Five Common Sunburn Myths That Are Not True

Saturday 26th Mar 2022 |

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it is often overlooked when it comes to protecting it from the sun. So many people are unaware of how they should be protecting their skin in order to avoid uncomfortable sunburn. Sunburn is a painful condition caused by prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays. 

The pain usually starts at the site of the burn, but it has been known to spread throughout the body. While sunburn is generally harmless, it can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Not to mention the discomfort that is created in the skin when it has been sunburned. 

These are five myths about sunburn that aren’t true, and what you can do to protect yourself from getting burned. 

“I Won’t Get Sunburned In The Shade”

Firstly, this is one of the most popular misconceptions when it comes to UV protection. While shade is technically defined as the darker areas which are caused by clouds or certain buildings blocking the sunlight, there are some exceptions. 

You can still get burned in the shade, especially if there are holes or gaps in the material used for shade. It is typically recommended that you stick to trees with denser foliage or more solid roof shades for a break from the sunlight. Another option for sunny beach days or picnics is to look for a dermatologist-recommended sun umbrella, which has better UV protection and will protect your skin a little better from sunburn. 

Common Sunburn Myths“I Only Need To Apply Sunscreen Once For The Day”

No matter how thick your first coat of sunscreen is, it will not last all day. Even the most expensive, high-end brands will need to be reapplied after two hours in the sun. It can wear off in the water or with any type of movement, which leaves areas of the skin more exposed to UV rays. This can lead to uncomfortable sunburn, so it is essential that you are reapplying sunscreen regularly. It is also worth applying sunscreen before heading out into the sun so that it can soak into the skin. Consider using a high-quality lip balm or chapstick that has UV protection or SPF in, and protect your eyes and head using sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. 

“I’m Protected From Sunburn Because My Skin Tone Is Dark”

While it is a common preconception that darker skin tones are naturally more protected from the sun, people with darker skin still need to apply sunscreen regularly when they are in the sun. Sunburn for these skin types may not look like pink irritated areas, but excessive exposure to the sun can lead to increased signs of aging, wrinkles, and even discoloration. It is generally recommended that everyone should take sun protection seriously in order to avoid burning and the long-term consequences which can be seen on the skin. 

“I Don’t Need To Worry About The Sun In The Water”

Just because swimming in the ocean, pools, or lakes can cool your skin down during warmer days, doesn’t mean that you are protected from the harsh rays of the sun. In fact, most bodies of water can actually mimic a magnifying glass, which makes the effects of the sun much more severe. Make sure you are regularly applying a waterproof sunscreen that will prevent sunburn if you plan on swimming during a sunny day. The UV can actually penetrate further when you are in the water. 

“I Won’t Get Sunburn Through A Window”

While tinted car windows can act as a UV filter that reduces the effects of the sun on the skin, it is worth noting that you are still exposed to the sun if you are in a car. Most vehicles do not have tinted windows, and they don’t act as a complete block against the sun. If you are planning a long road trip when the sun is a little more intense during the warmer months, it could be worth adding some covers to your car windows to prevent burning. You can still get burned through windows, so you should take appropriate preventative measures. 


There are many myths that people typically believe when it comes to sun protection, but it is worth acknowledging how exposed to harmful UV rays you are on a regular basis. Consider the necessary preventative measures such as shading material that has UV protection, and reapplying sunscreen every two hours. Most importantly, enjoy the sunlight and fresh air!

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