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Sun Damage Myths Busted

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The Sun. I love it. It makes me happy when I see it. It makes things grow. It’s great, but you know what isn’t great? Sun damage. Here are a few sun damage myths busted. 

Base Tans Prevent Sunburn

No, they don’t. Skin that’s naturally dark offers more protection, but if you were born with fair skin, any color your skin turns is your body trying to repair UV radiation. Whether it’s red, brown or a combination of the two, it may look good, but what you’re looking at is damaged skin. Dermatologist Doctor Zein Obagi says that the sun’s UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays, which cause burning. UVA rays cause wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin.


You Can’t Eat Your Way to Great Skin

Yes, you can, but this is not an excuse not to wear sunscreen. You can protect yourself from the inside out by eating foods rich in antioxidants. That means strawberries, blueberries, artichokes, beans and green tea. Dermatologist Doctor Ronald Moy says that antioxidants protect your skin cells from the damage that sun causes, but again, don’t use it as an excuse to not wear sunscreen.


Suntans Clear Up Your Acne

Sun has a tendency to dry out your skin, and if your skin is oily, that may help, but Dr. Obagi says that acne is actually caused by bacteria and sun can’t help with that. He says that sun can actually make acne flare ups worse.


The Sun Causes Vitamin Depletion

The sun is a great source of Vitamin D which promotes calcium absorption and bone growth and Vitamin D is actually naturally present in very few foods. Salmon, egg yolks, dairy products and mushrooms are all great sources of Vitamin D, but if you prefer the sun to get your Vitamin D levels, don’t be fooled into thinking this means you don’t have to wear sunscreen. According to a study done by King’s College in London, people who lathered up still saw a spike in their Vitamin D levels after sitting in the sun.


You Don’t Have to Wear Sunscreen Under Your Clothes

Most clothing offers very little sun protection factor. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a white t-shirt offers an SPF of 7, but if its wet, that SPF drops to 3. The darker the clothing, the better the protection, but the hotter it is, so it’s a good idea to apply sunscreen everywhere.

Next: How to Be Safe in the Sun

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