I love being out in the sun. With summer being my favourite season and constantly being in search of my next outdoor adventure, I spend considerable amounts of time outdoors every day. That said, over the years I’ve become a lot smarter with my sun habits.
Research has shown that skin cancer is more common than all other cancers combined yet it is highly treatable. 90% of skin cancers are curable if detected early. Because 86% of melanomas and 90% of non-melanoma cancers are caused by sun exposure, adopting safe sun habits is crucial.
Today, thanks to the help of La Roche-Posay, I’m sharing with you some of the habits I’ve recently adopted in order to not only save my skin but also play safe in the sun. It’s a simple 3-step approach that you can also follow.
Step 1: Become a Skin Checker and check for moles using the ABCDE method
Because skin cancer is a type of cancer that can be seen with the naked eye, becoming a Skin Checker and using the ABCDE method is key in early detection of skin cancer.
A – Stands for Asymmetry. A mole that has an asymmetrical shape, that isn’t round or oval, that has contouring and colouring that isn’t evenly distributed around its centre.
B – stands for Border. If borders are irregular or jagged like on a map.
C – stands for Colour. If the mole has several colours (brown, red, white, etc.)
D – stands for Diameter. If the mole is greater than 6 mm (the size of a pencil eraser)
E – stands for Evolution. If the mole evolves quickly and changes in size, shape, thickness or colour.
If any of the moles you have checked fall into any of the above categories, they must be checked by a dermatologist.
Step 2: Apply high broad spectrum sunscreen.
Because not all sun protection is created equal, it’s important to choose your sunscreen carefully. UVA rays represent 95% of UV rays and penetrate through clouds and even glass, making these rays damaging all year long. When looking for a sunscreen, you should look for the UVA logo, that indicates that the UVA protection is in line with the Canadian sunscreen requirements. You should also look for High broad-spectrum protection and also look for Mexoryl® technology (is a specialized UVA filter capable of dissolving in water, thus giving unrivalled UVA protection and creating a homogenous protection for your skin). Also, contrary to popular belief SPF (Sun Protection Factor) does not indicate the time you can stay under the sun but rather indicates the UVB protection factor. La Roche-Posay‘s Athelios provides this advance protection for your skin. The sunscreen is dermatologist tested, suitable for sensitive skin, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, allergy tested and is also free of parabens and water resistant. It comes in a variety of formulas including the new 100% mineral filter lotion. They offer both body and face lotions that are made for every skin type and kind of exposure for both adults and children.
Step 3: Play safe in the sun with My UV Patch, a wearable “sun-safer behavioural coach”
My UV Patch has proven to improve sun safer behaviour while also minimizing sunburns. The heart-shaped patch is easy to use with an intuitive mobile app that monitors your sun exposure in real-time. You can scan the patch and the app will use the different photosensitive dyes on the square to determine the UV exposure level. Using an algorithm that factors in your personal data (phototype, skin type, location and weather info), the app will generate essential information on what behaviours to adopt and what protection to apply. The app is incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate while the patch is easy to scan. La Roche-Posay will be distributing nearly 1 million patches for free across the country so that you too can play safe in the sun.
By following these three steps and also making sure to avoid long sun exposure, especially during peak sun hours in the middle of the day, I’m one step closer to preventing any potential onset of skin cancer.
For more information on La Roche-Posay‘s Become A Skin Checker campaign, go here.
This post was written in collaboration with La Roche-Posay but all opinions are my own.