Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May is Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month, so it's a great time to think about protecting your skin if you're not already doing so. I know I've talked about this before, but it's something that is near and dear to my heart - and I don't want to see anyone develop skin cancer because they didn't practice sun safety.

Sephora has just listed their annual Sun Safety Kit. For $25, you get 10 sunscreens, 2 uv-monitor bracelets, and a pink makeup bag ($95 value). 100% of the profits go to the Skin Cancer Foundation!! Don't hesitate, because these sell out quickly. I bought last years set and it was great to be able to try different sunscreens. This year's set has:

- 0.10 oz Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 in Lemon and Chamomile
- 0.25 oz Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Defense Lotion SPF 30
- 0.16 oz Kate Somerville Protect SPF 55 Serum Sunscreen
- 0.27 oz Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse SPF 15
- 0.16 oz Cover FX BritePrep FX Brightening Foundation Primer & Photo-Aging Defense SPF 50
- 0.34 oz Bliss Best of Skintentions Daily Moisturizer SPF 15
- 0.23 oz Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 60 PA+++
- 0.25 oz Ole Henriksen Herbal Day Cream SPF 15
- 0.25 oz Smashbox Photo Finish UVA/UVB SPF 15
- 0.02 oz Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Multi-tasking Face SPF 20 in Summer Bisque
- Pink Sephora makeup bag
- 2 x single-use UVSunSense UV monitoring bracelets

Did you know that there are many sunscreens out there that don't provide adequate UVA protection? UVA rays make up 95% of the UV spectrum - and they're the ones that cause aging/skin damage. UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn and they're strongest at midday and during the summer. UVA rays are present year round, all day long - and they can penetrate glass. So if you're not protecting your skin year round with a good UVA-blocking sunscreen, then you're damaging your skin.

And don't let marketing jargon fool you - there aren't any sunscreens that offer "all-day protection" or are "water-proof", despite what the bottle may say. They may be water-resistant, and that's great - but if you're in the sun all day, you need to reapply the sunscreen every couple of hours - especially if you're sweating or in the water.

Another misconception is that a high spf will give you more/better protection. Not necessarily. A product with spf 15 will block 94% of the UVB rays, while a product with spf 30 will block 97% of the UVB rays. The problem arises when people think that because they have applied a product with spf 70, they can stay out all day without reapplying. No, no, no!!! And spf doesn't have anything to do with the UVA rays at all! So even if you don't get a burn, you may have still allowed the sun to damage your skin.

Read this article for more information about chemical and physical sunblocks.

Read this article for information about sunscreen myths/concerns.

(Thanks, Vicki, for the links to the articles!) is a great place to find information about sun safety. There is a wealth of information about sunless tanning - and even a list of "good" sunscreens. This link takes you to the FAQS, where you can find information about Vitamin D, sunscreen ingredients, UV damage, etc.

Remember - using sunscreen alone is not enough!!! The Skin Cancer Foundation has a list of tips for skin cancer prevention:
  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
They also have a list of year round sun protection tips that can be found here.

I hope y'all have a fun, sun-safe summer!!


Jessica said...

I think I may link to this post of yours from my blog, if it's OK with you. :)

Kim said...