Only 40.3 percent of women ages 55 to 64 regularly use sunscreen on their face and other exposed skin, says a new CDC study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology on May 19.
The timing is apt, for the Skin Cancer Foundation has designated this Friday (May 22) as “Don’t FryDay.” (Get it?) It’s a cute marketing ploy, but it’s backed by a sobering prediction: An estimated 73,870 new cases of malignant melanoma — and more than 2 million basal- and squamous-cell skin cancers — will be diagnosed in the United States in 2015.
So what better time to shine some sunlight on a few fallacies about solar exposure?
One of the strongest reasons to cross “sunbathe” off your to-do list this summer is also the most universal: Skin cancer does not distinguish between a pale complexion and a dark one. African American, Hispanic, Asian or mixed-race women are every bit as vulnerable to harmful ultraviolet (UV) solar rays as women with light skin. Daily broad-spectrum sunscreen is therefore a must for all; UVA (aging) rays and UVB (burning) rays both contribute to skin cancer.
“Women 50-plus need to realize that the chest, neck, hands, arms and forearms are very susceptible to UV light and skin cancer. Stand naked in front of a mirror and you’ll see a big difference between exposed areas and those normally protected by clothing.” Then smear a lotion with sun protection factor (SPF) everywhere that shows. Possible applications include: L’Oréal Paris Advanced Suncare Clear Cool Lotion SPF 30, Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 30 or La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer With Sunscreen.
I just want de-aging benefits, not more products. OK, then simplify: Look for a single super-moisturizer or beauty balm/color-correcting (BB/CC) cream that combines broad-spectrum sun protection with skin-freshening ingredients such as niacinamide, peptides, retinol or vitamins C and E. Some potions to ponder: Olay Total Effects FeatherWeight Moisturizer With Broad-Spectrum SPF 15, RoC Multi Correxion Lift Anti-Gravity Day Moisturizer With Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, Aveeno Naturals Positively Radiant CC Cream or Perfekt Skin Perfection CC Creme SPF 30.
But my makeup has an SPF factor. Even makeup that contains sunscreen requires touch-ups every two hours to protect your skin. U
I prefer to get my vitamin D from the s un. Getting a little “color” before you apply sunscreen is a bit reckless, don’t you think? Until you first notice it, skin cancer grows slowly, silently and invisibly. Rebecca Baxt, a dermatologist who practices in New York City and New Jersey,
For more beauty and style tips for women 50-plus, please take a look at my Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age.
Photos: lorealparisusa.com; sephora.com (2); SkinCeuticals.com
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