You might like being golden brown from a tan, but prolonged sun exposure can have serious risks that go beyond a sunburn. The most common form of cancer is skin cancer, which is a shame since it's highly preventable. Fortunately it's also very treatable, although deaths still do occur from the disease. In honor of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, here are five easy ways to keep yourself safe from the disease.
Will Ferrell's new line of charitable sunscreen (featuring Sun Stroke, Sexy Hot Tan, and Forbidden Fruit varieties) might get you some laughs on the beach and prevent a not-so-sexy burn, but they're not the ultimate in sun protection. In its quest to find the best sunscreens for your Summer, Consumer Reports rounded up 10 sunscreens and compared their effectiveness in protecting against ultraviolet A and B radiation.
The magazine chose three CR Best Buys based on the lab test results and reminds us that we shouldn't base our purchases on brand alone — previous tests showed quality variances within the same brand. To see what sunscreens performed the best and are worth your money, read more
I know a few of you hardcore athletes might scoff at the idea of lip gloss being gear, but this gloss offers sun protection along with color, and that is why I am ranking it as gear. Lips should be treated like skin and protected from the sun's rays. Most shiny lip gloss actually attracts the sun, making it easier for harmful rays to penetrate the delicate flesh and causing skin cancer on your kisser.
That is where Clinique's Long Last Glosswear ($14) with SPF 15 comes in handy. It coats and protects your lips, and it really does last. It is flavorless too, which I think is great, and the texture is so thin you forget you have it on. On my way out the door for a midday run, I couldn't find my chapstick with SPF, so I wore this lip gloss. It was great. It kept my lips moist and protected. It comes in many shades and is available online at the Clinique website.
The recent warmer weather has inspired many people to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. For many of those people, this is the first taste of sun their skin has seen since the long Winter. I've heard many women say that they always get one bad sunburn in the beginning of Spring, and then they tan for the rest of the Summer. Since they think it's inevitable, they believe there's nothing wrong with it.
Your skin is extra sensitive to the sun's rays at first, especially if you have pale skin, but that doesn't mean you should just let it burn. Just to remind you, any amount of sun exposure poses an increased risk for the development of skin cancers and accelerates the aging process, but sunburns, especially repeated sunburns, pose an even stronger risk. So make sure to apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply it every two hours to prevent sunburn and keep your skin protected at all times.
This Wristband Tells You When You've Had Enough Sun This UVSunSense ($5 for seven), is a new form of sun protection that helps prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by a nuclear physicist, this wristband measures exposure to the ultraviolet radiation found in sunlight. Check out BellaSugar for more on this high-tech bracelet!
Back in high school, my best friend and I headed to Florida for our Spring Break. Her uncle was a beach cop at the time, and we decided to tag along with him to work one day. How very Baywatch of us. Let's just say that a lack of proper sunscreen protection and a very long day of lounging at the beach was not a good idea. How I wish I had the UVSunSense ($5 for seven) wristband back then, a new form of sun protection that helps prevent overexposure to the sun.
Developed by a nuclear physicist, this wristband measures exposure to the ultraviolet radiation found in sunlight. To use, you must apply an SPF of 15 or higher to your body and the band, as the band adjusts based on the SPF you use.
Like Homeland Security codes for your skin, four color indicators alert you of your sun status: orange, the color of the band when it's removed from the package; purple, which indicates it's been activated in the sun; dark brown, meaning it's time to reapply sunscreen; and salmon, which suggests you've had enough. Bonus? It works in water, so you can swim and float to your heart's delight.
Many women, this beauty enthusiast included, cannot be convinced to add another layer of product to their faces. The beauty industry makes a mint off marketing another layer of products to us that we don't need. That said, the one layer that is essential in any woman's regime is SPF. Each day we're exposed to the sun's harmful rays and within minutes irreversible damage can be done to our skin if it's left unprotected. We're not just talking about the SPF found in your moisturizer or foundation. Within a matter of minutes, that "adequate" sun protection can fade away and be rendered ineffective after a minimum amount of sun exposure or sweat. The best method of protection is periodic reapplication throughout the day and, fortunately, companies have begun to realize the need for portable SPF protection.
One spritz of Camille Cosmeceuticals NY's Oil Free Sunblock SPF 30 offers oil free sun protection in a cooling spray. The lightweight formula utilizes apricot kernel oil and vitamin E for moisturizing and titanium dioxide for it's natural sun protection qualities. Perfect for dry to normal skin types, this spray is best used poolside or for those sweaty summer activities.
Peter Thomas Roth's Instant Mineral SPF 30 offers mineral SPF protection in a convenient matte powder with brush applicator. Using this product as your touch up powder this Summer ensures your skin will be well protected from any potential sun damage. Network Partners Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains and She Finds recently also sang the praises of this innovative product.
Whether in spray, lotion, or powder form, keeping some SPF in your makeup bag is a wise choice. We realize the smell of Coppertone on one's face isn't exactly an attractive quality, but we are far beyond those days. The new fad, we say, is looking like you're thirty five when your fifty--no plastic surgery needed. Check out our other picks of portable sunblock below.
It's not always the hours you put in at the gym that keep you healthy, the little things help too!
Next time you find yourself in the sun, take just five seconds to check out your shadow. If your shadow is shorter than you are, then that means the sun's rays are very intense. Especially since we tend to spend more time outdoors in the Spring and Summer, you may want to seek shade or get indoors to apply more sunscreen and wait until the sun is less intense.
Be sure to check out all my quick health tips.