Top 7 Sunscreen Myths (Video)

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Every summer brings with it sunshine, and more SPF myths than you ever asked for. This video breaks down 7 of the top sunscreen myths I see around. Check it out here.

I’ve listed the references under each myth here, along with where I’ve covered it before (if applicable). Note: not all references are equally good, and in general you shouldn’t just take the word of a paper just because it’s been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The free sample chapter on sunscreen from The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare can be downloaded here: The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare

I covered some other skincare myths in a video recently as well: Biggest Skincare Myths – and What to Do Instead (video)

1. “SPF 50 is only a little bit better than SPF 30.”

Covered before in my post here: Video: What Does SPF Mean? Is High SPF Sunscreen Better?

2. “DIY sunscreen is effective.”

Covered before in my post here: Don’t Get Burnt by DIY Sunscreen

3. “Wearing sunscreen is worse for you than not wearing sunscreen.”

I highly recommend reading this very recent open access review, which summarises the reasoning for the position taken by health authorities from different disciplines in Australia and New Zealand:

I cover the two main reasons for this myth in this video:

“Sunscreen ingredients are harmful”

Hormonal effects:


“The sun is good for you”


Vitamin D:

Nitric oxide:

Health benefits of sunscreen:

4. “Chemical sunscreen only works if you apply it to bare skin.”

This was also covered in this video: All Your Sunscreen and Make-up Questions Answered

Blog post: Why Do I Need to Apply Sunscreen Before Sun Exposure?

DM Beyer et al., Clothing reduces the sun protection factor of sunscreensBr J Dermatol 2010162, 415-419

5. “Make-up with SPF gives adequate sun protection.”

Also covered in How SPF Changes With How Much Sunscreen You Use and All Your Sunscreen and Make-up Questions Answered

B Petersen & HC Wulk, Application of sunscreen–theory and realityPhotodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 201430, 96-101

6. “Layering products with SPF doesn’t increase SPF.”

7. “You don’t need to reapply sunscreen if you haven’t been in the sun the whole time.”

This was discussed in Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens: The Science (with video)

If you liked this video, you might also be into my other posts on sunscreen:

What Does SPF Mean? The Science of Sunscreen

Is Your Sunscreen Killing Coral? The Science (with Video)

Product Rant: SPF Sunscreen Drops

Skincare Guide

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2 thoughts on “Top 7 Sunscreen Myths (Video)”

  1. Thank you very much for my continuing education! Appreciate the fact based presentation and list of references. I do have a question: when using the KraveBeauty Beet Shield, will its effectiveness be altered by using a foundation containing titanium dioxide? Thank you again!


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