Summer is here and that means more time in the sun. We’ve rounded up some common myths, facts and summer skincare tips to help protect your skin during the summer heat. As well as answering common misconceptions, ‘can you get sunburned on a cloudy day?’, among others…
Here are five common skincare myths (and skin care facts) as you prep for your summer vacation:
Myth 1: You don’t need to put sunscreen on during cloudy days.
“Can you get sunburned on a cloudy day?” is a common question doctors hear. Although clouds might be covering the sun, clouds do not block the harmful UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen on a cloudy day is just as necessary as sunscreen is on a sunny day. So apply sunscreen to keep your skin protected.
Myth 2: You can’t get burned while you’re in the water.
In order to be protected by the water, you need to have quite a large amount between you and the sun in order to be safe from the harmful rays. In addition, when you’re in the water you can also easily get sunburned on your back.
Myth 3: Sunscreen lasts all day if it has a super high SPF.
To get full protection, it’s not enough just to have a high SPF. According to the American Cancer Society, many people do not use sunscreen properly. The best way to protect yourself is to continue to re-apply.
Myth 4: You can only get skin cancer on parts of your body exposed to the sun.
You are more likely to get skin cancer on the exposed parts of your body, but it can develop anywhere. This can also include places you don’t suspect like the soles of your feet or even underneath your nails.
Myth 5: As long as you use sunscreen, you won’t get skin cancer.
No sunscreen can protect you completely. In addition to finding the right sunscreen, the best thing to do is to make sure you wear other protective clothing like sunglasses, loose covering clothing, a hat, and staying in the shade when possible.
Summer skincare facts recommended by doctors
Make sure to choose the right sunblock.
Opt for a sunblock that is broad spectrum, which means it was tested to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. A sunblock with a higher SPF (sun protection factor) provides more UVB protection.
Give your sunscreen time to work.
Before you go out, make sure to apply your sunblock at least 20 minutes before stepping outside.
How often should you apply sunscreen?
It’s recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming.
Wear tight knitted clothing, hats and sunglasses.
Sunglasses are a great way to protect the delicate skin around your eyes and your eyes themselves from the UV rays. Wearing a hat and tight knitted clothing will also shield you from the sun’s rays as well.
Check in with a dermatologist annually
At Doctor On Demand, we recommend a yearly check in with a dermatologist to maintain healthy skin. All of our highly experienced providers have been cross-trained in dermatology to manage common adult and pediatric skin conditions. Schedule a visit today, from vacation or from home.
By incorporating sunscreen and these tips into your daily summer skincare routine, you’ll be set for an enjoyable and safe summer. And remember, you can access a doctor 24/7 (even poolside) with your favorite telehealth provider.
About the author
Dr. Tony Yuan is a Doctor On Demand physician who received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. He completed his emergency medicine residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC and has been practicing emergency medicine in California for over 17 years. Dr. Yuan has treated tens of thousands of patients during his career as an emergency physician, handling traumas and a wide variety of acute and non-acute illnesses and injuries.