We can't stress this enough – and we hate stressing, it causes wrinkles – protecting your skin needs to be at the top of your to-do list this summer. Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in women under 40 and is responsible for 80% of skin cancer deaths. Paying attention now? We thought so. We've asked L'Oréal Paris skin care expert, dermatologist Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, and studied the research commissioned by L'Oréal Paris and the Melanoma Research Alliance, to give you a cheat sheet on summer sun care. Here are the numbers you need to know:
The SPF value you should be wearing everyday and everywhere this summer.
"SPF 50+ is the gold standard when in the sun for prolonged time," says Dr. Gerstner. "What it really comes down to is the label, in addition to 50+, you want to see claims like "broad-spectrum sunscreen offering protection against both UVA and UVB rays." UVB rays, the ones SPF addresses, are responsible for burning skin, but UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and cause aging. Dr. Gerstner's go-to: Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer BB Lotion 50+.
The number of minutes you can spend in the sun before reapplying sunscreen.
The reasoning here is simple. "Melanoma often arises in areas which have had sunburns," warns Dr. Gerstner, "and among people who have had numerous sunburns." Applying your sun care more frequently dramatically reduces your burn risk.
The spots you need to double-check on your next self-skin exam.
For girls, it's your calves. For guys, it's your back. But Dr. Gerstner says "check everywhere, even areas that have never been exposed to the sun like the bottoms of your feet." She suggests using the ABCDE method to look for spots with: Asymmetry, Border change, Color change, Diameter change and "Evolving" changes, because Melanoma is highly curable by surgery when detected early.
The percentage that Melanoma has increased in young women over 40 yrs.
We're calling it now -- natural skin is the new tan. So whether you're hitting the beach, lounging pool side, or simply spending the day outside, remember to layer on the lotion. And for those of you still trying to catch rays indoors, stop! People who use indoor tanning devices have up to a 75% increased risk of melanoma.
The amount of money you've helped donate to Melanoma research this summer.
Congrats to everyone that visited ItsThatWorthIt.org and joined the global Thunderclap (a crowd-sourcing tool, which encourages people all over the world to prevent melanoma by wearing sunscreen). L'Oréal Paris has donated $1 for each Advanced Suncare product purchased and another $1 every time someone supported the cause via Twitter, Facebook, and/or Tumblr! Thanks for proving, It's THAT Worth It.