JUL 11, 2017 4:00 PM PDT

Are You Guilty of Believing these Sun Myths?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

We all know the dangers of sun damage on the skin. But when it comes to sun protection, we often fall short of the recommendations. And sometimes, it's because we put too much value on myths that don't actually do anything to protect our skin from the sun.

First up is the myth that sunscreen is only necessary in the winter. Many people skip their SPF when it gets cold, but just because it's cold outside doesn't mean your skin needs any less protection. In fact, "winter skin is more sensitive to sun than tanned summer skin," said Frank Schwanke, a skin researcher for Nivea. Schwanke explained that the pale skin in winter means that we have less melanin to protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. As such, "the skin is not only less tanned, but also more sensitive to UV radiation when it comes to a day with a lot of sunshine," said Schwanke.

And the UV rays are still present in the wintertime. The two types of UV radiation are UVA and UVB rays. While UVB rays are weaker when the sun is down or at certain seasons, UVA rays are the same strength at all times of day and all year long. This ray is mostly responsible for skin aging, while UVB is responsible for triggering burning and cancer.

Another myth is that glass somehow protects skin from the sun's harmful rays. This myth is half true - glass does block UVB rays, but UVA rays can still penetrate glass and harm your skin. And exposure to these rays accelerate skin aging, and can also promote skin cancer.

So if you think you're safe without sun protection in a car on a cold but sunny day, think again. Watch the video to learn more sun myths!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
NOV 19, 2020
Unlocking the Secret of a Tasty Cold Drink
Sour beer isn't for everyone: its unique taste of acidity and tartness could excite some but turn off others.  ...
NOV 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
NOV 27, 2020
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
A common entity that connects everything from majestically looking galaxies and nebula to the enormously diversified bio ...
DEC 03, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
DEC 03, 2020
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
Building a realistic tissue model is critical for training young physicians and surgeons, and yet challenging due to the ...
MAR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Study Highlights Importance of Chinook Salmon to Endangered Orcas
MAR 09, 2021
Study Highlights Importance of Chinook Salmon to Endangered Orcas
Many issues plague the iconic orcas of the Pacific Northwest United States, including declining salmon populations. ...
MAY 28, 2021
Plants & Animals
Wild Gorillas Adopt Orphaned Babies
MAY 28, 2021
Wild Gorillas Adopt Orphaned Babies
An analysis of over 50 years of data reveals that with the help of their social group, orphaned mountain gorillas do jus ...
JUN 04, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Scientists Identify 90 Drugs that Could be Repurposed to Fight COVID-19
JUN 04, 2021
Scientists Identify 90 Drugs that Could be Repurposed to Fight COVID-19
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute in California have identified 90 drugs that could be repurposed for trea ...
Loading Comments...