. We recommend considering all factors. If you鈥檙e going to be outside on a sunny day for more than five to ten minutes, lather up 鈥 it can鈥檛 hurt.

Learn More: 4 Reasons You Need Sunscreen In The Winter

Myth 3: Only Intense Sun Exposure Causes Skin Cancer

UV radiation at any level is causing some type of damage to your skin 鈥 even on a cloudy day. Clouds don鈥檛 block UV radiation. So, even on cloudy days, we鈥檙e exposing ourselves to cell-rupturing radiation and DNA-destroying damage. It鈥檚 not worth it.聽

Furthermore, not all skin cancer is caused by UV radiation. So it鈥檚 not only important to be wary of the sun exposure you鈥檙e getting, but also to keep an eye on your skin in general for telltale signs of skin cancer.

Myth 4: People With Dark Skin Are Immune To Skin Cancer

While there鈥檚 a small amount of truth to this myth, due to the increased levels of melanin in darker skin tones, it's important to remember the following things:

  • Melanin only helps to a certain extent. Very intense sun exposure for long periods is dangerous for everyone.
  • Having this mindset will make you less careful and you could miss a skin cancer spot until it鈥檚 too late.
  • There are different types of skin cancer 鈥 not all of them are directly caused by UV radiation exposure.

Myth 5: Makeup With SPF Is Enough Protection

Makeups tend to have low SPF content. Furthermore, you鈥檙e likely not reapplying every 2 hours (touch-ups don鈥檛 count), so SPF makeup is only going to protect you for an hour or two. We recommend reapplying based on your product's instructions.

Learn More: Do I Really Need To Reapply Sunscreen?

Looking For Facial Sunscreen?

Our own Mineral Facial Sunscreen is a great option for daily use鈥 its quick-drying, lightweight application makes it comfortable to wear, while SPF 32, a mineral-based formula, and added supplement of niacinamide provide optimal protection for even sensitive skin types.