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Health Myth: I Use Sunscreen, So I Should be Safe from Skin Burns, Wrinkles, and Cancer

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Sunburn related image Photo: Getty Images

Sunscreen is great, and it’s fantastic that you try to use it every time you go out in the sun. But one study mentioned in a Prevention online article stated that nine out of 10 people don’t do a good enough job when applying sunscreen.

So what’s the deal? Just like condoms, its effectiveness is only as good as how well you put it on—every time. According to the article, the right way to apply is to use a full ounce of lotion with each application to adequately cover your whole body. Focus on each area you are applying lotion to, and don’t forget feet, tops of ears, temples, and the back of your neck. Additionally, don’t forget to re-apply once you’ve been in the sun for a couple hours, like most bottles of sunscreen recommend.

Did you also know you should put the lotion directly on your skin, and not on your hands first? Putting it on your hands first can make the lotion that’s supposed to be protecting your skin stick to your palms. Don’t like sunscreen? Opt for a wide-brimmed hat and dressing to cover your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Do you have a question about skin conditions? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

Prevention: 14 Health Mistakes Even Smart Women Make
EmpowHER: Sunscreen: Things You Need to Know

Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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EmpowHER Guest

Nice article, sunscreen is definitely not a panacea, and not just because people don't always apply it correctly. Petrochemical sunscreens have various side effects, including estrogenic activity and exhibit bioaccumulation since most get abosrbed through your skin and into your blood, tissue, nervous system and organs.
Additionally, most medical literature has found that sunscreen users don't have a reduced rate of melanoma. There are several potential causes for this observation, including that petrochemical sunscreens, all of which are benzene derivatives, actually do direct DNA damage which results in carcinogenesis. This coupled with UV induced oxidative pressure is not a good combination.

If you really want to avoid sun damage, avoid the sun and use a zinc oxide formula such as Green Screen Organic Sunscreen [product link removed by EmpowHER moderator].
Also noteworthy for the Moms out there - zinc oxide is the only sunscreen active ingredient that's approved by FDA for use on children and babies - all the other formulas haven't been tested on children despite their 'child formula' marketing claims and have as such NOT been demonstrated as safe.

March 3, 2011 - 12:12pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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