Summer is just around the corner which means sun, beach, and body! But it also means getting sun burn and being exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun. People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.
The Foundation also said that sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18. Skin cancer represents approximately two to four percent of all cancers in Asians.
Three Critical Steps
The Foundation recommends three critical steps to take in summer 2017 to help lower skin cancer risk.
1. Cover up
Clothing is the best defense against skin cancer, and the more skin you can cover, the better. But not all clothing is created equally: tight-knit fabrics (like denim) and synthetic materials (like polyester) offer better sun protection than loosely-woven fabrics and natural materials. Wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face, head and neck. To protect your eyes and the sensitive skin around them, wear UV-blocking sunglasses.
2. Use sunscreen every day
Studies have shown that daily use of an SPF (sun protection factor) 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent. Sunscreens come in many formulas — including sprays, lotions and oils — so everyone can find one that fits their lifestyle. For daily use, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
For extended outdoor activity, choose a water-resistant, broad spectrum formula with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply one ounce of sunscreen to your body 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
3. Check in with your skin
Skin cancers can be disfiguring and even deadly if allowed to progress. That’s why early detection is so important — skin cancer is very treatable if detected in its early stages. However, the five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma has spread to distant organs is only 17 percent. If detected early, before the cancer has spread, the survival rate jumps to 98 percent. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends examining your skin from head-to-toe monthly, and seeing a dermatologist once a year for a professional skin exam. If you spot anything new or changing, make an appointment to see your doctor right away.
Make Your Summer sun-proof
The good news is, there are products that will let you make your summer sun-proof.
Brands that offer sunscreen products that defend your skin from burning and sun damage, include Nivea, Vaseline, Banana Boat, Beach Hut, Solstice, Biore, Sunplay, Belo, Neutrogena, Cetaphil, Celeteque, Kojie San, Hawaiian Tropic, Dermplus, Ponds, and Olay.
These products are available at many stores, including Watsons, which has launched a summer campaign that will give SM Advantage Card Members a chance to win getaways for four to Batanes, Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan.
For every PHP500 single-receipt purchase, SMAC members get 1 e-raffle entry. The promo is from February 23 – April 26, 2017.
So this summer, cover up, use sunscreen, and have fun! And if you spot anything new or changing in your skin, make an appointment to see your doctor right away.