The Seven Most Common Sunscreen Myths—Debunked!

Let's be honest—we've all been guilty of being negligent in our use of sunscreen at one time or another. Sometimes it's out of pure laziness, other times it's the result of skewed logic—like the belief that a sunburn will turn into a gorgeous tan. But there are also a lot of misconceptions and unknown facts about the stuff out there, too.

So I turned to New York-based dermatologist Dr. Paul Frank to set the record straight on some of the most common sunscreen myths around.

Read on for everything you need to know before lathering up this summer.

MYTH SPF 50 has the same effect as SPF 30

"What is important is that the ingredients contain a physical block such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which will deflect harmful rays—as opposed to a chemical block such as octinoxate, which absorbs rays. Both are sunblocks, but physical sunscreens provide better protection. Therefore, the ingredients are key—not necessarily the SPF number.

I suggest a broad spectrum SPF 30 and it should be reapplied every 1-2 hours; they’re changing laws now because one company’s 50 is another company’s 70—what’s key is that it is broad spectrum and you’re diligent about reapplying."