Facts About Sunscreen, Truth Vs. Myth

Do you know what the most common form of cancer is according to the American Cancer Society (ACS)? It might surprise you…  It’s Skin Cancer!Your skin is the largest organ of the body and when you expose it to sunlight, ultraviolet or UV rays can penetrate it and cause cancer. The good news is that the use of sunscreen can prevent this damage, but you have to use it properly! A shockingly high percentage of Americans aren’t using it correctly, though. There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings out there, so we’re here to share some tips on using the right sunscreen in the right way.

1. Not all sunscreens actually protect you from the sun.

How can that be? Well, many sunscreens only protect you from the sun’s UVB rays, and not UVA rays. Both types of UV rays can cause skin cancer according to the ACS. UVB rays are mostly responsible for sun burns on the top layers of your skin, but just because you didn’t burn, doesn’t mean that UVA rays didn’t penetrate deeper and cause damage.

The ACS, CDC, and FDA all recommend that you use sunscreens that are SPF 15 or higher and have “broad spectrum” written on the label. Broad Spectrum means that it protects against both UVB and UVA rays.

2. You need more than a dab.

According to studies, most people apply only 1/4 of the needed amount of sunscreen. We should be using one ounce of sunscreen to cover our arms, legs, neck and face. More if your back/stomach is exposed! One ounce is about a shot glass worth to put it in perspective.  Also note that sunscreen can and does wear off, so you need to reapply the same amount every two hours or after swimming or a work out that makes you sweat. Don’t skimp!

3. SPF 30 isn’t “twice the protection” as SPF 15.

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of your sunscreen is the fraction of rays that reach your skin, so SPF 15 means only 1/15 of UVB rays will reach the skin. SPF 30 can filter out 97 percent of UVB rays, whereas SPF 50 filters out 98 percent. There’s no evidence supporting that SPF values higher than 50 provide any additional protection.

4. Applying sunscreen while you’re outside is already too late.

Sunscreen takes about 30 minutes to be absorbed into your skin, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, so apply it before going outside.

5. There’s no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen.

Recent FDA regulations prevent companies from claiming sunscreen is “waterproof” anymore. Products can still claim to be “water resistant” for either 40 or 80 minutes of swimming or sweating. However, it is still recommending that you reapply sunscreen after getting wet.

6. You DO need sunscreen on a cloudy day!

Even if it’s cold or cloudy outside, you still need to wear sunscreen. Up to 40 percent of the sun’s UV rays reach the earth on a completely cloudy day. That’s more than enough to cause skin damage.

7. Developing a “base tan” does not protect you from UV radiation or sun burns.

UV rays can penetrate a tan. Your darker pigment only protects up to an equivalent of SPF 3 at most and usually that number is less. You still need to apply sunscreen.

8. What you wear can help.

You can help combat sun exposure by wearing clothes, hats and sunglasses that advertise UV protection. Not all glasses provide this protection, so be sure to check for it specifically. Watch your clothing, though. Loose, thin materials don’t offer total protection. A typical t-shirt offers protection of roughly SPF 15. If you’re going to spend a whole day outdoors in direct sunlight, you might want to consider putting on a layer of sunscreen even under a thin shirt!

9. Get an airbrush tan if you want some color.

Tanning beds use UV rays to give you a tan. These are the same types of harmful rays in the sun. If you want a tan, FDA-approved airbrush tanning is the way to go. It’s not a dye or stain, the organic compound DHA in airbrush tanning formulas reacts naturally with the top layer of your skin to create a tan that only affects this top layer and doesn’t damage your skin. These tans last 7-10 days and are the safest option for those who desire tan skin but don’t want to risk the permanent damage that UV radiation can cause.


Airbrush Tanning: Fact and Fiction


There are a lot of rumors out there about airbrush tanning. Let’s set the record straight about some of the most common myths about spray tans!

  1. Spray tans make your skin look orange.  The fact is, airbrush tans are very hard to tell apart from natural sun tans. The solution sprayed onto the skin during an airbrush tan is NOT a dye or stain the way some tan-in-a-bottle sprays are that you can find at the local market. Professional airbrushing solutions use an organic compound called DHA which causes the very top layer of your skin to darken naturally. DHA is FDA approved and doesn’t carry the serious risks that tanning beds or laying in the sun can carry. Airbrush tanning technicians are professionally trained to know which solutions and how much are appropriate for each client based on their skin tone. They make sure that your color comes out looking natural and radiant, NOT orange!
  2. Spray tans wash off in the shower.  This simply isn’t true. You should avoid showers for several hours after you apply a spray tan because you need to let the solution thoroughly seep into your skin in order for it to work properly, but as mentioned above – an airbrush tan isn’t a dye or stain. It’s an actual natural reaction that causes the top layer of your skin to darken. We are constantly losing skin cells as they die and get sloughed off. When the layer of airbrushed skin is gone, the tan leaves with it, and that’s why an airbrush tan may only last 7-10 days. But it’s not because the color “washes off” with water in the shower. In fact, it’s recommended to keep your skin moisturized with lotion while you have an airbrush tan so that the skin cells don’t dry out, die, and flake off as quickly.
  3. Airbrush tanning is dangerous. There are some legitimate concerns when it comes to tanning. The sun and tanning beds both create a tan with UV rays that penetrate deep into your skin. These rays cause a tan, but they can also can cause many BAD things, such as wrinkles, sun spots, sun burns, and even skin cancer! For that reason, people are sometimes wary of tanning. But airbrush tanning doesn’t use UV rays. Airbrush tanning uses DHA to create a tan instead. If you don’t know what DHA is, you might think that sounds scary; like you’re spraying a bunch of chemicals on your skin. But DHA is organic and our solutions are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It’s a natural compound that creates a natural reaction in the very outermost layer of your skin. It doesn’t affect the deeper layers of your skin, and doesn’t carry the risks that UV rays do. The FDA approves of using DHA on the skin and it hasn’t been shown to have any damaging effects.
  4. Airbrush tans won’t work with certain skin tones.  Not true! There are many different solutions that have been specifically designed for people’s unique skin tones. Everyone, from the most pale and freckled, to the darkest skin toned, can get an airbrush tan that looks natural and glowing. Airbrush tans even out and conceal skin tone blemishes for people of every color.
  5. Spray tans smell bad. When people first discovered how DHA works, they had trouble with the smell created by the amino acids in the skin reacting to the DHA. We’ve come a long way since then! We’ve improved the ingredients and technology used in creating our airbrush tanning solutions so that they smell GOOD rather than bad!

Now that you know a little bit more about airbrush tanning, you should feel more comfortable and confident to go ahead and try it for yourself!