Though I am a huge fan of Coco Chanel, my least favorite trend of hers is tanning (and no it’s not because I’m a ginger!).
A skin tan originally was a sign of a hard life- it represented someone who had to work in the fields and could not afford to have milky, pristine skin. In the 1920s, Coco Chanel went on a vacation and came back with a tan. At that point, a shift occurred in the image that bronzed skin portrayed. A person with a tan was no longer a lowly field worker, but was someone who could afford to travel for pleasure and to relax. With this trend, then came the inevitable sunburn. Sunburn is more than just an uncomfortable rash that blisters and peels. It is actually very serious, as it can lead to the most common type of cancer: skin cancer. Every year, over 2 million Americans learn that they have skin cancer, most of which was preventable. Now, I’m not telling you to stay inside and cover every part of your body, but I am suggesting easy precautionary measures.
Read the label
a. You want a broad-spectrum lotion that will block UVB and UVA rays. A lot of sunscreens will only block UVBs.
b. Make sure they include ingredients like benzophenenes, cinnamates, sullisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, avobenzone and excamsule.
Know Your Numbers
a. Wear an SPF 15 or higher in order to block UVB rays
b. Remember that SPF 30 isn’t 2x as better as SPF 15. SPF 15 filters out 93 % of UVB, while SPF 30 filters out 97%. Even the jump from 30 to 50 only increases blockage by 1%. So, next time you pay top dollar for SPF 100, remember that it’s not significantly better than SPF 50. Most dermatologists don’t recommend wearing over 50, as it doesn’t show much improvement, even with the numerical jump.
a. Apply 15-30 minutes before you go outside. Applying when you’re already at the destination can cause some of it to be rubbed or washed off in the process; therefore, not actually absorbing.
b. Regardless of the kind you use, reapply every 2 hours. If you’re swimming or sweating, you may need to apply more frequently.
c. If you use a spray sunscreen, be sure that it is applied evenly rubbed in all the way and don’t inhale. The FDA suggests not to use them on children.
a. Get the sweat proof and water resistance. If you’re wearing sunscreen chances are that you’ll be warm or at least be toasty from physical activity.
b. Watch the time you spend in the sunshine between 10 am and 2 pm, as these are the times when the sun’s rays are most intense.
c. Wear a hat to shade your face and/or a cover-up so your whole body isn’t exposed. Girls, floppy, wide-brimmed hats and kimono type cover-ups are in, so you have no excuse!
Obviously, you don’t have to be on a beach to get sunburned, so here are some easy steps to avoid sunburn in everyday life. Wear sun protected makeup. You can find powders, moisturizers, and lip balms that all have some protection. If it’s not enough for you, you might consider a buying a specific sunscreen that is able to be worn on the daily, without making you look like a grease monster. Don’t use tanning beds. This might seem obvious, but people still use these. With all of the lotions and spray tanning that is available, this shouldn’t even be an option. See a dermatologist. If you notice any unusual spots, don’t hesitate to go to the dermatologist. Catching skin cancer early is the key to proper removal and health. If you’re regularly exposed to the sun or have a history, you should check yourself regularly or have someone who does.