Sunscreen Myths, Tips & Tricks

Are You Wearing Sunscreen?

Are You Wearing Sunscreen?

How much did you love this past weekend of shorts and sandals and beer on decks?

In our house, the impossible occurred. In a miraculous move, the kids departed the virtual world for the real thing. The girl, up earliest to enter a charity sports challenge, enjoyed a full day of fun in the sun. Too bad she can hardly walk today. Oh ya, sunscreen.

It’s hard to get annoyed. At 15, I was the idiot holding a foil-wrapped album cover under my chin to scorch those deadly rays right into my baby-oiled face. It’s a wonder I wasn’t hospitalized.

These days, I still need reminding that my secret desire for what Nana called “a little healthy colour” is just a misguided 80s beauty ideal. In fact, I catch myself trying to get out of protecting my skin with myths all the time. As in sunscreen gives me zits. Or 50 SPF will keep me white. Or opening the sunroof doesn’t count.

Then last week, I was invited to a lunch event hosted by Coppertone, Aerius and HydraSense, and when the topic turned to summer, I listened, shamefaced, as dermatologist Dr. Sonya Cook listed many more sun myths I buy into.

No matter what I tell myself, though, I know this: While the first peek of sun feels glorious, I don’t want skin cancer, and I don’t want more wrinkles. So I’m here to spread the love.


*All sunscreens are created Equal.

NOPE. Check for avobenzone, ecamzule, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide – which have the best UVA coverage. And remember, because we all have different skin and sensitivities, and different lifestyles, you need the right fit. Find your personal sun care profile here.

*Nonmelanoma skin cancers are most often found on face, arms and legs.

NOPE. They are hiding in the spots you forget to protect – ears, back of neck, chest, back of hands. So don’t take any part of you for granted.

*If the bottle says Waterproof, I can swim all day.

NOPE. Reapply every two hours if you’re in the sun, and every hour if you’re in the water.

*I’m lathered head-to-toe, so I’m good to beach it.

NOPE. Sunscreen is the first step. Use a shot glass sized dollop but remember: during peak hours, you need clothing, a hat and shade.

Now that I’ve depressed you, there’s good news. You don’t have to live under a rock all summer. Here are some some tips to help keep you safe and happy outside.


*Hate turning into grease face?

TRICK: Apply powder over sunscreen. That’ll counteract the shine and keep sunscreen from stinging your eyes.

*Always seem to miss a spot?

TRICK: Use lotion as your armour first, then reapply through the day with spray. That way, you’re covered.

*Using sunless tanner to look less pale at the pool?

TRICK: Fake tan is fine (warning: watch for signs of orange) but won’t protect. Think layers, with your sunscreen on top.

Got more sun tips or tricks? Spread the love 

And for a calendar of events, outings and tips to help you choose the right sunscreen for your activities (yes, there are prizes, too), check out the Sunny Planner by Coppertone.


About randi

Randi Chapnik Myers & Mara Shapiro don't get fazed by their teens. At least they try not to.


  1. What a great list of useful tips! Thanks for sharing! I need to put these to use from now on! LOL 🙂

  2. Thanks for posting your sunscreen tips! Perfect timing too, we just got hit with Summer weather here last weekend and I’m glad I ran out and bought sunscreen to protect us!

  3. I’m with you – I was a ‘baby oil baby’ too! Amazing how times have changed!

    Great tips, though – I like the idea of applying lotion as a base and then applying throughout the day with the easy-to-use spray. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for the awesome tips! Both my girls are very fair skinned, do we have to he sunscreen-a-holics over here!

    • Kids today seem more used to using sunscreen. For us moms, it’s harder. I still catch myself convincing myself I won’t really be outside.

  5. Really great tips. I’m sunscreen crazy especially when traveling somewhere warm. People don’t believe me when I tell them they can STILL get a great tan by using sunscreen every 2 hours but you can!

  6. Great sunscreen tips. I was never diligent about using sunscreen until I had kids of my own. And now my face has so many sun spots my daughter is asking me if I’m washing my face enough every day. Have to remember to set my alarm on my phone for 2 hours to reapply! I didn’t know it was that frequent.

  7. That powder tip just made my day – absolutely hate the greasy feel of sunscreen! Mac makes a great non-greasy one for the face, review is here But I will definitely try the powder trick!

  8. I’m super fair skinned and always seem to burn even with sunscreen. I’ll follow your tips and see if I can’t avoid that this summer!

  9. I am super fair skinned, I am so glad I am not a sun lover… I love the spray on protection… I’ll have to check it against your article! Thanks for this very important info!

    ~Laurie @ Vin’yet Etc.

  10. With the incidence of skin cancer on the rise, this is valuable info! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Despite my mother having melanoma and me having 13 out of 16 spots come back precancerous over the past 10 years, I only recently learned that sunscreen that gets hot also decreases SPF by 50%! I now use a thermal pouch to keep mine in with a little cold pack for good measure!

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