I live an outdoor life, what can I do to keep my skin safe in the sun?
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! As the spring breezes turn into long hot summer days it is a reminder that sun protection is a must for a happy, healthy, safe summer. With statistics showing us one out of every five Americans will develop some type of skin cancer over the course of their lifetime, it is imperative to prevent over exposure to the sun and protect ourselves. And, with early detection and treatment most skin cancers are often curable.
During skin cancer awareness month it is important to remember that skin cancer is the leading cancer here in the USA. It is estimated that there will be about 137,990 new cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, in 2014— 61,300 noninvasive (in situ) and 76,690 invasive (45,060 men and 31,630 women)(1). Studies show that over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined (2).
Here are some facts and tips for preventing sun damage throughout the year:
Seek out the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM, this is when the UV index is at its highest and you are more susceptible to the damaging effects of UVA/UVB rays.
- Do not burn – kind of a no brainer right, but we have all had a sunburn, so prevention is key!
- You should always use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For all of your fun outdoor activities, use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Are you using the right amount of sun protectant? Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
- Are you reapplying? You should reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths because this is where you are just asking for wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, age spots and in extreme cases sun cancer. Just one indoor tanning session increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another two percent. (3)
- Try and wear protective clothing, including a wide brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. The fashion selections and options are endless!
- Don’t forget the kiddos, keep newborns out of the sun and remember that sunscreens only should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Self-checks are important, as well, so examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your physician every year for a professional skin exam over the age of 35.
MyChelle is passionate about creating pure, non-toxic, effective skin care products including sun protectants. We offer naturally scented and unscented, environmentally-safe, full spectrum UVA/UVB sun defense products that provide powerfully effective protection, yet are gentle enough for children 6 months and older. Our amazing sun protectants are non-irritating near the eyes and contain translucent Zinc and Titanium Dioxides, which are a safe alternative to harsh chemical sunscreens. All of our sun products are free of Retinyl Palmitate and chemical UV absorbers, such as Oxybenzone and PABA.
Check out our Sun Shield SPF 28 Coconut or Sun Shield SPF 28 Unscented, a Chemical-free protection with ZinClear™ and Titanium Dioxide to shield against UV damage. This is a lightweight, easy to use product that leaves the skin soft and smooth without any tacky residues.
If you’re looking for a little extra TLC from your sun care products, try the MyChelle Replenishing Solar Defense SPF 30. This fabulous product will repair and avert photo-damage brought on by the sun’s aging rays while maintaining protective moisture. ZinClear ™ a non-opaque Zinc Oxide provides natural protection against both UVA and UVB, without harsh chemicals. And, a blend of Kukui and Macadamia oils combined with Red Algae reduce the look of lines and wrinkles brought on by environmental stress. This is a great Titanium Dioxide-free option.
If you are someone who wants fewer steps and a simplified routine then look no further than the Daily Defense SPF 17. Nourishing ingredients and Zinc Oxide hydrate and protect in one step! Astaxanthin, from Hawaiian Microalgae, reduces appearance of fine lines, and Beta-Glucan helps skin retain moisture.
With an array of MyChelle options to keep your skin looking good and feeling great just remember to never skip the most important step in your skin care regimen, your sun protection!
(1) American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2014.
(2) Stern, RS. Prevalence of a history of skin cancer in 2007: results of an incidence-based model. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):279-282.
(3) Boniol M, Autier P, Boyle P, Gandini S. Cutaneous melanoma attributable to sunbed use: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2012; 345:e4757. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e4757
Catie Wiggy is the Director of Education for MyChelle Dermaceuticals. She has been working in the skin care industry for over 13 years as a makeup artist, brand educator, manager, innovator and licensed esthetician. She holds several certifications in esthetics and has hands-on experience with chemical peels, microdermabrasions, acne management and anti-aging treatments.