In association with the World Congress on Dermatology in Vancouver, La Roche Posay hosted a sun safety information session for media. The Skin Checker initiative, helping Canadians and people across the world take action against one of the top cancers in Canada, melanoma. This new platform has been commended by the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) and is growing with over 17 Million people already signed up globally in pledging that they will be more aware of checking themselves and others for signs of skin cancer. I also had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Jennifer Beecker, the National Chair of the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Sun Awareness Program.
Dr. Beecker is a Dermatologist certified by both the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Dermatology. Dr. Beecker is also certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in Family Medicine with Special Competence in Emergency Medicine. She practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology. In her role as the national chair of the CDA’s Sun Awareness Program, Dr. Beecker is working with La Roche Posay to create sun awareness among consumers, namely ensuring that consumers understand the risks of sun exposure, are educated on how to mitigate those risks, and also how to identify signs of skin cancer.
In terms of tips on how to protect yourself against sun exposure, Dr. Beecker recommended:
- Wearing SPF 60+ on a daily basis, not just while being outside because UVA rays (the longer of the two UV rays) can easily penetrate glass and are also the ones responsible for premature signs of aging, as well as long term damage to the deeper layers of the skin. SPF 60+ is recommended because most people do not apply enough sunscreen, so if you’re using SPF 15 or 30, and you’re only applying 1/4 to 1/2 of what the recommended dosage is, you only end up getting 1/4 to 1/2 of the protection. SPF 60+ will ensure that even if you only apply half of the recommended dosage, you can still get good protection.
- Making sure that your sunscreen offers both UVA and UVB protection, in addition to it being certified by the Canadian Dermatology Association (there will be a logo on the box).
- Wearing enough sunscreen to cover your face, neck (and sides/back of the neck) and ears. People often forget the neck and ears, but it’s important to remember to also apply there.
- In terms of reapplying your sunscreen after a few hours, especially if you’re wearing makeup, some tips include patting on a light mist with the palms of your hands (don’t rub), and using a sun protection stick (La Roche Posay has one with SPF 60).
- Staying in the shade when you can, cover yourself up with clothing, wear a hat, and wear sunglasses or prescription glasses with UV protection. Dr. Beecker explained that even a tan is considered skin damage because a tan is your skin cells creating melanin to protect your DNA from UV rays. A tan is the earliest indication that your skin is starting to be damaged.
In terms of practicing safe sun, it’s also important to check up on yourself as well as others for potential signs of melanoma. Dr. Beecker said the vast majority of skin cancer is detected by the person who developed it, or by a loved one. By participating in the SkinChecker campaign, or by educating yourself and the people around you on the signs of early stage skin cancer, you can prevent it from worsening and potentially save a life.
La Roche Posay offers the Anthelios sunscreen line, which is contains a mix of chemical and physical sunscreens, offering both UVA and UVB protection. The Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50 is new for 2015 and AHMAZING. This is the stuff if you’re lazy (like me) and need high sun protection, but still need to look good in front of others. Its a mineral sunscreen formulated with 11% Titanium Dioxide, but it also contains a nice tint which masks the white cast that mineral sunscreens can give off and provides light coverage to even out the skintone. The Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60 is a 100% chemical sunscreen that is one of the top sellers in terms of sunscreens in Canada. It provides lightweight, but high sun protection, that’s great for a day hike or a mid-day stroll in the city. Anthelios XL Lotion SPF 60, also new for 2015, is another chemical sunscreen that’s good for the face and body, which is great for mid-day touchups because you just have to carry one bottle around. Lastly, the new Anthelios Mist SPF 50 is ultra lightweight and great for men or children as it’s convenient to spray on then rub in, without too much fuss.