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Should you be wearing SPF everyday?

Melanoma, is the most serious type of skin cancer, develops in the cells that produce pigment giving your skin its color. I often get asked “Do I need to wear sunscreen every day?” the answer is absolutely YES!! I also get asked “even if I don’t go outside” … The answer is YES!! Let’s dive into why!

We all know the leading cause of melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning beds increases your risk of developing melanoma. Limiting your exposure to UV radiation can help reduce your risk of melanoma. 

The risk of melanoma seems to be increasing in people under 40. Knowing the warning signs of skin cancer can help ensure that cancerous changes are detected and treated before the cancer has spread. Melanoma can be treated successfully if it is detected early.

Melanomas can develop anywhere on your body. The most often areas it develops in  are the back, legs, arms and face.Normal moles are generally the same in color — such as tan, brown or black — with a distinct border separating the mole from your surrounding skin. They're oval or round and usually smaller than 1/4 inch.

To help you identify characteristics of unusual moles that may indicate melanomas or other skin cancers, think of the letters ABCDE:

  • A is for asymmetrical shape. Look for moles with irregular shapes, such as two very different-looking halves.
  • B is for irregular borders. Look for moles with irregular, notched or scalloped borders — characteristics of melanomas.
  • C is for changes in color. Look for growths that have many colors or an uneven distribution of color.
  • D is for diameter. Look for new growth in a mole larger than 1/4 inch (about 6 millimeters).
  • E is for evolving. Look for changes over time, such as a mole that grows in size or that changes color or shape. Moles may also evolve to develop new signs and symptoms, such as new itchiness or bleeding.

Cancerous (malignant) moles vary greatly in appearance. Some may show all of the changes listed above, while others may have only one or two unusual characteristics.

Factors that may increase your risk of melanoma include fair skin, having a history of sunburns, excessive exposure to UV light and having a family history of melanoma.

You can reduce your risk of melanoma by avoiding the sun mid-day when the UV Rays are the strongest. The stronger rays can increase the risk of burning. Wear SPF! Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring. Avoid Tanning lamps and bed…period.

Now we all know the leading cause of skin cancer, but do we know one of the largest leading causes of premature aging and hyperpigmentation? You heard about UVA and UVB rays but have you heard about HEV? Does Blue light mean anything to you?

What about Blue light? What is Blue light? Since the coronavirus pandemic took over our lives, it has forced us indoors and in front of our screen of electronic devices even more than before. So, what exactly is blue light and what effect does it have to our canvas? Blue light falls under the blue-violet spectrum of light. This unique band has a high energy level and falls under the categories referred to as HEV light (high energy visible). 

HEV is primarily found in the sun, but it is also admitted from our tablets, phones, computers and TV screens. Fortunately, energy levels from our devices are low and will not cause melanoma, however having long term exposure to them can cause havoc on your canvas. 

While we may not be worried about HEV causing melanoma what we should be aware of is that it will cause premature aging and can also contribute to hyper pigmentation and melasma. Blue light also generates free radicals which cause our cells to produce enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. Say hello to older looking skin. 

Now you may be wondering what to do? The world we live in demands to be in front of our screens for various reasons, that being business or pleasure. There are many products on the market that target blue lights but the best blue light blocking products is a mineral based sunscreen. Using a mineral sunscreen offers a broad spectrum against UV light as well as HEV. My go to is ZO Skin Health Smart tone SPF 50. Adding in a tint to a sunscreen containing iron oxide pigment also helps to block visible light.  What I love about this sunscreen is the tint adjust to the color of your canvas. While I love Zo Skin health Smart tone, I will say all of Zo Skin health sunscreens protect from HEV rays. Not all sunscreen includes Blue light (HEV) protection, while then may protect against UVA and UVB be sure to always look for Broad spectrum that lists HEV protection. Broad spectrum will include a Zinc oxide and or titanium dioxide base. These product-based sunscreens will reflect some portions of HEV light. To ensure you are protecting from all the rays UVA, UVB and HEV be sure that the ingredients iron oxide is also listed.

We have always known we needed to wear SPF to protect but now I hope I have educated you that you must always wear SPF, regardless if you’re heading outside or having a lazy day scrolling IG and tik tok. Protect yourself from all the rays on all days.

Xo Amanda

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