7 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

woman with sunhat in pool

“Today we know that 90 percent of all skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is also linked to eye damage, immune system suppression, and up to 90 percent of the changes commonly attributed to aging, including wrinkles, leathery skin and brown spots.”

At INTERLOCKS we are all about beauty and wellness. In recent years, it’s become more widely known that tanning and sunburns are even worse for our skin than we thought. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US, with 5.4 million cases in 3.3 million people annually. So in honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we’re sharing these tips to prevent skin cancer and keep you healthy and beautiful!

1. Apply Sunscreen!

One of the best ways to prevent skin cancer is by consistently and properly using sunscreen. Skincancer.org recommends using at least SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15, and reapplying after swimming, sweating, or after 2 hours. And it’s not just for beach days! We’re exposed to the sun every day in many situations (even simply driving into work), so sunscreen should be used daily.

We have great options from Supergoop, a brand that marries sun care and skincare. Say no more to the greasy, overpowering drugstore stuff. Each Supergoop product protects from sun damage, locks in moisture with antioxidants, AND goes on smoothly with a light, fresh scent. We recommend the products below for daily all-over use, but also check out the serums, lip balms, and body creams next time you’re in!

Supergoop everyday sunscreen

Everyday Sunscreen with Cellular Response Technology SPF 50
2.4 oz for $19

Supergoop mist pool

Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist with Vitamin C SPF 30 and 50
6 oz for $19

Supergoop mineral sunscreen background

Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen with Olive Polyphenols SPF 40
2.4 oz for $28

See some of our other SPF and self-tan products here.

2. Stay in the Shade

It seems obvious, but simply hang out in the shade and avoid direct sunlight, especially during midday when the rays are strongest. And don’t be fooled by cool or cloudy days — UV rays reach the ground year-round, so daily sunscreen use and limited sun exposure is important.

3. Cover Up

If you can’t avoid the sun, try to cover as much of your skin as possible with clothing. Billowy beach pants, a light tunic, floppy straw hat, and peace of mind are très chic. And don’t forget the eyes and lips! We love Supergoop SPF 50 Lip Screen, which can be used on its own or over your favorite lipstick.

4. Avoid Tanning

“Tans are caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning lamps, and if you have one, you’ve sustained skin cell damage.” -skincancer.org

We know, we know. Lots of people associate tanned skin with beauty, prosperity, and health. But there is no such thing as a healthy tan from UV rays – that is, laying out in the sun or using tanning beds. Thankfully more people are becoming aware of the dangers AND aging effects of tanning on skin. If you simply must have a bronzy glow, try a self-tanner like the fabulous James Read Tan line, carried here. Or simply embrace your natural skin! Healthy is always in.

5. Don’t Get Burned

Use all the tips above to avoid getting a sunburn! According to skincancer.org, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns. Be proactive to prevent skin cancer. Sun damage is cumulative, so the less we allow our skin to tan and especially burn, the better.

6. Check Yourself Out

You should examine your body top-to-bottom every month to check for any new or changing moles, scaly patches, bumps, or other changes in skin. Familiarize yourself with the ABCDEs of melanoma moles: Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolving.

Check out If You Can Spot It You Can Stop It, an in-depth self-exam guide from skincancer.org, for more information.

7. Get Checked Out

Doctors, especially dermatologists, are trained to spot any abnormal freckles, moles, or other spots, and treat them as necessary. Combined with regular self-checks, a yearly medical exam is a great way to make sure you’re not overlooking changes in your skin.

Sources and more information

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, but we hope these tips help you to be aware, healthy, and beautiful all year long! Follow the links below for more great resources to prevent skin cancer.

7 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer | INTERLOCKS Salon + Spa