What’s Your Sun Safety IQ? (Quiz)
Before you soak up the summer sun, take our sun safety quiz to find out whether you’re keeping your skin healthy.
True or False: Too little sun can be bad for you.
Answer: TRUE. Sunshine serves a critical function in the body that sunscreen appears to inhibit: the production of vitamin D. The main source of vitamin D in the body is sunshine, and the compound is enormously important to health–it strengthens bones and the immune system, reduces the risk of various cancers (including breast, colon, kidney, and ovarian cancers) and regulates at least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body.
Answer: B, 20 MINUTES. If you’re lounging pool-side or joining a game of beach volleyball, slather on the SPF 30. But if you’re just running errands outdoors, no need! The only part of your body that should always be protected is your face.
Answer: TRUE. Sun spots occur when too much exposure to UV rays activate and damage the skin’s pigment-producing cells, called melanocytes, causing them to crank out excess pigment (also called melanin) or to clump together and form dark spots on the skin. The good news? There are things you can do to help them fade, like applying a yogurt face mask (the lactic acid lightens and exfoliates skin), using a face serum enriched with Vitamin C, and running a cotton ball soaked in raw pineapple juice over your face.
When the Environmental Working Group analyzed 785 sunscreen products on store shelves, what percentage of them did they find were made from safe ingredients and offered adequate sun protection?
Answer: D, 16%. Not all sunscreens are created equal: brand matters. Find out how your sunscreen fared here.
Answer: FALSE. There are more high SPF products than ever before, but no proof that they’re better. In fact, in 2007 the FDA wrote that SPF values higher than 50 were “inherently misleading,” given that “there is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact truthful.”