download GirlStyle Singapore app
5 Common Sunscreen Myths You Should Stop Believing, Stat

5 Common Sunscreen Myths You Should Stop Believing, Stat

Beauty Skincare
By Shairah on 23 Feb 2023
Project Editor

By now, you should already have your sun protection routine down pat...or maybe not.


We get it: Sunscreen can be confusing. How much do I need to apply? What do all those numbers on the bottle mean? Do I really need it when it's raining outside?

To help you navigate this UVA and UVB-ridden minefield, here are some common sun protection myths debunked so you can ensure your precious skin is properly protected all day, everyday.

Myth #1: I only need to wear sunscreen on sunny days

In sunny Singapore where it’s summer all year-round, sunscreen is a must. But surely not on cloudy days too? 

FALSE: Unfortunately, clouds can only filter less than 25 percent of the sun’s UV rays. This means your skin will still be susceptible to UV damage. While you do not have to go to the same lengths on a cloudy day as you would on a hot day at the beach, it is still important to take precautions all year-round.

What if you spend most of your time indoors? You should still apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, especially if you’re seated next to a window. That’s because ultraviolet A (UVA) rays can still penetrate through glass, making you susceptible to UV damage.

Myth #2: I don’t need to wear sunscreen if my makeup has SPF


A full face of foundation with SPF 25: I’m good to go, right?

FALSE: In the case of sun protection, more is always better. Yes, it is good to layer on products with SPF but relying only on makeup for SPF protection is not enough. Think of makeup as a second line of defence, rather than your sole source of sun protection.

Sun protection depends on the amount applied. You need approximately half a teaspoon worth of sunscreen to protect your face and neck. As it is unlikely that you apply that much foundation, you should definitely double up on UV protection by applying sunscreen underneath your makeup.

 Photo from Pexel

Myth #3:  I don’t need to reapply sunscreen

FALSE: Sun protection is not a one-and-done situation – you need to apply sunscreen throughout the day.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. And if you’re sweating or swimming, reapply more often even if the product is water- or sweat-resistant.

Tip: Apply sunscreen about 15-20 minutes before heading out. This is especially crucial for chemical sunscreens as they need time to be absorbed into the skin before they start to work.

Myth #4: People with darker skin tones don’t need SPF

FALSE: Darker-skinned folks naturally produce more melanin, natural pigments which give the skin colour and absorbs the sun’s damaging UV rays. So while darker skin does provide some protection equivalent to SPF4, it does not make them immune.

Aside from burning, UVA rays (which cause skin ageing and wrinkles) affect skin equally – regardless of colour. Therefore, no matter your age, gender or race, you should use sunscreen daily.

Myth #5: The higher the SPF, the longer I am protected

FALSE: You’d be forgiven for thinking that SPF30 offers twice as much protection as SPF 15. But forget about simple maths when it comes to UV protection.

SPF refers to how much of the sun’s rays the sunscreen filters, not how long it lasts. SPF30 filters about 96.7 percent of UV radiation while SPF50+ filters 98 percent of UV. As you can see, there isn’t a significant increase in protection from SPF 30 onwards. So whether you use SPF 30 or SPF 100, you need to reapply it at least every two hours. 

Stay on top of the latest beauty news and participate in exclusive giveaways by joining our Telegram channel now!