A few weeks ago my husband Nathan had a mole removed from his back. The doctor, after scaring me with facts and informing me that people with light eyes (like my husband) have a greater chance of getting melanoma, assuring me that is was probably nothing. We waited a week (why?!) for the results during which I silently worried and Nathan completely forgot about that little splotch being tested in a lab. Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing except an indication that he is capable of creating melanoma, which means being checked every 6 months. I had an uneventful checkup after pointing out every mole and freckle to my long-suffering doctor.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually, meaning there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon. As if this weren't bad enough, the most widely available sunscreens typically contain a combination of chemical filters that can penetrate the skin to the point where studies have detected them in breast milk. According to the Environmental Working Group, these chemicals can also cause skin allergies and disrupt hormones, raising toxicity concerns. The better choice is a mineral sunscreen that creates a physical, rather than chemical, barrier. I covered many of these in my Guide to Clean Sunscreen this summer.
Tricia Trimble created Suntegrity, her line of sun care products, in honor of her mom and others who have lost their lives to skin cancer. Knowing the importance of regular use, she created a mineral sunscreen that doesn't leave a white film and that is a pleasure to use daily. Suntegrity products contain UVA and UVB blocking zinc-oxide, anti-aging ingredients, and moisturizers that protect your skin.
I've been using the "5 In 1" Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen for a few months now and I truly love it. It's light like a BB or CC cream, but I find it still covers well. While it isn't exactly greasy like other sunscreens, it does leave me shiner than I would like; but I simultaneously cut down on shine and set the application with a light layer of pressed powder on top. My skin stays moisturized and the light application wears well throughout the day. I'll be interested to see how it performs during the winter months. If you don't want a tinted sunscreen, Suntegrity also carries a product that doubles as a primer, as well as mineral sunscreen for your body.
Please make mineral sunscreen like Suntegrity on your face and your most exposed skin a priority. Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent. If you protect yourself and get checked annually you can catch problem areas early, which will significantly increase your survival rate. If you haven't been the the dermatologist for an annual skin cancer check, please schedule that now.
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