Let’s be honest – not everything you see online, hear from friends, or read in magazines is true when it comes to summer skincare.

In fact, there are so many weird and wacky myths and crazy claims floating around it’s difficult to separate the truth from fiction.

For your skin’s sake, world-renowned dermatologist and founder of Crème Classique, Dr Hardie de Beer busts these summer skincare myths once and for all.

Sunburn

Myth #1: You don’t have to wear sunscreen on cloudy days

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Fact: Sunscreen is something you must apply every single day, both indoors and outdoors, whether the sky is clear or cloudy. Harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun can penetrate the clouds and harm your skin if you are not wearing a layer of protection. Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20 to 30.

Myth #2: Vinegar or butter can help sooth a sunburn

Fact: When it comes to treating sunburn, stick to moisturiser or cooling gel rather than kitchen supplies. Vinegar would irritate the skin because it’s too acidic, while applying butter literally fries your skin. Crème Classique Safari Sunscreen SPF 40 protects the skin against both UVA and UVB rays and is effective for two to five hours during swimming.

Pigmentation and age spots

Myth # 1: Age spots and pigmentation are just part and parcel of growing old

Fact: Uneven skin tone and brown spots can strike at any age, and are triggered by environmental exposure that leads to enzymes on the skin’s surface causing visible imperfections.

To lighten stubborn dark spots, use products containing hydroquinone and those designed to ‘brighten’ the skin. In order for these products to work, applying broad spectrum sun protection 365 days a year is absolutely required.

Myth 2: Pigmentation is genetic. Once you have it, there’s no way of preventing it 

Fact: While you may be genetically susceptible to brown spots such as freckles, the best way to prevent it is strict adherence to sun protection, including daily use of sunscreen, as well as prompt reversal of existing pigmentation and a maintenance regimen after that.

Crème Classique Blemish Repair and Blemish Lotion can be used to lighten spots of pigmentation that occur during the use of contraceptive pills, pregnancy and sun exposure. Crème Classique Blemish Lotion can be used during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and the Blemish Repair can be used if not pregnant or breastfeeding (Blemish Repair is a resorcinol product, and is not to be used during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.)

Rashes

Myth #1: A rash needs to be treated by a doctor immediately

Fact: Most rashes will disappear in just two days, but if the rash persists for more than a few days, it is recommended to see a doctor.

Other signs and symptoms, such as swelling, skin discoloration (besides redness) like purple or black, bleeding and excess peeling of the skin, all warrant the assessment of a physician.

Difficulty breathing, nausea and dizziness needs the immediate attention of a doctor, as these are signs of a medical emergency.

Myth #2: Only babies, toddlers and children suffer from heat rash

Fact: Although heat rash (miliaria) is more common in young children, it can occur at any age. When the sweat glands become blocked, the sweat accumulates under the skin leading to inflammation and a heat rash.

Ice packs may be used to treat the rash, as can cornflour.

Stings (insect or jellyfish)

Myth #1: Bee stings are always dangerous

Fact: If you’re not allergic to bee stings, the average person can tolerate 10 stings per one pound of body weight. Most adults can tolerate more than 1 000 stings. 500 stings may be fatal for children. Consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns about bee stings.

Myth #2: I won’t get stung by a jellyfish if I stay close to the shore

Fact: About 90% of jellyfish stings occur in less than one metre of water. Jellyfish stings typically occur on the lower legs, at the water’s surface (in as little as two to three centimetres of water).

Scarring

Myth # 1: Scars cannot be removed

Fact: A scar can take 12 to 18 months to form completely, and can take as long as 24 months to disappear.

If scars do not go away, a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon may be able to assist. Many scars can be removed by lasers or surgery. A red scar on a wound from a cosmetic or surgical procedure is the result of new blood vessels forming at the site of the skin injury, to form new cells. This redness is a normal indication of healing and is no indication of the final result once the wound has fully healed.

Crème Classique Rejuvenating & Scar Serum stimulates existing collagen, new collagen formulation and elastic fibres of the skin. Improvements of scars may be seen after six months.

Myth # 2: Sunlight can help heal acne scars

Fact: UV radiations from the sun can stimulate the melanocytes under the skin. This darkens the scar and slows the healing process.

Going out in the sun can also increase the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. You should always protect your skin from the sun.

  • Do not go out between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Before going out, put on sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher.
  • The longer you stay in the sun, the higher SPF your sunscreen needs.
  • Also, choose broad-spectrum sunscreen since this type can help protect your skin against both UVA and UVB.
  • Because sunscreen cannot protect your skin 100%, you should wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, mask and a hat if you go into the sun.