Myth #1: A suntan is fine, as long as you don't burn.
Reality: There is no such thing as a safe suntan. No matter what type of skin tone you have, any amount of tan indicates that damage has been done to your skin. The more sun you get, the higher the chance that you will develop certain cancers in the future. And yes, you are still at risk even if you don’t burn.
Myth #2: A beach umbrella blocks the sun.
Reality: An umbrella blocks some UV rays, but not all. In fact, 17 percent of UV rays are reflected by sand on the beach. Your best bet is to use as much sunscreen as possible, or stay in the shade when the sun’s rays are high.
Myth #3: Sun can't penetrate through windows.
Reality: Only UVB rays are filtered out by glass. UVA rays can still get through, and unfortunately are deeper penetrating and more harmful to your skin. Ironically, many adults have more freckles on the left sides of their face due to more exposure to that side while driving.
Myth #4: Too much sunscreen causes vitamin D deficiency.
Reality: Children and adults get plenty of vitamin D through multivitamins and foods that they eat every day. Via sun exposure, it doesn’t take much for your body to produce the amount of vitamin D it needs. Even while wearing sunscreen, enough UV rays can get to the skin for vitamin D production to happen.
Myth #5: If it's cool or cloudy outside, you don't need sunscreen.
Reality: Ironically, people get seriously sunburned on days of overcast if they haven’t used sun protection. This is because 80 percent of UV rays can penetrate through the clouds and burn your skin. During the winter, the snow is able to reflect 80 percent of UV rays, making sun protection especially important.
Myth #6: Eighty percent of sun damage occurs before the age of 18.
Reality: No matter your age, you should be vigilant of sun exposure and skin protection. Only 25 percent of our total lifetime exposure occurs before 18, according to recent studies. With children, practicing what you preach is the best approach. Apply sunscreen with your children while out in the sun.