By Sarah Moore
The month of May is Skin Cancer Awareness month so we thought it would be the perfect time to talk about the importance of having protection in your skincare routine and being proactive about checking your skin for early signs of cancerous moles or discolorations. In the United States, more people are diagnosed with cases of skin cancer, than every other type of cancer combined.* So chances are, you’re extremely likely to know more than a few people who have experienced a form of skin cancer—that’s a pretty big deal.
In Washington, you may think you’re at less of a risk due to the infamously cloudy, grey weather. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Harmful UV rays continue to penetrate through the cloud layers and grey skies year-round, making it imperative that sun protection is always used.
Also in Washington, you may be itching to get that extra Vitamin D while the sun is hiding by visiting tanning salons. We love a good bronze as much as anyone else, but your estheticians will get after you about this dangerous habit. In fact, exposure to artificial UV light can be a risk for causing any form of skin cancer, increasing your overall risks a great deal with repeated visits.*
If you need the light for factors such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, try a sunlight simulating lamp instead. You can find many options on sites like Amazon for around $35. If you love keeping that year-round tan, there are tons of at-home self tanning options such as Loving Tan, The Isle of Paradise, or you can opt for a traditional spray tan at a salon. You don’t have to give up what you need or love and you can lessen your risks!
So what can you do to help yourself be proactive and preventative? Don’t worry, you don’t have to hide from the daylight all year. Here are our best tips to protect and love the skin you’re in:
Use a daily moisturizer with SPF included
Daily SPF will make a world of difference in your skincare routine. Not only will it help protect you in the sneaky grey weather and summer sunshine, but will also help deter any further darkening of acne and scars if you suffer from hyperpigmentation. We recommend products from Eminence Organic Skin Care such as the Bright Skin Moisturizer, Tropical Vanilla Day Cream or Lilikoi Mineral Defense Moisturizer.
Use body sunscreen and wear protective gear when you know you’ll be sun exposed
If you’re planning to spend a day at the lake, are headed to an outdoor music festival or are lounging outside at home it’s important to be prepared and use a full body sunscreen. If it’s an all-day event be sure to re-apply every few hours for successful protection. Add items like a hat or a light cover-up to help shield sensitive areas like your scalp, nose, ears and shoulders. Eminence Organic Skin Care has their Tropical Vanilla and Lilikoi moisturizers available as full body sunscreens too!
Stay aware of any new freckles and moles
You know your body the best, so you’ll likely be the first to notice something that wasn’t there before. Worried about those hard to see areas? Have a parent, spouse or trusted friend help take a look anywhere you can’t reach. See something concerning or are unsure if you need to be worried? Make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! During the month of May there are even clinics in the Seattle-Tacoma area that offer free screenings! Check out Dermatology of Seattle for openings if you need a free screening.
Your skin is the largest organ your body has, so it’s incredibly important to care for it as best as you can before it’s too late. You don’t have to give up the look or the activities that you enjoy, but there are healthier options so you can partake safely. If you have more skincare questions and concerns, make an appointment for a facial with us, and one of our skilled estheticians will consult with you on how best to care for your skin.
Statistics found here:
The Skin Cancer Foundation
American Academy of Dermatology
*Any specific brands mentioned are from the opinions of the writer and are not in any way sponsored, or affiliated with said brands.