28 May 2015

Fashionably PALE

skin cancer awareness month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. As you may know, skin cancer prevention is a subject matter that is near and dear to my heart as a melanoma survivorIt is so important to be diligent and cautious about sun exposure for both yourself and your little ones. However, it is equally important that you get out and enjoy the warmer weather that spring and summer have to offer. I think it is totally possible to be safe in the sun without sacrificing style. 

SPF makeup

blanket c/o SwimOutlet sold out (love this one) || hat old (similar) || IT Cosmetics CC+ || nail polish || lipstick || c/o sunglasses || face moisturizer || body lotion

baby sunscreen

blanket c/o SwimOutlet sold out (love this one) || hat || swimsuit cover up c/o Snapper Rock || sunscreen || baby blanket || sunglasses || swimsuit 

If you don't already wear sunglasses, you totally should! I'm LOVING these mirrored aviators for summer time. Sunglasses are ALWAYS in season plus they offer excellent protection to your eyes. Did you know you that the sun can not only deteriorate your vision over time, but it can actually cause you to develop skin cancer in your eye? It's called ocular or uveal melanoma. So, make sure you get sunglasses that offer UV protection at 100% (you can usually find this information on the tag itself or on a sticker placed over the lens) and the bigger the frames the better! Now, on to the kids shades! Mallory and Mike each have a pair of these sunglasses from REI. I love them because they offer really full coverage of the eye area and they have adjustable straps so I can ensure they aren't easily removed. ;)

Don’t forget about your head! Often times, suspicious moles go undetected on your head because they are difficult to find, see and monitor. To me, this makes protecting my scalp extra important! There are actual sunscreen options available that are designed to be applied over hair to protect your scalp like this one by Nioxin. Hats are my go to option for protecting my head. Who doesn’t like an excuse to wear a big floppy sun hat?! In a pinch, you can pile your hair on top of your head in a huge messy bun as a barrier until you can get your hands on a hat. I like to keep my Reds baseball cap in the car just in case. As for the kids, training is key! Haaaa! But for real, I have made a conscious effort to keep a hat on Mallory's head from day one, that way she doesn't really know any different. She seems to prefer hats that fit nice and snug, like this one and don't have any straps or ties below the neck. It's all about finding what works best for your child and what they will actually wear!

Another area we tend to over look when considering sun protection are our nail beds. You can get skin cancer there too! My solution is to keep my nails polished at all times. "Hey Kyle, I need to get a mani/pedi. Yes, need. It's for my safety..." Hehehe. Ok fine, that doesn't usually work, but I really do keep my nails polished most of the time to offer an added UV barrier. (Obsessed with neon nail colors right now!) For our non nail polish wearing ladies and littles, don't forget to rub some of your SPF lotion on your nails too! (Side note : Make sure you aren't wearing nail polish when you visit your dermatologist so they can check your nail beds too.)

Sunscreen. This is the real meat and potatoes of your sun safety regimen. Make sure you purchase a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This means it protects your skin from both UV-A and UV-B rays. UV-A and UV-B rays are each damaging to your skin. Grab a lotion with minimum SPF (sun protection factor) of 30. Our go-to sunscreen is Blue Lizard for babies. We keep a bottle in each car, one in my purse and one in the medicine cabinet at home. I use Blue Lizard just because everyone in the family can use it. My dermatologist recommends finding a sunscreen that uses zinc and titanium as the main ingredients. "No ingredients you can't pronounce." Zinc and titanium are safer for your little one's skin and provide a physical barrier to those UV rays as opposed to a chemical one. Above all, the best sunscreen is the kind you'll actually use! Apply your sunscreen about 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply as directed (read: frequently.) If your like me and don't much care for the smell of sunscreen--I've been using this stuff as my regular all over moisturizer since it smells nice, and save the Blue Lizard for when we are actually going to be outside. 

Now onto the face! Most makeup brands offer their foundations or BB/CC creams with SPF. Make sure you look for those options; it’s a very easy switch for a little extra protection. I recently purchased the IT Cosmetics CC+ and love it! SPF 50?! Get outta town! There are also tons of great moisturizers out there that include SPF. Personally, I stick with drugstore options on this step since my face make up also has sunscreen in it. If you are looking for something a bit more fancy or aren't willing to make the switch to SPF with your foundation, I hear amazing things about La Roche-Posay's sunscreen for the face. Oh! Slap on some bright, summery lipstick or a lip balm with SPF to protect your pout! [If you are in the mood for some online shopping, Sephora is offering Beauty Insiders a FREE deluxe sample of sunscreen with any $25 purchase. Score! Get yours here.]

A special note about your little one's skin :: Our pediatrician advised us to avoid putting sun screen on the kids before they are 6 months old and to use physical barriers for protection instead. This can be tough when its super hot outside. Of course, you don't want your baby to be too hot, but you also want to protect that precious skin! Enter UPF rated clothing/swimwear. UPF stands for Ultravilet Protective Clothing. Sooooo many company's offer UPF pieces, even my beloved Target! One of my favorite retailers of sun protective clothing for kids is Snapper Rock--soooo many adorable swimsuits and coverups! This month they are donating 5% of their internet sales to the Children's Melanoma Foundation, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me! As for your tiny babies who are still kind of just sleeping in their carseat during any prolonged outdoor activities, toss an Aden & Anais blanket over them. They are so light and breathable that they won't cause your baby to overheat, but still offer some additional protection from those UV rays. 

Phew! There you have it. The skin cancer patient's obligatory "protect your skin" post.

Do you have any tips/tricks to add? 

Remember, pale skin is BEAUTIFUL!

Find other posts on sun safety here and here

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