Sharing moments Menopause Young adults Bye bye Hotel Mum How you feel at home Semester abroad Language course abroad or work as an au pair? Be prepared for military training Grassrooted Pack smarter, travel better Make an impression Contraception Vegan diet Bye bye Hotel Mum – hello shared flat Big trip, small budget Finanzielle Vorsorge Planning a family Tracking fertility The right time? How men can help Fertility and diet Medical check-up What you need to know about ovulation What to do if you don’t conceive straight away Three electronic fertility and cycle trackers in comparison Planning a family and partnership Pregnancy Examinations during pregnancy Diet and nutrition Is my pregnancy progressing normally? Tips for daily life Important points for travel and holidays Is my pregnancy progressing normally? What items do I need for my baby? Where and how do I want to give birth? What do I need to pack for the hospital? How should I prepare my home for my child? Is my pregnancy progressing normally? How can I best prepare for my baby? How can I best prepare for the birth? Nutrition Parent-child relationship Preparing for breastfeeding | Sanitas Magazine Insurance Stretch marks Sleep Rupture of membranes Baby blues High-risk pregnancy Braxton Hicks & false labour Formalitites Morning sickness Family rooms Signs of a premature birth Our baby Bathing baby – what you need to know How babies hear Infant first-aid kit Baby care Is my baby developing normally? Month-to-month overview of baby development Is my baby developing normally? Baby’s development: Months 3 and 4 Baby care Breastfeeding When does a baby start eating? Weight Baby growth spurts Toys Sun protection for baby skin Teething Milk teeth: what to do in case of accident Baby’s development: Months 5 and 6 Pelvic floor exercises after birth Babyschlaf Celebrating and enjoyment Christmas and New Year’s Eve with a twist A philosophical take on pleasure Pleasure can also be found in the soup kitchen in Zurich Tips for a peaceful and stress-free Christmas Living better with cardiac insufficiency Alejandro Iglesias Hana Disch Patrizio Orlando Vaccinations and travel first-aid kit Hay fever In pursuit of happiness Seven tips for a happier daily life Kids in lockdown Online addiction Women's hearts Decisions Decision-making tips Report from the hospital Donating a kidney Life decisions Emigrating to South America Geocaching Sexuality Erectile dysfunction Young people and sexuality Queer pastor Drag queen Paprika Sexually transmitted infections What does LGBTQIA+ stand for? Gender medicine HPV Families of transgender people Medically assisted suicide Types of dementia Be active Active during pregnancy Sport and exercise during pregnancy Antenatal exercise classes Standing properly Healthy eating Green smoothies Vitamin D Good eggs, bad eggs Diet plan Healthy fats Feed your muscles How much sugar should we eat a day? How much fat should we eat a day? Lactose intolerance Healthy diet, strong immune system Low Carb E-numbers and other additives in food Personalised diet Vegan meat substitutes Healthy heart Interview with Christophe Wyss Heart-friendly sports How the mind affects the heart Taking blood pressure correctly High blood pressure: what you need to know Healthy teeth Home remedies: relief for sore gums A dentist explains Brushing up on brushing Changing habits Interview Stortpsychologie 10-step guide to changing habits Try, try, try again Fitnessmotivation Running coaching Running ABC Race in Sarnen Factors affecting condition Weekly planner Running shoes Strengthening exercises Running nutrition Complementary sport Warm-up Stretching Functional clothing Fitness tracker Shopping – sportswear Running tips for women Relaxation technique Recovery New lease of life thanks to Sanitas running coaching Sport after childbirth Postnatal exercise Taking the strain off your shoulders Kangatraining Workout while walking Expert tips Stress and relaxation Moving air Fight stress with yoga What is stress Learn how to relax Dealing with stress What is burnout? “The first step was to create boundaries” Juggling family and a career Reduce stress Stressor factors The most beautiful Swiss saunas Sweating in the sauna Breathing exercises for relaxation The right rest & recovery: debunking myths Mindfulness Sleep Constant availability: chronic stress Trend sports Fitness boxing Slackline Bouldering Fascia training Stand Up Paddling Keeping fit efficiently Swing with a smile! Vertical workout Hiking Altitude sickness Seven stroller-friendly hikes Needed: a hiking-friendly pushchair There goes the other sole! Tips on hiking with a baby Mountain lakes Winter walks Planning a family: Fertility and exercise Stair climbing Pumptrack Kids’ back Back exercises Sitting properly at work Forest fun Playing for life Promoting health and fitness Motivation Sledging Curling glossary What do you get if you cross a kite with snow? Snowshoeing Preventing falls Inline skating Swimming Swimming Wings for Life Stretching Bike tips Stretching exercises for cyclists koerper-und-kaelte Healthy teeth thanks to dental hygiene and preventive care Putting wishes into practice Tips for healthy teeth Hometraining Investigating teeth-related myths 10 tips to ease anxiety Hand care How our body regenerates The best abdominal exercises in five minutes Keeping fit on holiday Swim training aids Wie viel Sport ist gesund Gathering mushrooms – the right way | Sanitas Magazine Check-ups Five-minute stretching routine Gehirntraining Rückenschmerzen Licht Yogastile Ayurveda-Morgenroutine Tips for doing sport outside in winter Cross-country skiing for beginners Home remedies against dandruff Home remedies Home remedies for bladder infections Home remedies for a sore throat Home remedies for migraines Home remedies against excessive sweating Home remedies for a sun allergy Healthy feet, healthy back core exercises for mountain bikers Symptoms Check Sport after Corona HIIT: quick and efficient exercises Sore muscles: debunking myths Debunking swimming myths strength training for young people Exercise videos Whole-body workout Fascia training Lack of exercise Sun protection Strong mind How to be mentally strong Mental strength Psychosomatics Resilience Tips against feeling down Sleep hygiene and mental well-being Depression Panic attacks Prescription drug addiction ADHD: Symptoms in children and adults Mental illness: help for friends and family Living with autism Pressure to perform Alcoholism Blood: myths and facts Hormones Complementary medicine: the most common treatments Complementary medicine Training in line with your menstrual cycle Living together today Digital life Online addiction Digital temptation Children and digital media Smartphone neck Digital responsibility and solidarity Our brains love habit Change my habits? You’re joking! Planning a family: Difficulties trying to have a baby Planning a family: Myth vs fact Solidarity study Newcomers Living together tomorrow Digital nomads Giesserei multi-generation house The blind film director Help instead of rent Working on the move Medical practices of the future Our skin – layer by layer Generational discussion: wishes for life Hausarzt und Corona Safe return to work Corona crisis: singing together Corona crisis: Working in intensive care Corona crisis: working in a nursing home Rest and recovery: learning from children Corona crisis: voluntary work for the needy Second opinion Relationships and children Three questions that keep us awake at night Outing The nature of lying Vorsorge Finding sound health-related information online Impfstoffe entwickeln Tipps für Jugendliche in der Corona-Krise Becoming parents Diagnose: Kind im Haus Long Covid Take it easy in your free time YouTuber Aditotoro on the coronavirus pandemic Minimalism for a happy life Thanks to corona: more time for family Back to life after a paragliding accident Decluttering: the answer to chaos Living and loving with autism Synaesthesia Talking to doctors Non-verbal communication Is there really a serial killer gene? Developments for the future App check Aqualert SRC blood donor Codecheck Forest Freedom Freeletics Moment Three sleep apps reviewed PeakFinder Findery Six fitness apps reviewed Internet use High-tech trousers Prostheses Hospital of the future New skin for burns victims Online-Therapien How drugs are developed Generics A vision of the future: How we will live in 30 years Onward Overcoming erectile dysfunction Family medicine practices of the future Personalised medicine A voice for Clara Sanitas newsletter

Myths and facts about sun protection

When the sun shines, everyone is drawn outside with the promise of barbecues, hikes and swimming. But, as we all know, UV rays are harmful to the skin. How can we protect ourselves from the sun? 10 myths and facts about skin health. Do you know your sun facts?

Text: Julie Freudiger; photo: Unsplash

The sun’s UV rays accelerate skin ageing and increase the risk of skin cancer. That’s pretty much common knowledge now. But myths also abound about sun protection. How often do we need to reapply sunscreen? And why is a mineral sunscreen better – or is it? 10 myths: true or false?

Myth 1: Some sunscreens protect your skin the whole day

Every skin has its own protection against harmful UV radiation. Lighter-skinned people are more sensitive to sun exposure and damage. Sunscreen prolongs your skin’s own protection by the factor indicated on the packaging. For example, a very fair-skinned person has “built-in” protection of about 10 minutes. Wearing SPF 30 means you could be in the sun for around 300 minutes. But sunbathing with a stopwatch is pure theory. Firstly, many people underestimate their skin’s sensitivity. That’s why the Swiss Cancer League stopped recommending protection based on skin type many years ago. And secondly, sweat, water and exercise will rub off the sunscreen before the maximum duration is reached.

Myth 2: Reapplying sunscreen prolongs your protection

Many sun worshippers believe that reapplying sunscreen means they are protected all over again. But that’s not true. Regardless of skin type, the specified protection is only valid once per day. Nevertheless, you still have to reapply cream every now and then to maintain the protection, because the creams do not stick.

Myth 3: No sunscreen is truly waterproof

A sunscreen that stands up to anything would be handy, but unfortunately there is no such thing. Creams are considered “water-resistant” if they still offer at least 50% of the declared protection after being wet. So even water-resistant sunscreens definitely need to be reapplied after swimming to maintain protection. 

Myth 4: the more sunscreen the better

That’s actually true. Most people don’t use enough sunscreen. This is not an area where you want to cut corners. If you don’t apply enough sunscreen, your sun protection can be reduced significantly. The Swiss Cancer League recommends applying plenty of sunscreen once and then reapplying after 15 minutes. This also protects the areas that were perhaps forgotten the first time.

Myth 5: The protection provided by sunscreen does not take effect immediately

This is false. However, it is a good idea to let the sunscreen dry on your skin first before you go out in the sun and sweat. When the cream holds better on the skin, it is less likely to rub off. Ideally, you should apply the cream about 30 minutes before going into the sun.

Myth 6: Sun promotes the formation of dangerous moles

Some moles are genetic. Others only develop during the course of your life, with sun exposure promoting their formation. Moles are basically harmless, but in some cases they can develop into skin cancer. According to the Swiss Cancer League, one-fifth of all melanomas result from an existing mole. Most are newly formed. However, if you have more than 100 moles, you belong to the risk group and should protect yourself particularly well from the sun and regularly check your skin for changes.

Myth 7: The same sun protection rules apply to athletes

It’s natural that if you do sport, you sweat. Drying off the sweat or having contact with water reduces the sun protection significantly. It is essential to reapply sunscreen frequently and to use a product with a high sun protection factor. If you are exposed to the sun all day, you should also protect yourself by wearing trousers, long sleeves and a sun hat. UV radiation is particularly high in the mountains, increasing by about 10% for every 1,000 metres of altitude. Water sports also pose an increased risk, as the reflection of the water intensifies the UV radiation. If you spend longer on the water, special UV textiles are recommended. By the way: the best time to do sport in the summer is early in the morning up until about 10 am.

Myth 8: You should apply sunscreen before mosquito and tick repellent

The best way to do it is to let the sunscreen soak in for about 30 minutes before applying any mosquito and tick repellents. This is due to the product properties. While sunscreen absorbs easily into the skin, water-soluble mosquito and tick repellents lie on top. This also means that the mosquito repellent tends to last a little less long than sunscreen and needs to be reapplied more often. 

Myth 9: Strong sunlight triggers cold sores

The lips are often forgotten when it comes to sun protection. Unlike other parts of the body, however, these are particularly exposed to UV rays. Exposure to strong sunlight not only triggers cold sores, it also causes the skin around the lips to age more quickly. They lose volume, and fine lines can appear around the mouth. Last but not least, the lips are also at risk of skin cancer.

Myth 10: Mineral UV filters are better than chemical ones

Chemical (organic) and/or mineral (physical) UV filters are responsible for the protection in sunscreens. Chemical filters absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat, while physical filters reflect it. The advantage of chemical filters is that they provide very high protection which is not achieved with mineral filters. Plus, sunscreens with chemical filters absorb better into the skin. Animal experiments have shown hormone-like effects from chemical filters, but the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) says that this is not known to occur in humans. A further drawback is that certain chemical filters can bleach coral, whereas mineral UV filters are much more environmentally friendly. They are especially recommended for babies and toddlers as they are kinder on the skin. On the other hand, they are more difficult to apply. Some mineral sunscreens contain nanoparticles that are suspected of being absorbed into the body, but this has not been not scientifically proven. So, it’s up to you and your requirements whether you opt for a chemical or mineral sunscreen. In fact, many manufacturers combine both.