10 common myths about tanning that it’s time to debunk (about clouds, carrots and more)

Health Tips

Myth 1: Sunscreen should only be used by people with a fair skin phototype.

It is important to remember that under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, we not only sunbathe. UV radiation is divided into three spectra depending on the wavelengths that can penetrate the skin. Without caring about its protection, you allow these rays to stimulate the production of enzymes that destroy collagen. This leads to photoaging of the skin, the development of hyperpigmentation and vascular network. UV radiation also carries with it much more serious consequences, for example, the development of malignant tumors, the most dangerous of which is melanoma. So everyone, regardless of skin phototype, should use a cream with high sun protection throughout the holiday. And do not neglect daily sun protection in the summer, including in your hometown.

Myth 2: The skin cannot burn in cloudy weather.

Cloudy skies and a cool breeze blowing pleasantly across the skin can easily confuse vacationers. Do not forget that clouds transmit up to 80% of ultraviolet radiation, so you can get sunburned even in cloudy weather.

Myth 3: It is enough to apply sunscreen to the skin once a day before going to the beach.

The cream should be renewed on the skin every 2-3 hours, regardless of whether you were sitting on the beach or actively building sandcastles. After immersion in water, 90% of products are washed off the body, and sea water affects even waterproof products, reducing their protection. Therefore, after bathing, especially do not be lazy to re-apply a protective cream. If you use foundation or day cream with an SPF factor, you should understand that they also “work” for only a few hours, and not at all all day.

Myth 4: One sunscreen will last for several seasons.

Everything has an expiration date, and sunscreen is no exception. Most of these funds can be stored for no more than a year in open form. After the expiration of this period, they lose their protective properties. Moreover, the chemicals that make up their composition, after the expiration date, can change their structure and properties, which, in turn, can have a negative effect on the skin in the form of allergic dermatitis or even photodermatitis.

Myth 5: You should only apply sunscreen to exposed areas of your body.

UV rays are so strong that they can penetrate the windows of buildings and cars. That’s why it’s important to apply sunscreen all over your body, no matter how much skin your clothing covers. An ordinary shirt can protect you from sunburn, but not from photoaging.

Myth 6: Before going to the sea, you should go to the solarium to prepare your skin for tanning.

Yes, of course, coming to the sea with already tanned skin, you significantly reduce the risk of getting burned. But we must remember that the lamps installed in the solarium have no less intense and harmful effect on the skin than the sun. Also, do you know exactly when the tanning bed was serviced and the lamps changed? After all, if they are not changed on time, they become very dangerous for our skin. The negative impact of the UV radiation emitted by the lamps will greatly exceed all permissible limits.

Myth 7: If you eat a lot of carrots, then the tan will be more beautiful.

Partly true, but not quite. Indeed, the carotenoids contained in carrots, which give them an appetizing orange color, may have an indirect effect on pigment-synthesizing cells. But when exposed to the sun, these substances are more antioxidants and protect skin cells from the harmful effects of UV radiation. It is not necessary to eat kilograms of carrots – modern dietary supplements taken 1-2 weeks before and during vacation contain the necessary concentration of carotenoids. So there is no need to eat carrots for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the sake of a beautiful tan.

Myth 8: If you apply a product with a maximum SPF, then you can not be afraid to stay in the sun for a long time, even during the peak of solar activity (noon).

The SPF level indicator (for example, SPF 20) is determined by the minimum erythemal dose. This is the amount of time you spend in the sun that can cause redness on your skin. This indicator is individual, moreover, it differs in different people with different skin types. It is believed that the standard erythemal dose in a person with fair skin is 25-20 minutes. This time must be multiplied by the SPF indicated on the product label. This way you can find out the approximate time during which you can stay in the sun without getting burned. But after this estimated time, it is necessary to apply the product again or go to a shady place. Moreover, SPF protection does not reflect 100% of solar radiation, which has a wide spectrum of waves (not only UV-A and UV-B, but also infrared radiation, as well as the visible spectrum), so even when using the maximum SPF, you expose your skin to increased danger. Therefore, the tanning regimen (before 11 and after 16 hours) must be respected, despite the best protective agent.

Myth 9: Skin cancer can only appear if you get a sunburn.

Sunburn is just one of the obvious manifestations of the effects of UV radiation on the skin. The most terrible changes (cell mutations) occur imperceptibly.

Myth 10: Getting a tan helps you get the right dose of vitamin D.

If you do not live around the clock and eat well, then a 15-minute walk in the southern sun will be more than enough to get the optimal dose of vitamin D. Unfortunately, stocking up on vitamin D for the whole year in advance will not work, so sunbathing for a long time is not needed for this. When you return home, take vitamins, because tanning in a solarium, despite a popular myth, does not stimulate the synthesis of vitamin D, since its lamps emit a different UV spectrum of waves.

Photo: Vostock Photo

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