Sun Safety Myth 2: "I get skin checks, so I don't need sun protection..."
While regular skin checks are a great way to detect melanoma, prevention is always better than cure.
“The skin check is important and knowing that your skin is important, but we know that aggressive melanoma can become dangerous within as little as six weeks to two months,” King explains.
“So preventing exposure in the first case is the single best thing to do because the UV damage is cumulative and irreversible.”
Sun Safety Myth 3: Sunscreen expiry is just a guide
It can often be tempting to continue to use products after their expiry date, and while this might be OK for some things, you should only use sunscreen within the use-by date.
“This is because the ingredients within the sunscreen itself may separate and that can sometimes affect the distribution of the active ingredients,” King explains.
“We also suggest keeping the sunscreen out of the heat because the heat will make the ingredients separate, and that’s when it doesn’t do its job as well.”
Sun Safety Myth 4: "I don't need sun protection on cloudy days..."
Though heavy clouds can block some of the UV rays, King says that sun protection is still necessary – especially on days with cumulus clouds (think: the individual, fluffy-type ones shown on the opening of The Simpsons).
“If you have a slightly cloudier day, that can actually make the UV greater because they bounce around and deflect the UV,” she explains.
And yes, this means sun protection is still needed in winter!
Sun Safety Myth 5: "I can't get burnt in the car..."
If you’ve seen truck drivers with only one arm tanned, you’ll know you can, in fact, get burnt in the car.
However, some people still believe that a car acts as a sufficient barrier between you and the sun.
“The main point here is that UVA rays can go through car windows,” King explains.
“So, if you’re on a bus or train, or driving in a car, don’t think that just because there’s a window there, you’re going to be safe from getting burnt.”
If you’re driving, be sure to pop sunscreen on your hands to keep them protected as you cruise through sun-drenched streets.
Sun Safety Myth 6: You don't need sun protection if you tan
Sure, olive-skinned people may be less likely to burn, but they still aren’t immune from developing melanoma.
“It can be people with olive skin, who don’t think about sun protection because they don’t get burnt, who get more UV exposure because they don’t take as much care with their skin,” King warns.
“That cumulative damage, even from tanning, is irreversible UV damage that can put a person at risk of developing skin cancer.”
Sun Safety Myth 7: "The sunscreen in my makeup is enough to protect my face..."
The emphasis on sunscreen in cosmetics is nothing to shame (we love that so many of our favourite products are also working to keep our skin safe), but it shouldn’t be your only form of sunscreen.
“This is because the purpose of that type of product is to be a cosmetic, rather than being a sunscreen,” King explains. “It’s great that they have an SPF in them, but it’s not good enough.”
For daily protection, King recommends putting on your normal sunscreen or facial sun serum before putting on your makeup with your SPF-loaded foundation, tinted moisturiser, or BB cream.