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The Biggest Myths About Sunscreen and Sun Safety

When it comes to safe tanning, there seems to be a major block in the truth about sunscreen. While it’s great to get out and enjoy the summer sun, there are some major misconceptions about sunscreen and sun safety.

Don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying you shouldn’t wear sunscreen; it’s quite the opposite, actually. However, knowing more about it and how to properly use it can save you a world of pain (and possible health complications), so be sure to apply these 15 truths about sunscreen…

1. A Base Tan is Not Adequate Sun Protection

You often hear from friends and family going on a tropical vacation that they’re working on their “base tan,” and that somehow they’ll be invincible to the sun after they achieve this.

Reader’s Digest says there is no such thing as a safe tan, even when you think having darker skin from the tanning bed acts as a shield. ““A tan is literally your body’s response to being injured by UV exposure,” notes the source. This UV light causes cells to produce more melanin (skin pigment), “But this is a sign that damage has already been done, not protection against future sun exposure,” it adds. Okay, that’s not entirely true – the source notes a base tan has a sun protection factor (SPF) of about 4, while a white T-shirt provides about SPF 7.

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