May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and melanoma, or any type of cancer for that matter, isn’t a pretty subject. If you don’t already, it’s time to start considering serious skin protection.
“We’re trying to change behavior,” says Deb Girard, executive director of the Melanoma Foundation of New England (www.mfne.org). “Using sunscreen correctly really counts. You want to block both UVA and UVB rays and choose a broad-spectrum product. Also, throw out last year’s and always check [the] expiration date. Ideally, it should be water-resistant. Still, don’t trust that. Reapply after swimming and reapply every two hours, regardless.”
Many women already use sunscreens on their face year-round, but many chemical and petroleum by-product-laden sunscreens cause irritation, resulting in itching, redness and watering eyes. They can feel heavy, uncomfortable and completely off-putting. More natural formulas are often better tolerated and equally effective (see sidebar).
Add more natural sun protection by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, close-weave cotton clothing and sunglasses.
“We’re not saying don’t go out in the sun,” says Girard. “But practice some prevention.”
Sheer Physical Defense retails
for about $30 online.
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense boasts a whopping SPF 50 via natural physical filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but it also has plankton extract, which is reputed to have a natural repair response to UV rays.
Solar Defense Cream
retails for about $42 online.
The Body Deli includes Solar Defense Day Cream, which similarly combines zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect the UV rays off the face and adds botanicals to aid cell health.
A box of 60 GliSODin supplements
retails for about $80 online.
Also, supplements like GliSODin Skin Nutrients’ Advanced Skin Brightening Formula tout protective and anti-inflammatory properties to reduce sun damage.