4 Myths About the Sun and Your Skin

The skin is the largest living organ of our body, helping to protect us while also allowing us to live our lives here on planet Earth without much resistance to the atmosphere around us. Over the years, there have been many guides on how to handle being in the sun while also protecting one's skin. Due to the advances in technology and the research done over the past few decades, we now understand many myths about the skin and the sun are entirely untrue and can potentially even be harming others today if followed. Ensuring you know as much as possible about the sun and your skin will help to protect you from potential risks of skin diseases and even cancer later on in life.

1. Brown, Not Red Skin, is Tanned Skin
Looking for that perfect tan?  Even if your skin doesn't get red, getting a deep brown tan is also harmful. Brown skin is actually the result of the damage that UV rays have caused, regardless of whether one appears "tanned" or sunburned.  When the skin turns brown, it is also known as "melanogenesis", meaning your body has an increased production of melanin at the time, darkening and damaging the skin.

2. Sunscreen is Unnecessary on Cloudy and Rainy Days
This is untrue due to the fact that the sun is much stronger than the atmosphere of clouds that fills the upper portion of the Earth (as the sun has the capabilities of fitting one billion planet Earth's inside of it). The sun does not stop emitting UV rays, which penetrate the upper atmosphere of the planet, still reaching all life on the ground.

3.  Only Those With Pale or Light Skin Should Protect Their Skin From Sun Damage
Although there is less risk for those with darkened skin to suffer from sun damage, no human is immune to the effects of prolonged exposure to the sun over time. It is always important to use sunscreen and other sun protection products regardless of one's skin tone.

4.  Because Makeup Contains SPF, There Is No Need For Additional Facial Protection
Although most concealers and makeup applications for the face contain SPF, this may only last a few hours when out in the sun. When in hot weather, both makeup and sunscreen easily sweats off and will need to be re-applied throughout the day for the most optimal protection.
Caring for your skin in the sun and when outdoors is essential at all times to help with not only protecting it from potential sun damage and harmful UV rays, but also to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated (keeping from drying out due to the sun). 

If you've already exposed your skin to the sun, don't worry, all is not lost.  If you start by applying sunblock every time you go out, you can give your skin time to recover from existing damage.  Additionally, you can prevent it from getting even more damage.   "You can't eliminate the odds of one day developing skin cancer because any sun exposure — even if you lay out a few times as a child — puts you at risk, but you'll lower those odds greatly by vowing not to incur any additional sun damage," says skin-cancer specialist Arielle Kauvar, MD, professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine.

To improve the appearance of your skin, there is much you can do.  You can eat foods that are high in Vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens.  Avocados, salmons, eggs and other foods have high concentrations of omega oils and Vitamin E, which are also great for your skin.  Additionally, avoid drinking alcohol and environmental pollutants, drink lots of water, and keep your stress levels down and watch your skin become more beautiful and glowing!

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles, writing about skin beauty for Skintrium, a company that sells amazing skin whitening products.  She enjoys reading fiction novels, taking excellent care of her skin, and practicing yoga.

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