Special Report

18 Myths About Sunscreen and Sun Protection

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16. Sunscreen never expires

Sunscreen absolutely expires — usually within three years of purchasing it. Just like food, sunscreen has active ingredients that degrade with time and can spoil. That means the sunscreen is less effective, increasing the risk of sunburns, sun damage, brown spots, and skin cancer.

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17. You can’t get sunburned in the shade

Even if you are hiding under a tree in a shaded place, you\re not safe from the sun’s harmful rays. They can reflect off the concrete or sand, eventually getting to your skin if exposed.

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18. Taking a warm shower when you have sunburn

There are several things people can do to soothe a sunburn, but taking a warm shower is not one of them. You want to keep the sunburnt area clean and cool. Putting ice wrapped in a thin towel on the area, or taking a cold shower to remove any salt residue that can make the burn worse can help, according to Dr. Bonnie Simmons, emergency medicine doctor in Brooklyn, New York. Warm or hot water will only strip whatever remaining natural oils are left on the skin, dehydrating it further and worsening the existing burn.

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