Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and also the most common cancer in Canadians, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Last week, we touched on the ABCDEs and the “ugly duckling” sign of early melanoma detection in Part 1 of this blog. With May being Melanoma Awareness Month and the 14th of May being World Melanoma Awareness Day, we would like to continue to build awareness around the topic of skin cancer in this week’s blog. Part 2 is therefore dedicated to the prevention of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Protection Is Prevention
Melanoma is 90% preventable. Protecting your skin from harmful UVA and UVB is the ultimate step in preventing skin cancer. SPF refers to the length of added exposure time before your skin burns from UVB. High SPF values can be distracting, allowing people to think they can stay out in the sun longer. However, they are potentially exposing themselves to the more harmful UVA which causes skin cancer, eye damage, and accelerated skin aging. Always choose a broad spectrum sunscreen which protects against both UVB and the more harmful UVA rays. Also protect yourself by seeking shade, covering up and avoiding exposure from 11am - 3pm when UVR is at its highest in Canada.
Choose physical filter sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are safe, gentle, and natural minerals which sit on the skin’s surface and reflect and scatter light away from the skin shielding in from UVR. The combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB coverage. Just as minerals are safe for our bodies, they are safe for the earth as well.
Use Responsible Ingredients
Many sunscreen chemicals are known hormone disruptors, carcinogens, and allergens, in addition to being deemed hazardous/toxic to coral reefs and ocean wildlife. Almost 70% of sunscreens available for sale contain chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are known to contribute to coral reef degradation and prevent the ability of coral reefs to replicate and repair themselves. The state of Hawaii, following the example set by Australia’s 500 million dollars Great Barrier Reef restoration plan, is poised to impose a ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, as a measure to protect its beautiful reefs. In addition to being hazardous to coral reefs, these chemicals are known to be particularly harmful to sea algae and marine wildlife such as turtles.
It’s Not All About Sunscreen
There are many other ways to protect yourself and the ones you love and prevent skin cancer. Niacinamide is an oral supplement which is not only beneficial from a cosmetic and skin health perspective but also is helpful regarding skin cancer prevention. Click here to read about more easy ways you can keep you and your family sun safe as the weather continues to improve.
Let Us Help
At Live Young, we are committed to providing optimal choices for your individual needs. We offer complimentary consultations to discuss removing non-melanoma skin lesions by treatments such as photodynamic therapy.
Our clinic always has in stock a wide range of broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection from elite skin care lines in SPF 40-50. Physicians develop our cruelty-free sunscreen formulas and packed with antioxidants and other added skin nutrients. We aim to help you go makeup-free with our tinted sunscreens, which come in a variety of shades in both matte and sheer finishes. As for us about which sun protection is best for you and those you care.