I talk to you guys all the time in zillions.. okay maybe not quite that dramatic, but lots of words about skincare and the importance of taking care of it. I recently stumbled upon a new sunscreen line thanks to my friends at Supergoop! When I think of sunscreens, I imagine sticky and thick layers. Alas, I have found you a solution that is neither of those things and everything I want to incorporate in my daily skincare regimen.
I want to preface this article but stating these images were shot in downtown Dallas in 110 degree heat at 4pm – no lie. So the need for sunscreen, along with serious amounts of water and immediate A/C was serious.
Just like Supergoop! will tell you, nothing in the world is as great as basic sun protection. SPF is your best friend and saving grace. Supergoop! utilizes only clean ingredients in their products, and are always be oxybenzone, paraben and cruelty free. Hip, hip, hooray! They also make a variety of products that enables you to incorporate SPF into your regimen – whether it be setting powder, sunscreen, CC cream, a sunscreen mousse, or even a setting mist. I love the variety of products – it’s impossible to say no or forget to protect your skin if your routine already has it embedded within.
Why You Need Sunscreen
You might be wondering what’s the big deal about SPF? Doesn’t the sunshine give you some essential vitamin D therapy? Yes, you’re right there. But what you may not be aware of are the hidden UV A & B rays seeping into your skin. UVA rays can zap themselves deep into the dermis layer of your skin, or the thickest layer of your skin. Your skin has three main layers: the epidermis (outermost), dermis (middle and thickest), and the hypodermis (mostly fat and connective tissue). Prolonged and especially unprotected exposure to the sun can and will lead to premature changes in your skin such as wrinkles or signs of aging (no thanks!), and ultimately skin cancer. UVB rays usually give us that superficial burn or pinkness we see after being out in the sun too long. These guys really play star roles in the skin cancer game. Check out the American Cancer Society’s page for more skin cancer facts and info! Should you see anything and I mean anything questionable on your skin, whether it’s old or new, get it checked by your regular physician or dermatologist, ASAP!
SPF along with staying in the shade, and wearing sleeves and hats are your biggest strengths against avoiding skin cancer. Don’t forget places like the tips and backs of your ears as well as the back of your neck and your nose – these places see a LOT of sun too!
Be smart, take care of skin, add that SPF and moisturize like there’s no tomorrow! I promise, even if you don’t thank me, you’ll most definitely thank yourself!
The Risk of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is a real threat yall, very real. I won’t sit here and say I’ve always worn sunscreen when I was supposed to or never tanned – because both would be lies. When I was a teen and even in my early twenties – I would hit up the tanning bed like no one’s business. Having a tan was in style and pasty skin was frowned upon. And how could you say no when all your friends did it? For shame for shame, I know.
Now I’ll occasionally get a spray tan but I’m not opposed to pale skin and preserving my looks. What we don’t realize is historical damage can come back to haunt us. So it’s important to start NOW – wear sunscreen, avoid sunburns, and hydrate.
You might be wondering what the risks of skin cancer are or how you need to monitor for it? Did you know one person dies from melanoma every hour? An estimated one in five Americans will develop skin cancer within the course of their lifetime (JAMA, 2005). So – with those frightening statistics – I stick with my paleness and embrace self-monitoring! I want to encourage you all to not only self-check your skin regularly and seek medical advice for any suspicious looking moles or changes in your skin, but to also see a dermatologist at least once a year – especially if you have had lengthy sun/UV exposure/blistering burns in the past. Not sure what questionable moles look like? You can generally use the “ABCDE” rule or consult a physician if you’re unsure.
- A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
- B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
- C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include different shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
- D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.
- E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
Ref: Robinson, JK. Sun exposure, sun protection, and vitamin D. JAMA 2005; 294:1541-43 http://sumo.ly/XtK0