How about we make every month of the year Skin Cancer Awareness Month?
Why, you ask?
Because skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer across the globe. If you experience 5 or more sunburns, your chances of developing melanoma double. Additionally, according to www.skincancer.org, approximately 90% of skin aging is caused by sun exposure. Shockingly, 1 in 5 individuals will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
So, let's take action and make a change!
Choosing a sunscreen that you're comfortable wearing every day is the most crucial decision you can make for long-term anti-aging and cancer prevention!
Multiple reputable organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), FDA, Skin Cancer Foundation, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), highly recommend daily sun protection to reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.
While it is important to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and reapply every 2 hours, most people don’t because they dislike the way it feels, smells, or because it interferes with makeup application. Others believe SPF in their foundation or makeup will provide necessary coverage.
While makeup and powders with SPF are great for “touch-up” during the day, they should not be trusted to provide uniform protection over the entire face (or body).
Keep in mind that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all sunscreens, including any cosmetic or personal care product labeled with an SPF, as over-the-counter (OTC) drug products. This requires all applicable sunscreen products to conform to OTC drug regulations, as far as labeling, testing, permitted active ingredients, etc.
So, what is SPF exactly?
SPF is an acronym for Sun Protection Factor. The number next to it indicates the degree to which the sunscreen protects the skin from sunburn. It's important to note that SPF is not a measure of how long you can stay in the sun. Instead, it represents the amount of time it takes for untanned skin to begin to redden with sunscreen applied compared to how long it takes to start reddening without it (source: science.org/au).
To determine the SPF number, a simple formula is utilized. The number of seconds it takes for the skin to slightly redden when coated with sunscreen is divided by the number of seconds it takes to slightly redden when there is no sunscreen applied.
For instance, if it takes 300 seconds for the skin to burn with sunscreen and 10 seconds without it, the SPF would be 30 (300 divided by 10).
Let's talk about the threat of UV radiation.
UV radiation is a type of energy emitted by the sun, and it is categorized into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC rays are the shortest wavelength and do not pose a threat to us on Earth. However, UVB rays can cause changes to the skin's surface, including tanning and sunburns. People living closer to the equator, at higher altitudes, or in environments where UV rays reflect off surfaces such as water or sand are at a higher risk of skin damage from UVB rays.
When we are exposed to UV light, our bodies produce more melanin, the pigment that gives us our natural skin color. A tan is the body's natural defense mechanism against the sun's rays, but prolonged exposure can lead to skin damage and sunburns.
Both UVA and UVB exposure can damage the skin and increase the risk of developing skin cancer. UVA rays make up the majority of UV radiation that reaches the Earth's surface and can penetrate deeply into the skin, even through glass. UVA radiation causes damage to collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to premature aging and wrinkles.
In short, UV radiation poses a significant threat to our skin's health. It's crucial to take precautions and protect our skin from UV rays. Additionally, exposure to blue light from digital devices can also cause digital aging, but that's a topic for another time.
Let's discuss the difference between chemical and physical SPF.
Chemical sunscreen works by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat, which is then released by the skin. On the other hand, mineral sunscreens create a physical barrier that blocks and reflects UV rays before they reach the skin's surface.
So, is one type better than the other? Not necessarily. It's mainly a matter of personal preference. Some people may prefer chemical sunscreen because it tends to be more lightweight and easier to apply, while others may opt for mineral sunscreen because it doesn't contain potentially harmful chemicals.
Ultimately, the most crucial factor is to choose a sunscreen that you are willing to wear every day to protect your skin from UV damage.
To sum it up, scientific research strongly supports the benefits of using sunscreen daily to improve skin health and prevent aging and cancer. It's crucial to establish sun-safe habits from a young age and apply enough SPF to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, décolleté, and ears. SPF sticks are convenient for applying on-the-go, particularly on hands. And, remember to check the expiration date when purchasing sunscreen.
An update on sunscreen requirements–which is regulated by the FDA–went into effect in 2021.
If you are a runner, check out my previous blog “Skin Safety Tips for Runners”
Put intention into your skincare routine. Keeping your skin healthy is a lifelong responsibility. Caring for your skin is akin to caring for your body – it's an integral part of your lifestyle.
Skincare is Healthcare! Be kind to your skin. You'll wear it every day for the rest of your life.
Skin Fit Rox was established with the goal of offering a comprehensive range of skincare services and products that meet European standards. We prioritize client safety and aim to achieve exceptional results through a combination of home care and professional services, all within a modern and welcoming atmosphere.
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