This blog post officially ends our SPF Myths three-part series. But don’t fret! We decided to debunk a few extra myths this time around… so you can better practice safe sun. Now, let’s talk SPF!

MYTH: Sunscreen does not expire.

New Zealand weather can be unpredictable at the best of times, and we all know that sun exposure can be particularly harmful in our small part of the world. When summer comes around we swap our sneakers for jandals, and grab our beach towels and head off to the beach for the day. Often, we forget that the half-used bottle of sunscreen we left in the cupboard last year, may have now expired. When it is time to use that product again, be sure to check the bottle or the can for an expiration date, because SPF does expire. Once sunscreen expires, the product will begin to lose its effectiveness and the SPF listed on the bottle may no longer be accurate, as active ingredients begin to break down over time. Because of this, we always recommend using your product before expiration date to ensure you are receiving full SPF protection.

MYTH: People of colour do not need sunscreen.

A recent survey found that 63% of people who have darker skin tones do not wear sunscreen. Having an increase of melanin in your skin does provide a bit of protection, however, it is a myth that people of colour do not need suncare. While it is much more common for a caucasian person to be diagnosed with melanoma, it is still possible for a person of colour to get skin-related illnesses. In fact, people of colour have the lowest five-year survival rate. Many dark skinned people do not get sunburned, however, as discussed in SPF Myths Part 1, sun damage doesn’t necessarily come from a single sunburn and is cumulative. Those with more melanin should still regularly wear sunscreen, as well as reapply consistently.

While most, regardless of skin colour, do not totally love that white cast from mineral-based sunscreens, many companies, including COOLA, have created sheer suncare using the latest FDA-approved chemical actives and are the EWG’s highest-ranking non-mineral lotion and spray lotions. By formulating with over 70%+ certified organic ingredients, our formulas are designed with sensitive skin in mind, and provide completely transparent application!

MYTH: Applying a higher SPF level means more time in the sun!

SPF stands for sun protection factor. Sunscreens are classified by an SPF number which refers to their ability to deflect UVB rays. The SPF rating is calculated by comparing the amount of time it takes you to burn with and without sunscreen. For example, if you typically show signs of sunburn within 10 minutes of being exposed without protection, an SPF 30 sunscreen, when used as directed, should protect you for 300 minutes (30 times 10 minutes). Additionally, an SPF 30 will protect you from approximately 97% of UV rays, while SPF 50 will filter out about 99% of rays.

Regardless of the SPF level, brand, or active ingredients, as a general guideline, we strongly advise reapplying every two hours or after swimming or sweating for continued protection against UVB and UVA. While you might not get burned after 2 hours, it’s necessary to reapply to protect yourself against those equally damaging UVA rays.

Helpful memorisation tool: UVA = UV-Aging and UVB = UV-Burning

Thank you for trusting COOLA with all of your suncare needs. We hope debunking these myths has allowed for a better understanding regarding sun protection. From the very beginning, our mission has been to bring you better products, create a better community, and contribute to developing a better world, all while making you look and feel your natural, radiant best.


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