69% of women lie to themselves, saying they don’t need sunscreen. Don’t be one of them. Arm yourself with the simplest and strongest weapon we have against wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.
By Karyn Repinski
Despite the fact that women know they should wear sunscreen every day of the year, only 31% do, according to a recent poll by Prevention.com.
And many of those who skip SPF feel guilty about it–so much so that 31% admit they’ve fibbed about putting on sunscreen because they’re embarrassed about their bad habit.
So what gives? If we all know that sunscreen helps to protect our skin from cancer and prevent signs of aging such as spots and wrinkles, why aren’t more of us using it?
To find out, Prevention asked dermatologists to share some of the most common excuses women give for going outdoors unprotected. Read on and you’ll discover there’s really no good reason to skimp on sunscreen–you’ll be healthier (and younger looking!) if you use it.
Excuse #1: “The chemicals in sunscreen are probably more dangerous than sun exposure.”
Sunscreens have gotten some bad press lately, including claims that they contain cancer-causing ingredients. But a recently published review of the studies on which these claims are based should ease fears. “Many of the safety concerns are not well founded–they’re based on petri dish or animal data that doesn’t relate to humans,” says Steven Wang, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, NJ, and coauthor of the review. For example, in one study, mice fed a whopping dose of oxybenzone, a UV-light absorber commonly found in sunscreens, exhibited estrogenic effects, which the researchers believe could cause cancer cells to grow more rapidly. But by Dr. Wang’s calculations, it would take more than 250 years for someone who uses sunscreen daily to be exposed to the amount of oxybenzone used in the study.
Still worried? Use a sunscreen like Beyond Coastal Natural SPF 30 Sunscreen ($16; beyond coastal.com), which has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in lieu of chemical sunscreens.