July is UV Safety Month and you’d think that as a beauty enthusiast, I’d have my UV protection game on point. But I don’t. You see, I grew up on Kauai where I spent countless hours at the beach with friends and family. Birthdays, baby showers, or simply going “just cuz” were reasons to be in the sun and near the ocean. I rarely applied sunscreen because my kid brain was under the impression that I was already tan.
I rarely got sunburn and, if anything, being in the sun made me tanner – which I was proud of.
The sun no longer turns me that coveted golden-bronze color that everyone longs for. My skin is extremely sensitive to the sun’s rays and my face, shoulders, arms, and legs are always the first victims to be sun burned. I can’t say that I've made a conscious effort to apply sunscreen religiously, but I may need to reconsider.
Did you know that melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hawaii has the highest melanoma rate in the nation. In a sunscreen infographic from the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer. But if caught early, there’s a 98 percent chance of the cancer being cured. Here are four things you should know about protecting your skin this summer.
1. Pick a sunscreen that has an SPF 30 or higher.
The saying, “The more the merrier,” rings true for SPF. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends we use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects our skin from UVA and UVB cancer-causing rays.
2. Reapply sunscreen accordingly.
Most sunscreens wear up to 40 or 80 minutes, so be sure to reapply accordingly.
3. Apply one ounce of sunscreen.
Most people apply less than half the recommended sunscreen to the sun-exposed areas of our bodies. Be sure to apply the recommended one ounce – one shot glass full – of sunscreen.
4. Opt for a moisturizer with SPF.
Beauty brands are making it super easy to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Unprotected skin puts us at risk for premature aging and wrinkling. Swap out your day cream for a moisturizer with SPF. If you wear makeup, use a foundation with SPF.
5. Cover up.
It seems a bit silly to put more clothes on when it's scorching hot, but unintentional sun exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer. Consider wearing light layers like a pareo or a wide-brimmed hat while running errands or relaxing outside on your lanai. Your skin will be happy.
How do you protect your skin from premature aging, wrinkling, and ultimately skin cancer?