05.17.2010
Skin Cancer Awareness Month

So if you don’t already know, May is national Skin Cancer Awareness Month.  This is something especially near and dear to my heart, as my closest Aunt passed away of skin cancer when she was only 43 years old back in 1996.  Luckily, more and more people are becoming aware of how harmful the sun is to our skin and health but it’s still not enough.  One in five Americans will STILL get skin cancer every year and even though it’s the most preventable cancer, it’s also one of the most deadly.  Can you even believe that 50% of Americans don’t even use sunscreen?!

Skincare giant La Roche-Posay created this great new public awareness campaign called “Save Our Skin” in hopes to increase awareness. For every person who signs up for the campaign, La Roche Posay will donate money to The Skin Cancer Foundation and The Women’s Dermatological Society.  In the meantime, here are my current SPF favorites.

Too Faced Love Lisa Luxury Lip Balm SPF 15 – People often forget that, yes, even your lips can sunburn.  This product is inspired by the brand founder’s sister, Lisa, who is battling stage 4 melanoma (and kicking it’s butt).  A huge portion from sales goes towards the Love Lisa Melanoma Research Foundation Grant to help find a cure.

La Roche-Posay Anthelious 45 for Face -My complexion is tricky at best.  I’ve tried a lot of “for the face” sunblocks and this one is by FAR my favorite.  It’s super light but you still get excellent protection from the sun, with out the breakouts.

Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock SPF 70 – I already listed this cooling mist as one of my Coachella essentials but I use this on my body pretty much any time I go to the beach.  As a freckled white girl, the sun gets me hot faster than most and this is the perfect cooling agent.

18 thoughts on “Skin Cancer Awareness Month

  1. Wanna know what else is a registered carcinogen? Mineral oil and birth control.
    I know people who have had melanoma, too, but it appeared where the sun doesn’t really shin often and the person wasn’t a sun worshiper.
    Moderation is key.

  2. I agree with Anon. There are also known carcinogens IN sunscreen, and the greatest rise in melanoma has been experienced in countries where chemical suncreen is heavily promoted. EWG did a study of the effectiveness of chemical sunscreens, and 3 out of 5 provide inadequate protection from the sun. The toxic ingredients in the sunscreens are being absorbed into your skin and bloodstream. It’s a smart idea to look into sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide instead of one formulated with ozybenzone.

  3. Also your body needs vitamin D! I know that we can take a supplement, but limited amounts of real sunshine are essential to your body, since vitamin D helps fight cancer. Like Anon said, enjoying the sun in moderation is key.

  4. bella, regarding vitamin d..
    milk and tap water is fortified with vitamin d in canada and most of the us.

  5. One would have to drink upwards of 3 liters of WHOLE, vitamin D fortified milk per day to gain any benefits of vitamin D from milk. The BEST way to get enough vitamin D3 is through moderate, unprotected UV exposure…its what your skin was made to do, synthesize UV into Vitamin D….so dermatologists got it right and Mother Nature got it wrong??? I don’t think so. A recent study shows that the test group in the study with the lowest vitamin D levels were actually dermatologists…increasing their risks of internal cancers! Moderate UV exposure, for those able to develop a tan, maximizes the benefits and minimizes the risk of both too much or TOO LITTLE UV exposure!!

  6. but there’s a difference between tanning and burning. i don’t think it’s fair to attack this post, as she’s trying to be helpful. people who burn need to wear sunscreen! and even people who tan easily should wear it too, as it’s bad for your skin for reasons other than cancer. you can still get tan with sunscreen on!!!
    i mean, who wants to look like this?
    <http://www.teamsportsmarketing.com/STIF/pictures/tanning.bmp>

  7. ok, image won’t post. basically, all i’m saying is that staying indoors being afraid of everything is not a good thing. but laying out until you turn to leather is also not a good thing. moderation is key!

  8. i was going to recommend peter thomas roth’s brush on sunscreen anyway, but especially ni lgiht of the earlier warnings about chemical sunscreens. it’s a physical powder, you don’t get your hands greasy, and you can apply it over makeup. seriously awesome. i have spf30, i think they hve higher ones now too, and for different skin conditions (ex. aging, acne).

  9. I definitely wear sunscreen, regardless of Vitamin D – I’m a pale redhead, I burn. I also often wear hats. Without these precautions, I get burned and I get dark freckles.

  10. I prefer physical sunscreens to chemical ones myself, but especially for someone who burns, some form of protection is necessary. This reader was simply telling her personal story in the hopes that others would take care of themselves, and I’d ask that we respect that.

  11. i work all day long with dermatologists in my line of work and there are 2 big myths here:
    1- vitamin D: studies have been done in the south of the US where the sun is present all year long and targetting populations very exposed to the suna nd using very little protection: farmers, surfers etc: these populations were vitaminD defficient- so the link btween the sun and vit D is unclear, but the real lack of understanding is how to fix our vitamin D- some say it has to do with poor nutrition etc. the recommendation of drematologist is to take supplement for vit D. and to WEAR sunscreen every day, all day long- the effect of the sun are not only the burning. the UVA rays (the ones linked to aging, sagging, dark spots and ultimately potential cancer) are present all day long, cross the clouds and more importantly the windows.
    2- Physical vs chemical: the debate is not there- the big question is : is your suscreen broad spectrum,? with high efficacy across the spectrum, and photostable? only physicals cannot guarnateee high efficacy and have poor photostability depite a great broad spectrum. look for ingredients that are FDA approved, with long track of safety, and comibing in a same formula high uva + uvb protection + photostability.

  12. Thanks BellaSugar! As they stated, I was sharing my personal story about my Aunt who died VERY young of melanoma. I never said that the sun is the only thing that causes cancer but the fact that some people still think that they don’t need to wear SPF (physical or chemical) blows my mind. I respect the right for everyone to have their own opinion but facts are facts -ask ANY dermatologist and they will tell you that regardless of ethnicity or skin type, you DO need to wear protection…and ALL the time. Not just sometimes. Of course moderation is key to everything in life but you should be wearing SPF whether you’re going to the beach or even just walking down the street. I urge everyone to speak to a doctor about this if you haven’t already. Melanoma is the most preventable type of cancer!

  13. Thanks BellaSugar! As they stated, I was sharing my personal story about my Aunt who died VERY young of melanoma. I never said that the sun is the only thing that causes cancer but the fact that some people still think that they don’t need to wear SPF (physical or chemical) blows my mind. I respect the right for everyone to have their own opinion but facts are facts -ask ANY dermatologist and they will tell you that regardless of ethnicity or skin type, you DO need to wear protection…and ALL the time. Not just sometimes. Of course moderation is key to everything in life but you should be wearing SPF whether you’re going to the beach or even just walking down the street. I urge everyone to speak to a doctor about this if you haven’t already. Melanoma is the most preventable type of cancer!

  14. Considering how huge the Internet has become, I have been finding it remarkably hard to find reliable information on sunscreens. My son is a red-head with extremely pale and sensitive skin. I’ve spent weeks trying to research what would be best to try to smear on an active preschooler.
    At his last check-up, I talked to his pediatrician, and he recommended any drugstore brand that was waterproof, hypoallergenic, and had broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. I asked about “paraben-free” and he said it would be better to avoid the sun burn than panic about parabens, so we’re trying Coppertone KIDS Pure & Simple Sunscreen this summer.
    If anyone has a good Web site for comparing sunscreen brands, I would be happy to get a recommendation.

  15. Considering how huge the Internet has become, I have been finding it remarkably hard to find reliable information on sunscreens. My son is a red-head with extremely pale and sensitive skin. I’ve spent weeks trying to research what would be best to try to smear on an active preschooler.
    At his last check-up, I talked to his pediatrician, and he recommended any drugstore brand that was waterproof, hypoallergenic, and had broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. I asked about “paraben-free” and he said it would be better to avoid the sun burn than panic about parabens, so we’re trying Coppertone KIDS Pure & Simple Sunscreen this summer.
    If anyone has a good Web site for comparing sunscreen brands, I would be happy to get a recommendation.

  16. Pingback: Skin Cancer Foundation Gala Young Associates After-Party (NYC) | Queen of the Quarter Life Crisis

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