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Fact or fiction? Sun myths busted!

Sunny days beg to be spent outdoors, enjoying the beautiful weather and being active. Yet with concerns about harmful UV rays, sunburns and skin cancer, it can be difficult to know when, how, or even if it is safe to be in the sun.

We want to help by busting some common myths to ensure you and your family can enjoy time outdoors and stay sun-safe.

Myth #1: The only way to protect yourself from the sun is to stay indoors.

Fact: There are many ways to stay safe in the sun. Use SunSense and protect yourself by:

  • Checking the UV Index before you go outside. On days when the UV Index reaches 3 or more, you need to be extra careful to protect your skin. Try to reduce your time in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – when the sun’s rays are at their strongest – or any time of the day when the UV Index is 3 or more.
  • Seeking or making your own shade. Choose to sit under a tree at the park or under an awning on a restaurant patio. Take along an umbrella when you’re out and about – that way you can have shade wherever you need it.
  • Covering up. Wearing tightly woven or UV-protective labelled clothing to shield your skin from the sun is important, but don’t forget about your head, face, ears and neck. Choose a wide-brimmed hat for extra protection.
  • Wearing sunscreen. This may seem like common sense, but it is important to remember to apply it on any exposed skin not covered by clothing – don’t forget places like your ears, chin and neck even if you’re wearing a hat.
  • Putting on your sunglasses. It is important to protect your eyes from UV rays as well. Choose close-fitting sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection in a wraparound style. The label might have UV 400 or 100% UV protection on it.
  • Seeking safer sources of vitamin D. Ultimately, getting your vitamin D from your diet (many foods are fortified with vitamin D) or by taking vitamin supplements is safer than ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure. We are proud to partner with Jamieson Vitamins on a new Sun Safety campaign to increase awareness of sun safety, including the dangers of ultraviolet rays and finding safer sources of vitamin D.

Myth #2: Sunscreen will protect all day.

Fact: Sunscreens are not meant to be used so that you can stay out in the sun longer. They are meant to increase your protection when you have to be outside. Putting on sunscreen is an important part of being sun safe, and you should always use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Be sure to reapply sunscreen according to the directions, especially after swimming or sweating.

While sunscreen is an important piece of the puzzle, make sure you are follow all of the SunSense tips for your best protection from the sun.

Myth #3: A base tan will protect you from getting burned.

Fact: A tan offers almost no protection from sunlight or burning.

Acquiring a base tan from a tanning bed is never a good idea because tanning beds can expose you to 5 times more radiation than the sun. The truth is that indoor tanning is dangerous, and the use of indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 increases your risk of melanoma. Many people like the look of their skin when tanned. Sunless tanning products can offer that sun-kissed glow without exposing you to harmful UV rays. Just remember that these products won’t protect you from the sun.

UV rays cause up to 90% of melanoma cases. So, by using your SunSense to stay protected, you can get outdoors and enjoy the sun safely!