Have you ever been put off trying something new because of the misconceptions around it? To then find that your negative associations were false all along? Yes, we have too, and this feature is here to remove any pre-judgements, so you can try new things that may change your life for the better.

Whatever it may be, we'll do the investigative work to give you some peace of mind that your time isn't being wasted.

As skincare enthusiasts and self-care practitioners, we've embraced the world of brightening exfoliators, powerhouse bottles of retinol, and serums that boast anti-aging properties. But the one product that trumps all of the above is the one most often overlooked: sunscreen. While TikTok dermatologists and YouTube beauty gurus are helping to stress the importance of sun protection, there are still enduring misconceptions that may be undermining your well-crafted (and likely pricey) skincare routine! So with the help of the experts at Kiehl's and Typology, we're clearing up the most popular misconceptions.

You only need to wear SPF when it’s sunny out.
I wish this were the case because as Londoners, we would only need to apply sunscreen, say, 5 times a year? If we’re lucky! But alas, the sun doesn’t work that way. As Gerwyn, Local Head of Education at Kiehl's explains, "You absolutely do need to wear SPF 365 days a year, even in the depths of winter or the heights of summer." That goes for all of us working from home, too, as "UVA penetrates glass so if you’re an environment inside, your skin may still be exposed to sun damage." 

People with darker skin tones don’t need to wear SPF.
While my tanned skin has never taken a beating from the sun resulting in a visible sunburn or sore, it’s not invincible to the sun’s rays. Take it from Typology’s formulator, Fatima, who advises that, “Although darker skin tones have a higher melanin content, they still need protection from sun exposure." Darker skin tones may not see the immediate visible impact of the sun but UVA and UVB rays can have longer-lasting effects such as "premature skin ageing and even melanoma cancer." And with that in mind, we don't advise waiting to see it to believe it!

Mineral sunscreens leave a white cast that chemical sunscreens don’t.
It’s common knowledge that mineral sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin whereas chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin. This difference in mechanism has given mineral sunscreens quite the reputation for leaving a white, chalky cast – and it's not the best look for darker skin tones. But it’s time to quash this over-arching negative outlook. This misconception stems from the fact that the minerals in these sunscreens “absorb UVA & UVB meaning they will leave an element of a tint on the skin,” Gerwyn elaborates.

While not every mineral sunscreen is up to scratch, the trick is to find a light, non-greasy texture. Case in point: the Kiehls Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Mineral Sunscreen. I admit I felt slight trepidation when the slight brown tint oozed out of the bottle but as you can see (or rather can’t), because of the lightweight formula there’s no white cast in sight. 

You need to wear an SPF of 50 to stay protected.
In our society, we’re conditioned to think that more is more (hello capitalism!) and in the case of sunscreen, this is actually true! But only when it comes to the amount you use and not the SPF number (which indicates its power to block the UVB rays responsible for sunburn).

Take the Typology: Rayons - 10001 SPF 30, for example. You may think it's weaker than its SPF 50 counterparts but as Fatima explains, “The effectiveness of an SPF is defined by the dose of cream applied to the skin. It is recommended to apply 2 mg of sunscreen per cm² of skin to ensure effective protection against UV rays.” What’s more is that no amount of SPF 50 will protect you if you apply it once in the morning and are off on your way! In fact, you should “renew the application of sunscreen, whatever its index, every 2 hours." So remember to carry a nifty bottle with you at all times.

Stay protected all year round with the sunscreens below:

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