8 Facts and Myths About Sunscreen

8 Facts and Myths About Sunscreen

Does sunscreen last for years? Should I apply sunscreen even if I never burn? Do I only need to apply sunscreen in the summer? Tenue Soleil ® separates myths from facts and explains the truths and falsehoods about sunscreen.

SPF50 makes me less tan

Myth. Whether you use SPF30 or SPF50, it doesn't affect how tan you become. So even with a high protection factor like SPF50, you can still get a tan, but in a safer way.

Sunscreen is carcinogenic

Myth. According to European legislation, cosmetics cannot contain carcinogenic substances, including sunscreen. However, we recommend reading the ingredients of the sunscreen carefully to ensure it doesn't contain other harmful substances. Consider chemical UV filters, hormone-disrupting substances, fragrance and fragrance allergens, and microplastics. These substances can cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, and pollute the environment. Substances that may contribute to this include:

Ethylhexyl Salicylate
Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor
Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane
Salicylzuur (salicyclic acid)
Butylhydroxytolueen (BHT)
Butyl hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Choose a sunscreen with a mineral UV filter to avoid harmful substances, like Tenue Soleil ® sunscreen with 98% natural ingredients.

With water-resistant sunscreen, I still need to reapply after swimming

Fact. Water-resistant sunscreen stays on the skin better while swimming than regular sunscreen, but it doesn't mean it stays on all day. The term 'waterproof' is misleading because water-resistant sunscreen needs to be reapplied after swimming or sweating. No sunscreen is 100% waterproof.

Sunscreen can be stored for years

Myth. Sunscreen is not infinitely shelf-stable. After opening, most sunscreens are usable for up to 12 months. The shelf life is always indicated on the packaging. After opening, the SPF protection factor decreases. Store the sunscreen closed at room temperature. If you're outside, always keep the cream in the shade.

After applying once, I can sunbathe all day

Myth. Sunscreen only provides temporary sun protection, so you need to apply it generously every 2 hours. Additionally, the duration of safe sun exposure depends on various factors, such as your skin type and the strength of the sun. Moreover, sunscreen alone is insufficient for safe sun enjoyment. Dermatologists often use the term 'avoid, clothe, apply.' Avoid the sun during peak hours, wear UV protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses, and generously apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to uncovered skin.

SPF 50 offers double the protection of SPF25

Myth. Although the number doubles, the protection does not. The level of protection is much smaller: sunscreen with SPF15 absorbs 93% of UVB rays, SPF30 absorbs 97%, and sunscreen with SPF50 absorbs 98%. 100% protection does not exist. Note that SPF stands for the level of protection against UVB rays and generally offers less protection against UVA rays.

I still need to apply sunscreen, even though I never burn

Fact. Even if your skin doesn't burn, it can still be damaged during prolonged exposure to the sun. This increases the risk of pigment damage, premature aging, and skin cancer.

I only need to apply sunscreen in the summer

Myth. Although the sun is more intense in the summer, it doesn't mean you don't need to use sunscreen in other seasons. Even in autumn and winter, UV radiation is present, which can damage your skin. The temperature does not correlate with the amount of UV radiation; this is indicated by the UV Index. The higher the UV Index, the stronger the sun's rays. Sun protection is needed when the UV Index is 3 or higher.


Daniel Kadouch

Daniel, a dermatologist and father of four in Amsterdam, founded Tenue Soleil ® to tackle the challenges of protecting children from sun damage with expertly designed, eco-friendly sun protection.

Handtekening Daniel