22/05/2014

How to Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer!


Pretty direct post title isn't it? I knew it would catch your attention. A lot of us try to deny the damages and risks that extreme sun exposure can do to our skin and just enjoy the sun without adequate anti-UV protection. The focus of this post is not really to remind yourself about that but of the measures we can take to prevent skin cancer without avoiding the sun. How about that? It's the best of both worlds!

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) runs the national campaign around skin cancer called Sun Awareness, and this May we had the annual national Sun Awareness Week. In line with this and the upcoming warmer summer months, here are some tips to have fun in the British sun while protecting your body’s largest organ: the skin.

Any exposure to the sun and UV radiation such as tanning beds without sunscreen, caps or sun protective clothing increases your potential for cancer. In fact, research has shown that even a single session with a tanning bed, in which the UV radiation is targeted and a lot more concentrated than natural sunlight, elevates the danger of the most harmful type of skin cancer - malignant melanoma. When caught early, melanoma is practically fully curable; however, when identified in the later stages of the disease, melanoma can certainly be a killer.

Alright, so what must you do to protect yourself? I would not advice to avoid experiencing and enjoying the sun - after all we don't usually get much of it in the UK! Rather, let's just change our behaviour, not our lifestyle.


Why not try these skincare tips:

• Wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater daily, all year long, but most especially in these warmer months.

For outdoor fun, apply sun cream on your face, ears, neck and chest, as well as other regions should they likely to be exposed. Reapply every two hours if you’re outdoors all day long.

• If you’re going to and from work, prevent sun spots simply by using a SPF-based cream on your face as well as on your hands and arms. Think about the amount of time your hands are in contact with sunlight when you are driving! Try not to become the poor bloke in this article about a man's face severely asymmetrically aged by Sun exposure.

Protect your eyes! Put on some sunglasses to protect the delicate skin of your eyes from the harmful UV rays. Cancers that arise in these regions can be difficult to treat! Not all sunglasses have adequate protection. Choose a pair that has either: CE Mark and British Standard, UV 400 Label, or a statement that the sunglasses offer 100% UV Protection.

• Wear a wide-brimmed hat when on the greens, beach or by the pool to reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your face.

• Swap out your appointments with tanning beds for much safer topical alternatives such as equally effective tanning sprays and lotions.

Try and relax in the shade during the most intense hours of sunlight between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Lastly, know your limits. If you happen to stay out long enough, even with frequent uses of sun cream, you are likely to burn.

Be safe and report any mole changes or unusual spots to your GP.

Perusing the beauty websites, I'd say Selfridges offers a lot of high quality products with adequate sun protection.  Look for a product with a minimum of SPF30. They are a little pricey but one tube will perhaps last you the entire summer or even longer. Trust me, it's a good investment!

If you've got a question or an opinion on this, leave a comment at the bottom of this post! 
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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7 comments

  1. I had been dousing myself in sunscreen so much the past year and more that I developed Vitamin D deficiency! like major deficiency! The doctor advised to catch some sun outdoors between 10am to 11 am without sunscreen.. So i would be out in that period with spf on my face but rest of the body exposed.

    Le Blanc De Chanel Review | TheConscienceFund

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  2. Oh my goodness! A lot of Vit D deficiency also has to do with dietary factors and genetics (eg. family history). That's quite sensible keeping spf on your face, also make sure you are taking Vit D and calcium supplements and eat more <a href="http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Calcium.aspx>calcium-rich foods</a>! x

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  3. Great post, I'm always very careful in the sun…I actually hardly even go out in it haha.

    Amelia Rose | Beauty Blogger

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  4. Oh yes I was prescribed lot of supplements and of course calsium! I had started to suffer from constant and excruciating back pain and badly chipping nails etc.. all this led to me seeing a doctor! Thank God for her!

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  5. haha yes, very direct title post, but probably the best one I've seen all day because it's something we all need to be more aware of! I used to bake myself in the sun until I had an allergic reaction to some skin products and had some weird scans on my face - the sun damage was unbelieveable! I've got it back on track now though and I'm obsessed with looking after my skin, I wear spf moisturisers every single day and hats have become a best friend!

    Elisse x

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