Skin Cancer Prevention and Ways to Reduce Your Risk
In the summertime, most of us look forward to having fun in the sun and spending time outdoors hiking, swimming, or being at the beach. Drinking up sun-filled days adds minimal benefits of providing you with vitamin D, an essential contributor to your mental state and well-being, which we need during these times of the pandemic. However, if you are not careful, your carefree state of mind can also lead to the development of skin cancer.
The topic of skin cancer and skin cancer prevention is not talked about enough, especially during summer. Yes, people want to have fun, and we don't want to spoil the party, but especially after the Recall of favorite sunscreens that was plastered all over social media in the past few weeks, it needs to be discussed.
In the skincare and beauty realm, when discussing the "proper skincare routine,” we always focus on the importance of applying SPF as the last step of our regime. Other topics such as premature aging, skin damage caused by the sun's harmful UV rays, dryness/irritation, and hyperpigmentation, we already know as well.
However, we skip the grim reality of a person's chance of getting skin cancer. No one wants to think about this topic, but it needs to be heard. So read on and learn more about Skin Cancer Prevention and Ways to Reduce Your Risk.
Let us Clarify One Question
Who doesn't want routinely smooth, soft, and glowing skin? If you say me, then chances are you are in love with AHA skincare (Alpha Hydroxy Skincare products)? If not, you should be. They are a mini fountain of youth in a bottle.
For those of you that love your AHAs and look forward to having your AHA moment daily, know that we here at Nonie of Beverly Hills care about our customer's well-being, skin, and of course, safety when using skincare and/or beauty products. And we want to answer the following question,
"Can I Use My Beloved AHAs if I know I will be in the sun?" Yes, you can use your AHAs while in the sun, but the most important thing to remember is to use your SPF alongside your Alpha Hydroxy Acid skincare. Also, NO, using AHAs will NOT increase your chances of getting skin cancer.
Why do you need to make sure you apply SPF while using AHAs? Because they are serious exfoliators that can thin out the top layer of your skin, making it more susceptible to sun damage. Therefore, when you are using your AHAs, your skin's natural sun protection will become depleted.
On top of knowing that you should be wearing SPF every day, no matter what, when you are using AHAs, the need is extra essential. The easiest way to add SPF into your routine is to replace an existing step in your practice with sunscreen if you are not using it already or continue to use it as your last step of your daily skincare routine.
With so much to worry about with skincare, AHAs from Nonie of Beverly Hills are not one of them.
We produce the best all-natural and vegan Alpha Hydroxy-based skincare products with all-natural ingredients from fruit, plants, and juices.
So, What Exactly are the Causes of Skin Cancer?
Causes of Skin Cancer
Now, unless you were asleep in school when the biology of the skin was taught in science class, then you should already know that the largest organ your body has is your skin. Your skin is made up of many layers that keep you protected from injury, heat, cold, sunlight, and different sources of infection.
Between all the layers are the two main layers, the protectors we will call them, the dermis and epidermis.
Three main types of cells lie inside this layer, melanocytes, squamous cells, and basal cells. Hair follicles, glands, and blood make up the dermis layers.
What are the main causes of skin cancer? Exposure to the sun's harsh ultraviolet rays, through direct and indirect sunlight, and going tanning by sitting in a tanning bed is another cause due to the artificial ultraviolet rays.
The other cause is certain carcinogens that are linked to people having cancer. You may think, well, that won't happen to me, I don't use harmful beauty or skincare products or go tanning. Remember the last blog we did on the recall of some popular sunscreens? The cancer-causing carcinogen benzene was discovered in a few lots of products. Abnormal DNA can be caused by these factors, which can then grow to be cancer.
What are the Different Types of Skin Cancer?
When skin cancer develops, the type of cells it affects determines what kind of cancer it is. For example:
⦁ Skin cancer that develops in the basal cells is known as basal cell carcinoma. It's the most common form of skin cancer and is also the slowest growing.
⦁ Skin cancer that develops in the squamous cells is known as squamous cell carcinoma. It often shows up as red, scaly lesions or sores on the skin. This type of skin cancer usually isn't life-threatening, but it can become dangerous if left untreated.
⦁ Skin cancer that develops in the melanocytes (the cells that create pigment) is called melanoma. This is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It's more likely to spread than basal and squamous cell skin cancers. It causes most skin cancer deaths each year.
What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk for Skin Cancer?
While some types of skin cancer have a genetic component, there are many things you can do to prevent skin cancer from developing.
There's no question that the sun's UV light is one of the most damaging external factors affecting your skin. Unprotected exposure to UV rays can damage DNA in skin cells and lead to skin cancer, as well as to signs of premature aging.
However, while most people recognize the dangers of overexposure to the sun, know how important sun protection is, and want to avoid sun damage, they just haven't integrated preventative steps into their everyday lives.
Get Skin Cancer Screenings
Even if you don't have any skin concerns, it's a good idea to have yearly skin cancer screening checks with a dermatologist. They'll be able to see areas of your body you can't easily monitor.
A dermatologist will also evaluate any moles or other skin growths for the possibility of skin cancer. If a mole has suspicious features and looks like it may be malignant (cancerous), removing it early may prevent it from spreading to other areas of your body.
Practice Sun Safety
The sun can do damage to your skin in little to no time, so it's essential to do everything you can to protect your skin while you're soaking up those rays.
Here are some excellent sun safety tips:
⦁ Seek shade. If you're spending time outdoors, seek shade, so you're not in direct sunlight. This is especially important between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when UV radiation from the sun is most intense.
⦁ Wear sunglasses. Not only will sunglasses help protect your vision, but they can also protect the more delicate skin around your eyes. Most sunglasses will block both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure the pair you buy can protect you from both types of rays, and of course, are fashionable.
⦁ Wear appropriate clothing. If you're going to be outside in the sun for long periods, you may want to consider wearing long sleeves and pants. Look for clothes made with breathable, lightweight fabric so you can remain cool.
⦁ Wear a hat. The skin on your face is delicate, so give it some extra protection with a hat. Wide-brimmed hats not only make you a fashionista; they offer the most protection from the sun.
⦁ Choose broad-spectrum. A broad-spectrum sunscreen can protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays have longer wavelengths that can cause burns and skin cancers. UVB rays have shorter wavelengths that can cause burns, age spots, and wrinkles.
⦁ Note the expiration date. Make sure you're buying sunscreen with a long shelf life. If there's no expiration date, it should be suitable for three years from when you purchased it.
Tanning beds vs. sun. Which is healthier?
Forgive us, but that's a trick question. The answer is neither. The "healthy glow" from tanning is an indication of skin damage from ultraviolet rays. When UV rays damage our skin, melanin's pigment causes our skin to turn tan. The healthiest of glows is your natural skin color.
The biggest no-brainer and best way to not only protect your skin from sun damage and skin cancer is to use a moisturizer to lock in moisture for your skin that the sun takes out. Make sure to know your skin type. At Nonie, we have many AHA moisturizers for every skin type and every skin need. Check out our website to check out which one is best for you.
Can Retin-A and vitamin B-3 Protect Your Skin?
The use of retinol products like Retin-A to prevent skin cancer is controversial. It has been said that retinol can increase the creation of new skin cells, preventing skin cancer.
However, there's a catch: Retinol can make your skin much more sensitive to sun exposure. This means if you're using retinol products, you'll have to be extra cautious when outside for long periods. Wear sunscreen when using skincare products containing retinol.
Niacinamide (a form of vitamin B-3) has been shown to lower the risk of certain skin cancers in some high-risk individuals.
Some older research indicates that, niacinamide may:
⦁ reduce inflammation
⦁ build proteins in the skin
⦁ improve the moisture content of your skin
This may help protect the skin from environmental damage, including sunlight.
However, niacinamide hasn't been widely studied, so its side effects aren't fully known yet.
When to See Your Doctor?
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to stay vigilant and monitor your skin. If you have any of the following symptoms, it's a good idea to call your doctor:
⦁ a mole with irregular borders
⦁ a sudden, fast-growing skin growth
⦁ a patch of scaly, red skin that doesn't go away
⦁ sudden pain, tenderness, or itchiness
⦁ bleeding or oozing from a skin spot
The 411 on Sunscreen and its Help in Reducing Your Chances of Getting Skin Cancer
Make sure to look for a blend of zinc oxide and titanium oxide in your sunscreen of choice. If have sensitive skin and are worried about these ingredients, don't worry; mineral sunscreen seems to be well accepted by sensitive typed skin.
Suppose your SPF of choice has other more natural ingredients like vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants. In that case, this is even better since they can help counteract toxic pollutants and free radicals that damage your skin.
While we have repeatedly mentioned the importance of applying sunscreen every day, know that there are other things you can do to your rescue your sun disrupted skin, and of course, reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.
Make Sure to Apply the Right Amount of Sunscreen to Protect Areas of Exposed Skin.
Unless you have acne-prone skin or sensitivities, SPF is a must. It is more about adequate application than anything else. To have your skin protected and reduce your chances of skin cancer, make sure to apply your SPF every 2 hours, and cover your neck and face; this is vital. Often, people use less SPF than they should, which gives about 40 percent protection from UV rays.
There are so many sunscreens and sun care products on store shelves nowadays that it can be overwhelming to choose. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you select a sunscreen you will be happy to use and make a habit of it.
Things to consider are how it smells and how it feels on your skin. If you are a #skincarelover, then we know that there is a lot more to look for, like, whether it's vegan, organic, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and made with all-natural ingredients.
People are becoming more concerned with using non-toxic products in their households, especially since this sunscreen recall. What can we do to ensure we make the best skin ingredient choices while keeping our skin protected? Here are some extra tips when it comes to shopping for a safe yet effective SPF.
⦁ Read the Label Before Choosing Your Sunscreen
⦁ Learn the Pros and Cons of Mineral and Chemical Sunscreens
⦁ Know the Difference Between Oxybenzone and Avobenzone
⦁ Why Broad-Spectrum Matters When Picking a Sunblock
⦁ Check for Your Sunscreen's Water Resistance
Check out our AHA 15 SPF Sunblock Moisturizer here at Nonie. It is super nourishing and not sticky like others in the market. Our sunscreen contains all-natural ingredients like Coconut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Orange & Lemon Oils, Coconut Emulsifier, and Orchid Oil just to name a few.
Always Wear Your SPF 365 Days a Year
None of us forget to apply our SPF on a scorching hot day while heading to the beach. However, skin health is far from our mind on rainy or snowy days, well, besides our morning and nighttime skincare routines. Our minds are like, well, I don't see the sun out, so there is no need for sunscreen, except for us hardcore skincare lovers; we know the 411 when it comes to SPF year-round and 365 days a year. But with skin cancer and premature aging as outcomes of harmful UV rays, skin cancer risks increased, or the Recall has woken up those that may not be well informed about skincare as others.
To Power Up, Your Skin's Defenses, try a Tinted Sunscreen
Using a tinted sunscreen is a great way to turn up the protection factor of your SPF of choice. Devices like tablets, smartphones and laptops can reflect ultraviolet light from the sun and may indirectly increase users' exposure to the cancer-causing wavelengths.
These wavelengths run for a more extended period. They can penetrate your skin deeper, causing severe damage to connective tissues within your skin, which in turn increases your chances of skin cancer. Now this certainly is NOT something you think of every day. Most of us live on our phones for entertainment and even business.
A tinted sunscreen has an ingredient, iron oxide, that prevents radiant light from entering your skin's connectives tissues.
Try These Steps to Achieve Healthier Skin and Prevent Skin Cancer
It is always easier to prevent the signs of sun damage and early signs of skin cancer than trying to undo the damage that's already been done. However, while sunscreen is a good start, sunscreen alone isn't enough to protect your skin and overall health. Check out the following steps that we highly recommend you take—from the inside out—to prevent skin cancer and achieve genuinely healthy skin.
Stick to a healthy diet.
Your body's ability to repair damage comes from the inside, and that starts with an overall healthy lifestyle. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and high in antioxidants is good not only for your skin but also for your entire body. Avoid processed foods and make sure dark green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and kale, as well as citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, are included in your daily diet. These foods contain nutrients that can help to reduce your risk of skin cancer by up to 50 percent and leave you with glowing, healthy skin.
Supplement with vitamin B3 (nicotinamide).
Vitamin B3, or nicotinamide, is good for the skin and can help prevent skin cancer. A recent study found that patients who have been previously diagnosed with basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers see enhanced DNA repair and decreased risk of future skin cancers by taking 500 milligrams of vitamin B3 twice daily. Suppose you are already taking the necessary steps to ensure you lead a healthy lifestyle. In that case, just add vitamin B3 to your daily regimen to boost your skin's DNA repair process while also potentially reducing your risk for skin cancer. All of this may sound boring; however, it can literally be a life saver.
Follow the ABCDEs.
Do you know your ABCDEs? The American Academy of Dermatology says you should tell your doctor if your moles have the following symptoms of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer:
⦁ Asymmetry – Half of the mole is different from the other half.
⦁ Borders – Are any moles irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined?
⦁ Color – Check for varying colors, such as shades of tan and brown, black. Sometimes moles turn white, red, or blue.
⦁ Diameters – Are they the size of a pencil eraser or larger?
⦁ Evolving – Has the mole or skin lesion changed in size, shape, or color?
Look to Nonie of Beverley Hill for all Your SPF Needs
Now that you know about Skin Cancer Prevention and Ways to Reduce Your Risk, you can have your fun time in the sun without having to worry about anything. Here at Nonie of Beverly Hills we have your SPF needs all covered. Know that you are applying nothing but the best ingredients to your skin with our SPF 15+ .
Got other skincare needs? Make sure to check out our excellent assortment of AHA skin care products. Get an entire skin care set, with our AHA Deluxe Kit. Our kit includes some of our customers most favorite Nonie products, AHA Facial Cleanser, AHA Tonic, our popular AHA Protein Moisturizer.
So, relax and renew yourself and your skin this summer. Now offering a subscription option. Subscribe and save 5% on your favorite Nonie products and get products delivered every 30, 60 or 90 days. Take a peek at our website for more information.
Written By: Merri Wong