May is Melanoma Awareness Month. It was recently found that redheads are more susceptible to Melanoma. A mutation in a gene called MC1R gives redheads their hair color and fair skin. Now a new US study suggests this same mutation triggers a cancer-causing signalling pathway when redheads are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
We have talked to some of the best skincare and dermatologist experts. They are here to share with you how to stay sun safe and skin-cancer free:
1. 90% of your wrinkles are caused by the sun.
Jill Scalisi, CEO of Scalisi Skincare, said, “Most people know they should use sunscreen. A few people know that 90% of your wrinkles are caused by the sun. But what many don’t know is these UV rays are present with equal strength year round AND go through glass. So it is just as important to wear sunscreen in December when you are riding in a car or sitting in your office near a window as it is to sit on the beach in the summer.”
Scalisi recommends applying sunscreen after the shower and before you get dressed. This way, you are sure to cover all parts and don’t have to worry about getting sunscreen on your clothes. And, keep a light weight scarf in your glove compartment – cover your neck and chest when driving. Make sure to always keep an SPF 30 or higher beach umbrella in your car and use it for whenever you are sitting out in the sun.
2. Sun protective swimwear is a must.
“Ahhhh! Sun protective swimwear is a must for redheads! The beach and pool are extremely intense UV environment because the UV rays bounce off the water and sand. UV exposure leads directly to skin cancer and melanomas. Kids’ skin is particularly sensitive to the sun so UPF 50+ swimwear (especially rashguard swim shirts protecting the back and neck) have to be worn,” says Betsy Johnson from SwimZip. “My own diagnosis with skin cancer at age 26 (“strawberry blonde”) led me to start SwimZip my stylish sun protective swimwear line for kids. Our suits (including swim trunks) all have UPF 50+ sun protection and block over 98% of UVA and UVB rays. My ginger haired son is inspiring to make it the best kids sun protection line available!”
3. Daily consumption of tomato paste helps neutralize the harmful effects of UV damage.
Stefanie S., Master Esthetician at SkinCareRx, commented saying, “A great tip that I have learned from my ‘German roots’ is the power of Lycopene. Lycopene comes from red fruits and vegetablese specially tomatoes. Studies show that daily consumption of tomato paste helps neutralize the harmful effects of UV damage. Natural sources are always beneficial to the skin and body! Limit sun exposure to the recommended Vitamin D dose around 15-30 minutes3-4 times a week.”
4. Avoid being outside from 10-2:30PM.
Dr. Hooman Khorasani, Chief, division of MOHs cosmetic and reconstructive surgery at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine is passionate about sun safety, and he said, “Avoid running outside from the hours of 10 am to 2:30pm when the UV index is the highest. Adults should always wear hat and large shades on the beach and sunscreen should be applied every 40 minutes while outside and every 20 minutes while on the beach.”
5. Wear Vitamin C serum underneath sunscreen.
A Skin Authority skin coach has a favorite tip to boost your sun protection,”Wear a Vitamin C serum underneath your SPF. Combining the C and the Sunscreen will boost the protective power against the UV rays.”
6. Wear two layers of sunscreen every day.
Debra Jaliman M.D. board-certified dermatologist an author of Skin Rules had some great makeup advice for redheads, “Wear two layers of sunscreen every day. One a cream sunscreen and the second layer a powder with SPF.”
7. Use lip balm that includes a 30 SPF or higher.
“First, wear a broad brimmed hat. Second, when it comes to sunscreen, broad-spectrum sunscreens are the best because they protect against both UVA and UVB light. Physical blockers suchas zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide some of the best best protection, ” says Indy Chabra, board certified dermatologist. “Use lipbalm that includes at least 30SPF.”
Keep safe, redheads and Rock it like a Redhead!