Summer days are slipping away, but that doesn’t mean that you have to soak up ALL the sun while it’s still here.
In fact, tanning intentionally or even going out without sunscreen is bad for you—no matter what you’ve heard to the contrary. There are so many myths out there about what’s good for your skin, and they’re typically tied to our cultural norms surrounding beauty.
Tan may be considered sexy, but skin cancer is not. Today we’ll be debunking some of the top dermatology myths floating around, and helping you figure out how to combat them with truth and sun protection. All of the below solutions can be found at Target.
Myth #1: Smearing Coca-Cola all over my skin will help me get a great tan.
False! This is an alarming myth that’s been trending on the heavy this summer. Coca-Cola will temporarily make your skin brown, but that’s not because you’re getting tan. It’s because you’re temporarily dying your skin…with brown soda.
Coke is also acidic, which can make it easier for those harmful UV rays to damage your skin–and burn faster.
If you really want to smear something all over your body in an effort to tan, try L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes. They’re streak-free and provide you with a natural looking tan without all those harmful UV rays.
Myth #2: Getting a tan will make your pimples go away.
Also false. If you have pimples, you have pimples. You may think they look less pronounced when you have a tan, but they’re still there. Know what else is likely to eventually join your dermatologic imperfections? Melanoma.
Melanoma is cancer, and it’s not fun. If you’ve got skin issues, address them with a product like Yes to Tomatoes Charcoal Acne-Fighting Face Mask. This creamy mask comes with salicylic acid to fight your pimple woes, and won’t transfer onto your pillow while you sleep.
If you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments and they’re just not working, go see a dermatologist. It’s much better to go in for acne now than to go in for a biopsy in a couple of years.
Myth #3: My makeup has SPF in it, so I don’t need to apply any sunscreen to my face.
This is almost always wrong—especially when you’re talking about foundations and powders. To get the advertised SPF on these products would require applying a ridiculous amount of makeup.
Instead, you should apply a sunscreen first and let it soak it. We really like Babyganics SPF50 for this. Because it’s formulated for the sensitive skin of babies, it’s less likely to make you break out. The SPF level provides a great layer of protection, and it’s waterproof just in case you sweat.
After you’ve allowed the sunscreen to set, you’re ready to do your makeup routine as normal. Only this time, you’ll actually be protected from UVA/B rays.
Myth #4: My skin doesn’t burn. It only tans. That means I can’t get skin cancer.
No! This myth is unequivocally false. Even “just” a tan after spending time in the sun is evidence that your skin has been damaged. It’s difficult because our society has somehow started attributing damaged skin to beauty, but you need to keep your head about you so you do the right thing rather than the popular thing.
Even if you never burn, you need to protect yourself. For an ultra-affordable option, check out Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Sunscreen. At SPF55, you’ll know you’re protected with regular application.