Life after Melanoma for me has been an interesting balance of educating myself and others about the dangers of the sun and skin cancer awareness … and finding ways to enjoy my time in the sun without being totally paranoid. Part of that mission has included trying every sunscreen under the sun. I’ve used Aveeno body and face washes in the past, but this was my first time using their sunscreen. Read more
I may be jumping the gun here, but I already started online shopping for our honeymoon in October and sunscreen was top of the list. Being prepared for nice weather and vacation means my sunscreen and sun safety product arsenal gets restocked. As I was doing some shopping for the honeymoon, I added Sun Bum’s Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 70+ ($15) to my shopping cart. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Sun Bum and a friend of mine swears that it’s the only sunscreen she’s ever used that doesn’t feel like a thick film coating her body. I’ve been dying to try it! Read more
Since surviving Melanoma, Amanda is a staunch advocate of sun safety and skin cancer prevention. So in an effort to increase awareness, she and I will be holding a 1-hour Twitter party on Monday, May 6 (which is also the designated Melanoma Monday) from 8pm-9pm EST. During the party, we’ll be speaking to skin cancer facts, tips for recognizing it, and sun safety. Some really great brands have jumped on board to make this party even better by donating products for giveaways!
We’ll be giving away: Read more
Hands have it bad in the winter.
Between constantly washing your hands in an attempt to avoid the flu and germs, to the bitter cold of the winter weather, if you are not giving your hands extra TLC right now, then I’m pretty sure you are suffering with dry, flaky and chapped skin. At my house, I also have a wood stove to help keep my home warm, which also tends to really dry out the air. If my skin isn’t moisturized, it feels the effects of dehydration fairly quickly.
These are my favorite must-have hand creams for winter: Read more
Today is a gorgeous day in Northeast Pennsylvania. Temps are supposed to reach into the mid-60′s and I will finally be able to leave the house without a jacket. It is only 11 days until Spring and the ultraviolet rays from the sun are getting stronger. I know several people who have had a Melanoma and Melanoma Cancer. When caught early, it can be taken care of; however, I did have a favorite family member pass away when I was 6 years old from Melanoma Cancer. My aunt was only in her early 20′s when she died. So this is not something that can happen at an older age–but at any time in life.
So let’s talk about what we can do to protect our skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
First, what are UVA and UVB rays and where and how do they affect us?
Can pass through window glass.
Is not affected by a change in altitude or weather.
Is present all day and every day of the year.
Penetrates deep into skin layers.
Is 5% of the sun’s rays.
Is 20 times more abundant than UVB rays.
Affects long-term skin damage.
Cannot pass through window glass.
Helps the body with normal vitamin D production.
Varies with the season.
It is more intense in the summer than in the winter.
Varies with weather conditions.
Is more intense at midday than in the morning or late afternoon.
Is more intense at high altitudes and near the equator.
Is protected against by the SPF in sunscreens.
Is related to more than 90% of non-melanoma skin cancer.
SPF (sunscreen protection factor) is your key to protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays. The SPF # is what predicts how long your skin can be in the sun with a low risk of burning or damaging your skin. SPF 30 is best, while the higher SPF only provide minimally more protection. While water resistant sunscreens help maintain sunscreen on your skin through perspiring and water activity, it is only for a few hours and it is best to reapply sunscreen every two hours regardless. Should you get a sunburn, you will feel the effects within 2-6 hours of the burn. In more severe cases, sun poisoning can occur. I have had sun poisioning in the past, and it is not fun!
While we’re discussing using sunscreen in the spring and summer months, it is incredibly important to wear it year round. UVA and UVB rays are ever-present regardless of season. The intensity may vary, but you are still at risk for sun damage to your skin. Especially as you age, dark spots will begin to emerge showing sun damage from years ago. I can certainly see the age spots on my face, but it is even more disturbing when I have my skin looked at under UV light when getting a facial and see just how extensive the damage is.
Check out our post on 3 Sunscreens for Summer, that include our favorites to sun protection. How do you protect your skin from the sun year round?