Celebrate National Sunscreen Day: 3 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from Sun Damage

protect sundamage

National Sunscreen Day–celebrated on May 27–is just a few days away.

It may seem like a silly holiday, but for over 70 years, sunscreen has been saving lives and protecting people from skin cancer.

For that reason alone, we think National Sunscreen Day is definitely worth celebrating–and we hope you’ll join us!

To get the party started, below are a few tips on how to protect your skin from sun damage.

Keep reading to check out our recommendations…

Sun Protection Tip #1 – Wear Sunscreen

sunscreen on the beach

We thought we’d start with the most obvious and overlooked sun protection tip–wear sunscreen.

Here’s the science behind why it’s so important…

The inorganic chemicals in sunscreen, including minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, block the sun’s harmful rays.

The sunscreen ingredients do this by blocking UV lights the same way white paint reflects light.

When the UV lights are blocked, they can’t penetrate your skin causing burns, cell mutations, or even worse, cancer.

Apply one coat of sunscreen every few hours, and your skin will stay protected.

Tip: The skin on your face is very delicate, so it burns easily. For that reason, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your face. If you’re worried about putting greasy sunscreen on your face, look for facial sunscreen that’s made specifically for facial skin.

Aside from applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and a hat can help protect your skin.

Sun Protection Tip #2 – Wear a Swim Shirt

boy in a swim shirt kissing a dolphin

People often get sunburns while swimming in pools, lakes, or oceans.

There are two reasons this happens.

The first reason is that people feel nice and cool in water so they don’t realize they are starting to burn.

The second reason is that the sun reflects off the water’s surface. These reflective rays increase the skin’s exposure to harmful rays, resulting in sunburns.

The best way to protect against getting burned while in the water is to wear a swim shirt.

These special water-safe shirts can be found in any sporting goods or swimwear store. And, they can cost as little as $20–a worthy investment!

Aside from protecting you from the sun, these shirts are designed to keep you nice and cool.

Look cool and stay cool with a sun shirt!

Sun Protection Tip #3 – Limit Your Time in the Sun

sun umbrella to stay out of the sun

Moderation is key when it comes to protecting your skin from the sun.

You can easily limit your time in the sun by…

  • Going inside for a break every few hours.
  • Sitting under an umbrella while at the beach or lake.
  • Scouting out covered pavilions for outdoor lunch breaks.

We personally recommend that you take a break every 2 hours for optimal protection.

Tip: If you notice your skin starting to turn pink, be sure to put on a cover-up, reapply sunscreen, or take an extended break inside to prevent getting a sunburn.

Aside from following these 3 important sun protection tips, we also recommend that you have a dermatologist check your skin once a year for any unusual bumps, marks, rashes, or moles.

Your doctor will be able to keep an eye on worrisome skin issues and provide you with additional strategies for protecting yourself against skin cancer.

How do you keep your skin safe while in the sun? Share your strategies with us in the comments below!


The Best Sunless Tan Products

tan legs

It’s no news flash that spending hours out in the sun is dangerous for our health. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 3.5 million skin cancer patients are diagnosed each year.

Unfortunately, we can’t claim ignorance to the dangers like past generations could.

Luckily, there are so many great sunless tanning products on the market.

Are you a little nervous giving them a try for the first time?

After all, we don’t want to turn out like Ross from Friends, after his first spray tan.

We’ve combed the reviews—and even did a little testing ourselves—and have come up with our top 5 sunless tan products.

JERGENS® Natural glow

JERGENS® Natural Glow might be one of the first tanning products that comes to your mind. You can find it in any drug store. What do we like about it? It’s cheap, works well as a daily moisturizer and gradual tanner, and you can pick your shade. Since JERGENS® has been in the tanning lotion business for quite some time now, they’ve been able to tweak their product throughout the years. In the past, some users noticed an odor. They’ve recently released their new odor-free lotion.

Clinique Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion

Clinique Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion is a great mid-price option that is long lasting. This product is for those hoping to see a dramatic difference in a few hours. A major plus: you can see where you apply it—less chance for missing patches. Some users reported an odor.

Tanceuticals CC Self Tanning Body Lotion

Another excellent mid-price option is Tanceuticals CC Self Tanning Body Lotion. This lotion is also for those looking for a darker shade. What makes this one different? It lasts 7 days, has a great coconut scent, and is infused with nutrients that are good for your skin.

Vita Liberata

Vita Liberata is an excellent option for oily skin types. It is a mousse, making it a lighter formula. However, it dries quickly, so you must wash your hands swiftly after application. The line has many shade options, so it’s easy to pick the one closest to your skin color. This tanning mousse is priced on the higher end.

LORAC TANtalizer Body Bronzing Spray

This sunless tan comes in a spray form, which helps you reach difficult places like your back—it also comes with an applicator puff to prevent streaks. According to the reviews, LORAC TANtalizer Body Bronzing Spray doesn’t have a shimmer or sparkle that some other products have, so it looks more like a real tan—but it comes at a higher price.

Do you have a favorite that didn’t make the list? Comment below.

What is THAT? Skin Mysteries Solved

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and it’s easy to overlook. We’re all told to inspect our skin regularly for moles, bumps, and discolorations, and go to the doctor if we suspect anything out of the ordinary. Sound advice.

But how do you know what “out of the ordinary” means?

It’s not always easy to tell, and it does help to have a family member or friend serve as a second set of eyes on moles, skin tags, and bumps. Here are some tips and pictures to help you decide when it’s time for a trip to the doctor. A good website to visit is http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/skin

There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The first two are relatively easy to cure, but melanoma is much more difficult to treat. The carcinomas are typically found on skin that has been exposed to the sun, while melanoma may occur on any skin surface.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether a bump or mole needs to be checked by a doctor, but there are several telltale signs. The following information is from the National Cancer Institute website, cancer.gov:

Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the shape, color, size, or feel of an existing mole.

Melanoma may also appear as a new mole. Thinking of “ABCDE” can help you remember what to look for:

  • Asymmetry: The shape of one half does not match the other half.
  • Border that is irregular: The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin.
  • Color that is uneven: Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.
  • Diameter: There is a change in size, usually an increase. Melanomas can be tiny, but most are larger than the size of a pea (larger than 6 millimeters or about 1/4 inch).
  • Evolving: The mole has changed over the past few weeks or months.

Melanomas can vary greatly in how they look. Many show all of the ABCDE features. However, some may show changes or abnormal areas in only one or two of the ABCDE features.

In more advanced melanoma, the texture of the mole may change. The skin on the surface may break down and look scraped. It may become hard or lumpy. The surface may ooze or bleed. Sometimes the melanoma is itchy, tender, or painful.

The National Cancer Institute recommends that when you do a skin self-exam, take your time and inspect every inch of your skin, looking for anything new:

  • A new mole (that looks different from your other moles)
  • A new red or darker color flaky patch that may be a little raised
  • A new flesh-colored firm bump
  • A change in the size, shape, color, or feel of a mole
  • A sore that doesn’t heal

For photos of skin cancer examples, visit the following websites:




Important Self-Exams Every Woman Should Perform

Image to the left taken from Cancer.org.


Self-exams help you to detect changes in your body between visits to your doctor. Many lives have been saved due to diligent self-examination, and following are two self-exams you’ll want to perform regularly.

BSE or breast self-exam

Each woman has her own method of examining her breasts. Some do a systematic BSE monthly or bimonthly, while others keep an eye on their breasts by regularly feeling them in the shower or while lying in bed. Often, women ask their significant others to help them check, or they visit the doctor several times a year for a clinical exam.

While a regular BSE with a consistent technique is best, perfect technique is not as important as frequency and diligence. Sometimes, women stress needlessly about doing it correctly. As long as you feel the entire breast and overlap your motions, you’re doing it right. The goal of a BSE is to know what is normal for you and check for changes.

If you’re not sure whether you’re feeling the entire breast, cancer.org suggests the following BSE routine:

  • Lie down and bend your arm behind your head to spread the breast tissue evenly over your chest, making it easier to examine.
  • Imagine your breast is divided in vertical lines from your underarm to breastbone, and use the finger pads of your other hand to feel for lumps in an up-and-down pattern along those lines. Move in dime-sized circles, slightly overlapping the previous line as you move up and down.
  • Use different levels of pressure at each spot so you feel all the breast tissue, especially if you have large breasts. You can feel the tissue close to the skin with light pressure, tissue in the upper half of the breast with medium pressure, and lower breast tissue with deeper pressure. There will be a ridge at the bottom of each breast, which is normal. If you have questions about pressure, talk with your doctor or nurse.
  • Examine the entire breast area, and then repeat the exam on your other breast.
  • Stand in front of a mirror, press your hands on your hips, and look at your breasts for changes in shape or size. Also look for rashes, redness, or dimpling.
  • Raise each arm slightly, and feel the underarm for lumps.

Some women may find it easier to examine their breasts in the shower, which is fine, as long as you are thorough—or add this routine to your shower exam. Current medical literature suggests that the above procedure is the most effective for finding lumps as soon as possible.

Skin exam

A regular skin exam will help you keep an eye on moles, freckles, and other spots that could become cancerous. It should be done at least once a month, and if you ask your doctor to do a full-body exam first, you’ll have a baseline. While it may sound daunting, after you’ve done a full skin exam a couple of times, it shouldn’t take more than 10–15 minutes.

Warning signs of skin cancer include a change in an existing mole or spot, or any growth or spot that . . .

  • Appears during adulthood.
  • Increases in size or thickness.
  • Changes in texture or in color—especially if it turns pearly, multicolored, brown, or black.
  • Has an irregular shape or outline.
  • Is bigger than a pencil eraser.
  • Continues to hurt, itch, scab, or bleed longer than three weeks.

If you see any of these signs, don’t wait or hope it goes away. See a doctor, preferably a dermatologist.

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