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As summer approaches, many of us start thinking about how to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Skin cancer is a serious concern, this year alone I have sent 3 clients to the dermatologist only to have them need facial surgery to remove skin cancer. Time and time again I hear “I just feel and look better with a tan”.  

Here is a little backstory on what the skin is doing whilst turning bronze. UVA radiation (aging rays) is what makes people tan. UVA rays penetrate the lower layers of the epidermis, where they trigger cells called melanocytes (pronounced: mel-AN-oh-sites) to produce melanin. Melanin is the brown pigment that causes tanning. Melanin is the body’s way of protecting skin from burning. Keep in mind melanin isn’t strong enough to help us prevent all sun damage which in turn can lead to skin cancers. You can still achieve a bronzed glow while keeping up with your SPF application.

Here are some tips for preventing skin cancer:

Wear a Hazmat Suit: It might not be the most fashionable choice, but it’s the safest. Plus, you’ll be protected from all sorts of other hazards, like bird droppings and jellyfish stings. But when a hazmat suit isn’t cutting it for some of us who are more fashion forward try looking into brands like Athleta, Coolibar, Land’s End, and Patagonia, who all have a UV line that allows you to not only breathe out in the elements but protect you from harmful UV rays.

Avoid Sunlight Completely: This might seem extreme, but it’s a surefire way to prevent skin cancer. Just stay indoors all day, every day, and you’ll be good to go. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about getting a bad tan line. Jussssstttt kidding, all the Vitamin D in the world wouldn’t help get you out of the slump of brain fog and forgetfulness with the lack of sun over time. During the time between April and September, you can get the adequate amount of Vitamin D you need from being outside for 10 minutes. Once Fall rolls around, consider getting yourself a RED LED Infrared light. Here is the brand we love: https://orionrlt.com/?ref=kelly

The infrared boosts your Vitamin D levels naturally. Vitamin D is not only a building block in your immune system, but it is essential for bone, teeth, and skin health as well as reducing your risk of cancer! 

Hire a Personal Sunshade: For those times when you do have to venture outside, why not hire a personal sunshade? They can follow you around with a giant umbrella, keeping you completely protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Just don’t forget to tip them. As much as this is a joke, I do want it to be known that in high school I was able to bribe my friend’s younger brother with candy to hold my beach umbrella in place down at the shore. But if you don’t have someone you can bribe look into these sun hats I recommend.

 

Use Sunscreen as Body Paint: Who needs a fancy art degree when you can use sunscreen as body paint? Not only will you be protecting your skin, but you’ll also be expressing your artistic side. Just make sure to choose a color that complements your skin tone. You need a full shot glass amount of SPF to cover an adult body. A FULL SHOT GLASS!!!! I can almost guarantee many of us are not using that much. Want to test that theory out, here is my favorite body SPF that I have been using for years. The pump is super handy for our whole family. Plus, side, it doesn’t leave you sticky. No one wants to have tacky legs stuck together while paddleboarding or hiking. WOOF!

Eat Your Sunscreen: Yes, you read that right. Certain foods, like carrots and tomatoes, contain nutrients that can help protect your skin from the sun. So go ahead and chow down on a homemade charcuterie board. Your skin will thank you.

Cover Your Skin in Glitter: This might not technically prevent skin cancer, but it will definitely distract from any sun damage. Plus, you’ll look like a glamorous disco ball, which is always a good thing. If you are wanting that dewy glow, try considering SkinBetter Science Advanced Mineral Protection, Tone-Smart SPF 75. There is nothing that beats a product that looks like makeup on the skin but is SUNSCREEN! Fun fact, this product comes in a cream pump formula (my fave) and a compact version, think of old-school CoverGirl compact but with badass protection and ingredients (this is my step-moms fave)

Live in a Cave: If all else fails, why not just move into a cave? Sure, you’ll miss out on things like natural light and human interaction, but at least you’ll be safe from skin cancer. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to perfect your bat impression. Every Bruce Wayne character from Batman seemed to thrive in a cave, so why not us?

In all seriousness, skin cancer is no laughing matter. So be sure to wear sunscreen, seek shade, and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. And if you want to add a little humor to the situation, feel free to use one of these tips. Just maybe skip the glitter.