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5 Myths of Sunscreen Hikers Need to Know

Morning Sun Ray Morning Sun Ray

In many products that we find on the retail shelves, there is plenty of misconceptions generated by lack of understanding and misinformation. One such product that has had its fair share of misconception is sunscreen. We understand how important sunscreen is in caring to our skin.

We have put together a list of 5 common misconceptions, although there are many more that exist.

My cosmetics already had sunscreen built into it. I do not need additional sunscreen.

Once you go under the sun, you must apply sunscreen, and it must be under your makeup. There are many known foundations and moisturisers that are armed with sunscreen, and this is fine if you are nipping out to the shops, or heading to the office, or anything that will allow you to be under protective shade or in a building for most of the time. BUT if you are spending more than 15 minutes outdoors (walking the dog, a quick jog or walk, walking to the shops, gardening, etc.), you must use a sunscreen. Besides, the sun protection factor found in most cosmetics products is much lower than the maximum recommended SPF 30 or higher.

I use SPF50. I can stay out longer in the sun.

No sunscreen is built like The Hulk. The Hulk can take massive hits and pounding from its enemies and still stay powerful. Your sunscreen is not like him! The Hulk still needs to redeem himself, and like him, your skin needs a second application of sunscreen if you are outdoors fighting the battles of the sun. The important thing is to never extend the amount of time you spend in the sun, and to reapply the sunscreen every two hours if you are out for an extended period.

I am allergic to all sunscreens

Sticky and viscous lava texture comes to mind for some users of sunscreen. Some feel irritated by its texture and whilst it might cause an allergic reaction, these are rare. You will be better off with a physical sunscreen if you think you have sensitive skin. A physical sunscreen contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to block rays. Much like how one does a skin sensitivity test, apply the sunscreen on a spot under the neck and check if there are reactions.


I applied sunscreen to my arms, legs, chest, abdomen and back. That is sufficient to protect me.

Many users of sunscreen are economical in using the sunscreen. The burning question is, “Why not go for full head to toe protection than to expose oneself to possible cell damage from UVA?” It is advisable to apply sunscreen to many overlooked areas like your hands (fingers), feet (toes), including back of your neck, ears and hairline. It is important to be fully protected from the sun.

I won’t get skin cancer as long as I use sunscreen.

A manufacturer can armed their sunscreen with the highest SPF rating, yet the sunscreen will never guarantee ultimate protection. No sunscreen on the market offers 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays. And it is crucial that users of sunscreen wear loose protective clothing, swim clothing with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor), sunglasses, and a hat. All these help to reduce exposure to the sun. Of course, being in the shade as much as possible instead of in the sun is ideal, especially between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. And in everything that expires, it is highly recommended not to use an expired sunscreen product.

Last modified onFriday, 01 May 2020 10:47
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