JUL 11, 2017 04:00 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 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 21, 2019
What NASA's TESS Mission Has Accomplished Thus Far
Astronomers are particularly interested in finding an exoplanet like the Earth, and with the help of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, al...
NOV 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 21, 2019
Why a Metal Asteroid Tops NASA's Must-Explore List
Innumerable amounts of asteroids exist in the asteroid belt that resides between Mars and Jupiter in orbit around the Sun, but one specimen in particular a...
NOV 21, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 21, 2019
Find the Motivation to Exercise with Imagery
Those involved in professional sports have a lot on their plate. From fitting in intense regular workouts to getting adequate sleep, to eating a healthy di...
NOV 21, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 21, 2019
Diagnosed With Atopic Dermatitis?
Eczema, dermatitis, atopic dermatitis: all names for the same disease of the skin. Although common in children during the first year of life, the condition...
NOV 21, 2019
Health & Medicine
NOV 21, 2019
Sherlock's DNA biosensors set to make diagnostics elementary
The anxious wait to receive results from expensive diagnostic laboratory tests could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a technological breakthrough. En...
NOV 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 21, 2019
Say Hello to the Largest Star Ever Discovered
There are so many stars in the modern universe that we couldn’t ever hope to count them all. Many are so distant from us that we can’t even see...
Loading Comments...