Recently, Prevention Magazine found that only 31% of women wear sunscreen, despite the overwhelming evidence that it should be applied every day. Many of those women who skip SPF said they feel guilty about it, so much so that 69% of women lie to themselves, saying they don’t need sunscreen.

Whatever your excuse may be about UV protectors, Prevention’s got you covered, with myth busting facts about common sunscreen misconceptions. In the June feature “No More Excuses” (see below); Prevention shows consumers that there’s really no good reason to skimp on sunscreen and with the F.D.A.’s new changes, it will be much easier to understand what to look for when buying sunscreen.

No More Excuses!

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 – “It’s a drag to reapply sunscreen”

Reality Check:

· Five minutes every 2 hours—that’s all it takes to apply the 1 ounce (2 table=-spoons) of sunscreen recommended for protection when you’re in a bathing suit or outdoors for extended periods.

· And when it’s time to reapply, new sprays like Aveeno Hydrosport Sunblock Spray SPF 85 ($10; drugstores) makes it less of a hassle and even adhere to wet skin. Easy, right?

Excuse # 4 – “Sunscreen is too expensive”

Reality Check:

· As long as you pick one that clearly states it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, there’s no need to break the bank when buying. “

· Research doesn’t show any relationship between price and protection, try Banana Boat Ultra Defense SPF 30 Continuous Clear Spray ($10; drugstores)

Excuse # 5 – “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. (One study found advanced stages of melanoma at time of diagnosis in 18% of Hispanics and 26% of African Americans, compared with 12% of Caucasians.)

· Sun deepens dark spots common in all women of color. Try using sheer, nonchalky Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30 ($10;

Excuse # 6 – “I look so good with a tan”

Reality Check:

· Think long-term: Saggy, leathery skin is not pretty.

· Instead of opting for none, try the subtle sheen of Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect Lotion Sunscreen SPF 40 ($9; drugstores).

Excuse # 7 – “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.

Excuse # 8 – “Skin cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer”

Reality Check:

· UVB rays lead to the development of the two most common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, triggering melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

· While it’s true that melanoma is usually curable when caught early, it still kills 8,000 Americans a year. And those who are lucky enough to recover from skin cancer aren’t necessarily unscathed.

· Take basal cell carcinomas, for instance: They penetrate deeply and slowly destroy health tissue. Both the biopsy and the surgery to remove the lesions can leave a scar or, in rare cases, disfigurement.

· Still not screaming for sunscreen? A number of studies also show that having skin cancer increases your risk of developing other cancers, including breast, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lung, and kidney.

· Even a little UB light can weaken cells in the skin and compromise your immune surveillance; it’s like removing the security guards from a bank and allowing robbers to come in.

My thanks to Prevention magazine for offering to share this information with This Mom Loves readers.

On a related note, I also recently heard of Seasons UV, the makers of 50++ UPF swimwear, now offering a new line of kids Solar Guard swimwear, called LOL, designed to alert parents with a color change when UV rays are getting dangerous. The ‘LOL’ pattern has a big white smiley face in the ‘O’ that changes from white to blue when it’s time to apply sunscreen. Moms, you might want to check it out.

LOL - Girl - Beach & Bike Shirt Long Sleeve
Disclosure: I received nothing for this post. Just passing along valuable info!

3 comments on “No More Sunscreen Excuses!”

  1. Yup, this is so true! I've been super paranoid about sun exposure for the past couple of years… I also use a daily moisturizer with sunscreen in it, so even in the winter I have some protection! Sometimes it is difficult to reapply it, especially since I work outdoors, but when I think about how much money women spend on skin cream and retinol and all that junk, a little bit of sunscreen earlier on would save us so much worry! We just bought some sunscreen from Badger that I really love. 🙂

  2. I have used a facecream with sunscreen for about 5 years. I'm 31 now and really hope it will benefit me in the end. I just tried the spray sunscreen on my kids and I can't believe how fast we went through the first bottle (like, 2 days- and that was three kids and a Mommy 2-three times each day). I thought that perhaps the kids were being too generous with spraying themselves, so I bought a second bottle (different brand) and only I was allowed to spray. This one lasted 3 days. Definately going back to the cream ($10) vs the spray ($14). The cream lasts at least a month! Lesson learned.

  3. I,too, am very careful about sun exposure and sunscreen for my girls. My sister and I just had an interesting conversation regarding how we grew up and how our parents didn't really worry about the sun with us. We were wondering what's in store for our childrens children…a bit scary if we are already buying SPF bathing suits for our kids…don't you think?
    Krista S

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