We all hear that SPF should be our BFF. This is a statement I have refused for years. Every summer, I let myself fry, hoping that it will turn into a nice glowing tan. I don’t know why I haven’t learned my lesson by now. I have pale skin that burns easily and does not turn into a tan after just a few hours in the sun (I wish so desperately that it would)! I have burned, blistered, and peeled too many times to count. Aloe is my BFF (ha-ha)! But, this summer, I decided it’s time for a change. 

I recently fried myself over Memorial Day weekend. Once again, I had the mindset; maybe this time, I will tan and not burn. Wrong! I burned my shoulders to a crisp, and they peeled for a week. So, even though I’ve heard a million times to apply sunscreen every day to your face even when it’s cloudy and have had constant lectures from my parents over the years (both skin cancer survivors), I decided it’s time for a change. I started reading articles from Women’s Health Magazine on skin cancer and the importance of SPF.

Here a few these I found out:

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Melanoma rates have skyrocketed in the last few years. A Mayo Clinic study finds they’ve increased eightfold between 1970 and 2009 for young women. Melanoma can be treated if caught in time but is deadly. 
  • If you have a family history of skin cancer, your risk for skin cancer increases. My parents have both had Basil Cell, and my Nana and Grandpa have had Melanoma.
  • One blistering sunburn doubles your risk of getting Melanoma later in life. I’ve had like five blistering sunburns!! Five mild sunburns can double your risk as well (this made my jaw drop). 
  • I found out women with fair skin, and light blue or green eyes have less melanin, which is a natural skin protector, aka a contributing reason to why I burn. But, all complexions can burn.
  • Any sun exposure damages and ages our skin creating wrinkles and cell injury. It is scientifically backed by dermatologists to apply sunscreen every 2 hours. Our body’s internal thermostat dilutes sunscreen on our skin and makes it evaporate. Sunscreen is the best anti-aging serum. 

It is crazy to me when I think about it that we let ourselves burn. We don’t like it when our food is burnt, so why do we let our own skin burn? 

I know I am not going to change my habits dramatically overnight, but I am going to start by wearing face sunscreen every day to my daily routine. Reading those facts made me feel shocked at how much I have neglected my skin over the years. I challenge you this summer to step up your sunscreen game with me!  

“Be good to your skin. You’ll wear it every day for the rest of your life.” XO 

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