Busted: 8 sunburn myths you've always thought were true

Sun's out, burns out
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Busted: 8 sunburn myths you've always thought were true

It's that time of year where everybody's trying to perfect their summer tan, but in the midst of all the fun, it's not uncommon to forget about re-applying our SPF. Hey, we've all been there - hoping that that one application four hours ago will get you through the day burn-free. Well, it won't. Here are 8 other sunburn myths that you definitely shouldn't believe:

1) You're safe from the sun in the shade

Remember, damage is done through UV light, not sunlight, so the glare bouncing off objects nearby causes damage too.

2) You can't burn if it's cloudy outside

Same principle as above: turns out that burning in the shade is all too possible. 

3) You don't need sunblock if you have darker skin, or are already tanned

UV damage is caused at the cellular level, so underlying melanin can't do much to protect the outer layers of your skin.

4) You won't burn as long as you're out of the sun between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. 

*Laughs in Middle East* Who better to ask about this one than someone from the Middle East? In these sunny climes, the sun is out (and relentlessly so) for far longer than those hours. Regardless, any prolonged sun exposure can cause sunburn, so be careful no matter where you vacay this summer. 

5) Clothing will protect you from the sun 

Regular clothing will only give you SPF of about 4 to 8, so do yourself a favour and put on some sunscreen. Future you will be glad you did.

6) Tanning is okay as long as you don't burn

This is one that even we didn't know - tanning is what happens when you skin is trying to repair and protect you from further sun damage, and if your skin is trying to repair damage - the damage is already done! That's not to say you can't tan at all - just do it in moderation.

7) A sunburn now and then doesn't matter much

This one couldn't be more wrong. Sunburn - even one - can increase your chances of melanoma by nearly 50 per cent if you're between the ages of 15 and 25. 

8) Higher SPFs mean you don't need to reapply as much

This issue is twofold: not all sunscreens are accurate in their SPF listings, so you might think you're a lot more protected than you actually are. Secondly, although the SPF might be higher, it gets worn or rubbed off as easily as its lower-SPF counterparts. As a rule of thumb, apply sunscreen 15 minutes before you go into the sun, right before you go into the sun, and after exiting the water (if you won't be in the water, every few hours should do it.) 

Photos: Unsplash