9,199: the number of people in the United States who lost their battle with skin cancer in 2009. The Center for Disease Control reported in the same year more than 60,000 Americans received a skin cancer diagnosis.
Although tanning can be trendy, you should think twice before laying out to soak up the sun. Preventing skin cancer doesn’t have to keep you from staying stylish or enjoying summer. Here are five tips to stay fashionable, fun and free from sun damage.
1. Know what you’re up against.
Sunburns are caused by too much exposure to UV radiation found in sunlight. Sunburns are skin damage, and too much can lead to melanoma. The summer sun shines brightest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and in North America, the rays reach their height right just as summer is starting. If you must be outdoors during these hours, spend as much time in the shade as you can.
People with light skin that burns easily are more likely to get skin cancer, but those with naturally darker skin are not exempt. Self magazine reports even though melanoma among this group is rarer, it is more dangerous. For example, African-American women diagnosed with melanoma are five times more likely to die than Caucasian women with melanoma.
2. Make it work! (Your outfit, that is.)
As Tim Gunn tells designers on Project Runway, “Make it work!” Before you walk out the door, what you’re wearing should be ready to work against UV rays.
On top, a hat with a wide brim will shade your face, and hopefully your neck and shoulders, too. Sunglasses that protect from UV-A and UV-B rays and don’t let the rays sneak in on the sides add further protection.
Shirts with long sleeves are the best option for protection, but may not always be practical in the summer heat. If this is the case, you can use a fun patterned umbrella to protect your arms. Long, airy dresses and skirts will keep your legs covered and cool. If you’re swimming, be sure to throw on a cover-up as soon as you step out the water.
Lastly, don’t forget your feet! Wear shoes that provide coverage or put sunscreen on your exposed skin.
3. Make your sunscreen work overtime.
For the parts of your body you can’t protect with clothing, be sure to use the right kind of sunscreen, and enough of it. Without it, your skin could be affected in just 15 minutes!
The CDC recommends wearing sunscreen of at least 15 SPF that blocks UV-A and UV-B rays and to wear it even if the sun is behind the clouds. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours, and even sooner if you’re sweating or swimming.
Don’t skip slathering the sunscreen on the easy-to-forget places, too, like eyelids, tops of ears and — since the American Cancer Society reports women most often find melanoma on their legs — the backs of your knees. The most common place to get skin cancer is the nose, so remember to give it a good coating.
4. Find another way to bronze.
We know that tanning booths and sun lamps are unhealthy. Women who use tanning beds before the age of 35 make their chances of melanoma jump by 75 percent. Tanning beds can also cause wrinkles and hurt your eyes. If you’re set on having a bronze summer glow, try tinted lotion or you can splurge for a spray tan for a special event.
Better yet, embrace the philosophy that skin doesn’t have to be tanned to be beautiful!
5. Trust your products.
Women who want the best for their skin can try Reliv’s r day balance moisturizer. It contains Pycnogenol and provides SPF 15 protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays. An antioxidant, Pycnogenol improves skin health, boosts collagen renewal, improves skin elasticity, reduces wrinkles, promotes healting, improves acne and prevents UV damage.It also works as an anti-inflammatory to calm skin.
For a special treat, keep your skin lotion in the refrigerator and enjoy the chill of application!