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Skin Cancer: The Sobering Facts about the SUN

As a natural redhead, I have had a long history with the sun. As a teenager, I would hang around our pool and do what others were doing, like tanning of which I would only BURN.

I am not proud to tell you that in my youth I have even been admitted to the hospital on several occasions because of too much sun exposure. Did you know that too much sun exposure can cause vomiting,  swollen ankles, and wrists – not a pretty sight? So over the years I became educated and informed on the type of skin that I have, and how I must protect it for the rest of my life.

The sun provides warmth, light, and life. However, it can also deliver blistering sunburns, premature ageing, and skin cancer.

The sun emits three kinds of UV light; long-wavelength UVA, medium-wavelength UVB, and short-wavelength UVC. The UVC radiation never reaches the earth but the UVA and the UVB rays penetrate the atmosphere and they cause plenty of damage to our skin. The UVB rays are the ‘Burning Rays’ that cause painful and visible sunburns which are the strongest between the hours of 10 AM – 2 PM. The UVA rays are the ‘Ageing Rays’ that penetrate deep into the dermis causing tremendous damage over time. UVA rays also stimulate pigment-producing melanocytes to release brown melanin, resulting in ‘liver spots’ on the face, hands and chest.

These guys are not our friends so protect your skin for the rest of your life.

Do your skin a favour and make sure that your sunscreen is a Broad-Spectrum sunscreen that protects you from both the UVA and UVB rays.

Daily I apply the Essentials Face + Body Sunscreen ~ Broad Spectrum SPF 50  especially over my neck and decolletage area and on my arms and hands and it does not feel greasy or sticky.

As my son now recovers from melanoma from a freckle on the back of his neck that he had since birth, he is very aware of just how scary skin cancer can be. In the hospital, they grafted skin from the inside of his upper arm to cover the large ‘hockey puck’ opening from a tiny freckle on the back of his neck.  My voice now has become much louder on this issue and I need you to get a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will keep you sun safe and protect your life. Check out the Canadian Cancer Society for more information and safety tips on how to prevent skin cancer.

Now I think that wearing these Wrist Bands is a really cool idea and it just might make you more aware of how much sun you are getting at one time. I wish I had these cool wrist bands when my children were younger to prevent them from too much sun exposure. Sunscreen is an important part of your defense against the sun, but you should consider other options such as UV-protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, an umbrella and ultimately staying out of the sun for the long-term benefit of your skin.

Not all sunscreens are created equal so when selecting a sunscreen look for Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide or Mexoryl, broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

One full ounce should cover your entire body or a shot glass full while a teaspoon will cover your entire face. Also, keep your sunscreens out of the sun and not in your glove compartment because the heat will cause the active ingredients to break down and be less effective.

We all need to be outside because it feels good, but we also need to be sun smart.

Let me know if you found this helpful and I look forward to hearing from you.


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