According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, each year two million people are diagnosed with skin cancer. It is the most common form of cancer, and also one of the most preventable. As summer approaches, it is important to understand the risks of cancer and how you can take steps to minimize your chances of being diagnosed.
While using organic skin care products and leading a healthy lifestyle can improve the health and look of your skin, they are not a foolproof line of defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays. However, there are several ways to protect your skin to keep you cancer-free.
- Schedule regular visits to your dermatologist. We can’t stress this enough. Dermatologists are trained to see skin anomalies that you may pass off as a freckle, bug bite, or blemish. It’s always good to see your doctor when you notice something awry, but early detection is key. Plus, consider the parts of your body they can see and you can’t (think your neck or your back).
- Think beyond your face. It’s easy to concentrate on the appearance of your face, but skin cancer can pop up anywhere on your body. Even in places you might neglect to check, like between your toes, under fingernails, on your behind, and even the bottoms of your feet. Take measures to protect the skin all over your body, just as you would the skin on your face.
- Get your Vitamin D, but do not burn. We think it’s important to get a daily dose of sunshine and Vitamin D, but we want you to be smart while in the sun. Always, always, always apply a 30+ SPF sunscreen when spending prolonged time outdoors. You can get burnt even when it’s cold or overcast, so make sunscreen a part of your everyday routine.
- Avoid chemical self-tanners and tanning beds. We’re big fans of a sun-kissed look, but only when it comes naturally. The UV rays in tanning beds are much stronger than those from the sun, increasing your risk for skin cancer. And those self-tanning products? They can have potentially harmful ingredients just like any other personal care products on the market, so make sure you check the ingredient listing before you use them.
We realize that we are all guilty of getting too much sun from time to time. If you do, there are some ways to repair damaged skin cells and return some moisture to skin.
- Think antioxidants. Too much sun can cause damaged skin cells, or free radicals, to form in the skin. Antioxidants – which you can find in many of our skin care products – help to repair the skin by lending a spare electron to the damaged cell that is missing one. Both our Antioxidant Serums and our Antioxidant Skin Boost are superb sources of antioxidants.
- Use Tamanu Oil to help calm skin. Inflammed skin can be a side effect of too much sun. Tamanu Oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it can calm and soothe skin.
- Seek out moisture-rich products. Look for products with shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and pea peptides, to name a few, which will quickly replenish the skin’s moisture content. Do not use products with alcohols, which are drying, or mineral oil, which creates a barrier over skin and does not let moisture reach the skin.
During May – Skin Cancer Awareness Month – we urge you to make an appointment to make your skin health a priority. If you don’t already have a dermatologist or an appointment on the books, make a call to change that. Being proactive about your skin health, with regular trips to the doctor and healthy product choices, just may keep you cancer-free.