Get Sunscreen Smart Right Now
Don’t wait until summer!
Most people know about the benefits of sunscreen and the dangers of skin cancer. We probably even know what SPF we’d want to use. The key phrase there is “want to” – because although we know enough, we’re doing barely anything about protecting ourselves from skin cancer.
According to a recent survey by the American Academy for Dermatologic Surgery (AADS), 94 percent of Americans are aware of skin-cancer hazards, but only one in five wear sunscreen every day.
Whether you avoid wearing sunscreen because you don’t like the smell, the texture or how it interacts with your favorite makeup, you’re putting yourself at significant risk, especially if you’re between 25 and 29. In that age group, melanoma is the most common type of cancer. (Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Other types, like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are less deadly but still must be treated.)
All the more reason to start wearing sunscreen now, before the heat of summer hits, and to continue the habit throughout the year.
Although most cases of skin cancer happen on the face, according to the experts at AADS, dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen on all exposed areas of your body, including some you might not think about, including the rims of your ears, the backs of your hands, the surface of your feet and toes (yes, you can get skin cancer between your toes), your exposed abdominal area if you’re wearing a bikini, your back and the backs of your thighs, knees and legs. Think of applying sunscreen the same way you think of applying a spray-on tan: you don’t want to miss a single spot.