THE SUN GODDESS
Growing up I never really knew how damaging the sun could really be. I would lay out by the pool or at the beach with my friends, practically pouring suntan oil all over, hoping for that perfect tan. Any time I would visit my grandparents in Florida during the school year, I would make sure that I came home with the quintessential “vacation tan”. I would break out the light colored clothing for the first day back from break so that my suntanned face and body looked that much darker. I’d whine when I would prematurely peel.
Fast forward to today and it is a world of difference. I don’t think twice before making sure I’ve properly armed my body with sunscreen before leaving the house. I live in the land of sunshine (for the most part) and even taking a quick ride in the car to run errands exposes myself to the sun. I cannot avoid it, and it is not by any stretch of the imagination, my friend.
When I was younger, I would apply sunscreen once in the morning and then never reapply. I may as well have not applied at all. Did you know that you need to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and then based on the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of your sunscreen is the timeframe with which to reapply? 2 tablespoons of sunscreen should do the trick.
Reapply every few hours, every hour would be ideal. If you are in and out of the pool or ocean or sweating, I’d reapply much more frequently.
Below are some of my picks when it comes to sunscreen. Click on each image to learn more or to purchase them! They are affiliate links, which do not cost you anything but does help support this blog!
GUIDELINES FOR SUN SAFETY
Sunscreen usage is one of a few important steps you can take to prevent skin cancer. Others include:
- Cover up in clothing and wide-brimmed hats.
- Stay in the shade.
- Avoid tanning beds.
- Look for changes in your skin – especially moles. If they change in size or color, call your dermatologist for an appointment.
- Cloudy days don’t mean that you won’t encounter sun exposure – apply sunscreen regardless.
IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW
Here are some interesting facts about skin cancer, as taken from Skin Cancer Foundation website:
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
- There are more new cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined.
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime.
Those facts are a bit daunting, right? The most important thing that you can do is visit a dermatologist every year for a “well visit”. To take 30 minutes out of your year and confirm you are healthy, or if there is something found, to take care of it immediately is so worth it.
Don’t wear makeup to your appointment, but if you have to (your appointment is in the middle or end of the work day) take it off before the examination.
Bring with you a list of all products you use on your skin to discuss with the doctor.
Don’t be afraid to break out that notepad and pen to write down key things your doctor is explaining to you.
Ask a lot of questions! This is your time to get the answers you need. Below are questions that I always ask.
- What products should I use on a daily basis for my skin type? Are the products that I am currently using OK for my skin type?
- What causes acne?
- How do I prevent skin cancer? What are some of the signs and how frequently should I have my skin checked?
- What’s the best sunscreen to wear?
- What can I add to my diet to help my skin?
- Can I still use the products I have at home in conjunction with what you are prescribing?
- Is it OK to have sun exposure if I am using this cream/medication?
- What are the latest anti-aging procedures and products available?
- Are there supplements that I can take to help my skin?
I hope you’ve already visited a dermatologist but if you haven’t, here’s basically what transpires:
You take off all of your clothing except for your bra and underwear. Some doctors do offer to check your nether regions too, and that is entirely up to you. The doctor comes in and slowly scans every section of your body, looking for moles that could be precancerous or cancerous. He or she checks your scalp, your armpits – everywhere. It seems a bit awkward at first – you’re standing there with only a fabulous paper or cloth robe on – but before you know it, the exam portion is completed. If by chance the doctor does find a mole that looks iffy, he or she will remove it to have it biopsied. Then you will learn about different products that the doctor may offer you – this is the perfect time to ask any questions you may have.