The Truth About Sunscreen

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthAccording to a recent poll by, only 31 percent of women wear sunscreen, despite the overwhelming evidence that should influence us to be wearing sunscreen every day. And many of those women who skip SPF feel guilty about it, so much so that 69 percent of women lie to themselves, saying they don’t need sunscreen. So why do so many women ignore the facts and make up excuses not to? Prevention magazine teamed up with top dermatologists to give a reality check to share some of the most common excuses women give for going outdoors unprotected.

Excuse # 1 –
“The chemicals in sunscreen are probably more dangerous than sun exposure”

Reality Check:

  • Studies show that many of the safety concerns are not well founded—they’re based on Petri dish or animal data that doesn’t relate to humans.
  • For example, in one study, mice fed a whopping dose of oxybenzone, a UV-light absorber commonly found in sunscreen, exhibited estrogenic effects, which the researchers believe could cause cancer cells to grow more rapidly.
  • But the truth is it would take more than 250 years for someone who uses sunscreen daily to be exposed to the amount of oxybenzone used in the study.
  • Still worried? Use a sunscreen like Beyond Coastal Natural SPF 30 Sunscreen ($16;, which has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in lieu of chemical sunscreens.

Excuse # 2 – “I don’t get a lot of sun”

Reality Check:

  • You don’t have to be on the beach to soak up rays. Most people rack up 14 hours of casual UV exposure per week.
  • One study found that even short spurts of UVA light twice a week resulted in significant damage to the fibers that keep skin smooth and firm in just 12 weeks.
  • Makeup and a daily lotion with SPF are great steps, but the protection is short-lived on hot, sunny says, use a swear-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on all sun-exposed areas to be safe.

Excuse # 3 – “I don’t need sunscreen because my skin is naturally dark”

Reality Check:

  • Skin cancer is color-blind. In fact, skin cancer rates are increasing among Latinos—many of whom have dark skin.
  • Hispanics are more genetically diverse than other groups, so even if they have dark skin, they could burn just as someone with fair German or Irish skin would
  • Plus, those with dark skin may not recognize skin cancers as early in their development as people with light skin.
  • Sun deepens dark spots common in all women of color. Try using sheer, nonchalky Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30 ($10;

Excuse # 4 –
“I haven’t gotten burned yet”

Reality Check:

  • This is the skin equivalent of ‘I’ve never had a car wreck, so I don’t need a seat belt.
  • Though a cavalier attitude toward sunscreen may not be a big deal when you’re young, skin loses its ability to produce melanin effectively as you get older, and that may actually make you more likely to burn.
  • The fact is, sun damage—including wrinkles and loss of firmness—occurs whether or not you’re seeing red.
  • And that’s a good reason to use a sunscreen like Avon Anew Solar Advance Sunscreen Body Lotion SPF 30 ($34;; it prevents burning and helps to heal past damage with a blend of antioxidant-rich botanicals.

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