Fact versus fiction:
The sun and sunscreen - what you should know. It's a fact that Canadians love the summer's heat, but many of us can't distinguish between the myths and reality of the sun and the effects of UV rays. Even though we can't wait to soak up the sunshine, it's important to know the sun facts from the sun fiction before taking in the rays.

"There are so many myths and misconceptions about the sun and the importance of sunscreen," says Dr. Tom Meyer, Research Director, Coppertone Solar Research Centre. With the UV rays becoming stronger and stronger every year, it's essential that people get the facts and use sunscreen properly."

To ensure you and your family are in-the-know, Coppertone offers the following advice to help dispel the sun myths:

For the greatest protection against sun exposure, you should always choose the maximum available sun protection factor (SPF)

Fact. For the greatest protection against the sun's UV rays, seek the highest broad -spectrum protection. However, before making the purchase, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration including the skin's sensitivity to sunburn, the duration of sun exposure and the type of activity you and your family will be engaging in. Because people have different skin types and lifestyles, instead of choosing the highest broad-spectrum protection, it is important to use a sunscreen that best suits your needs. To accommodate these differences, Coppertone provides a variety of options for various lifestyles - from Coppertone Spectra3 Sunscreens for babies and kids, which rub on easily and are invisible on the skin to Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray that sprays at any angle, even upside down, which is perfect for the active adult.

Skin with more pigment is already protected from the sun

Partly Fact. People who have darker pigmentation have a greater protection from the sun's damaging UV exposure compared to those with fair skin. However, the level of protection varies significantly. Having a tan provides an SPF of about two. Therefore, even pigmented skin can be damaged from exposure to UV rays. It's important that all skin types take the necessary precaution to protect themselves from the sun's harmful rays.

Sun exposure is an important source of Vitamin D

Fiction. Exposure of skin to the sun's UVB rays is a source of Vitamin D. However, the exposure we get from sunlight on a daily basis - whether walking to work or riding a bike - combined with a balanced diet, maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D in the body.

Moisturizing and rest between sun exposure will reduce and/or reverse you risk of sun damage

Fiction. Every minute of sun exposure without sun protection causes skin damage. In some cases, the body naturally prepares the skin, however damage that persists and accumulates in the skin over time cannot be repaired. Keeping your skin well moisturized may improve its appearance and suppleness, but will not prevent UV damage nor enhance repair of UV damage.

For tips on how to protect your skin against the sun's harmful rays or to learn which sunscreen is best for your lifestyle, visit

-News Canada

The Coppertone Tips

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