Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Whether you’re spending your summer on the beach, in the pool, on hiking trails, or just in your backyard, it’s imperative to apply sunscreen to protect your skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and tells your story on its surface. Too much time in the sun can lead to freckles, age spots, wrinkles, or skin cancer. Applying sunscreen daily is the best thing you can do to prevent skin cancer but there are so many options, how do you choose a sunscreen and how often should you apply it? 

  1. Sunscreen expires and expired sunscreen will not give you maximum protection. Most sunscreens should last up to 3 years so be sure to check the expiration date printed on the bottle. Visible changes in color or consistency can be indicators that your sunscreen is expired. 
  2. “Broad Spectrum” needs to be on the label. That means it will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. 
    1. UVA rays are most common and can cause premature aging of the skin. 
    2. UVB rays are the most dangerous and can cause severe sunburns. 
  3. Anything less than sun protection factor (SPF) 30 is not enough coverage and anything over SPF 55 is just a number. No matter how high the SPF is, sunscreen should be reapplied approximately every two hours when spending time outside, even on cloudy days. 
  4. While spray-on sunscreens are convenient, they are not nearly as effective as lotion sunscreen. If you are using spray-on sunscreen, be sure to use an adequate amount and rub it in to thoroughly cover your exposed skin. 
  5. No sunscreen is waterproof or sweatproof. Some sunscreens are advertised as ‘water resistant’ or ‘very water resistant’ but will only be effective for approximately 40-80 minutes in the water until reapplication is necessary. 

Other things you can do to protect your skin from sun exposure is to stay indoors or seek shade during hours when the sun is harshest (10:00 AM-2:00 PM), wear sun-protective clothing such as long-sleeve shirts or pants that offer UV protection, avoid tanning beds, and use extra caution near water and sand as they reflect damaging rays of the sun.  

Along with taking preventative measures for yourself, it is also just as important to protect children’s skin. In fact, 80% of sun damage happens before the age of 18. Most importantly, sunscreen protects against skin cancer so stay protected and apply sunscreen every morning. 

One of the main jobs of our aesthetician is to analyze skin and make recommendations for protecting and caring for your skin. Schedule an appointment with our aesthetician, Debra, at Woman’s Spa and receive 20% off any sunscreen or other skincare products purchased the day of your facial. Call 225-924-8388 today!