Are you protecting yourself from head to toe?

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month - the perfect time to ask yourself, am I doing everything I can to protect my skin?

It’s one thing to slather SPF on yourself and your kids when you hit the pool, go on a beach vacation, or head outside for a run or walk. But the truth is, we need to think about skin protection anytime we’re exposed to the sun. The sun’s UV rays are harmful, and remember, the skin is the largest organ in our body. Keeping our skin properly protected is no joke.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they’re 70, and more than two people die of skin cancer in the US every hour.

There’s no getting around the facts - if we’re exposed to sunlight, we need to cover ourselves. Literally.

Protect Yourself and Prevent Skin Cancer

Sun Protection in a Bottle… Make SPF Your BFF

The Skin Cancer Foundation offers simple steps to reduce skin cancer risk:

  • Stock up on sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher - 30 plus is optimal, especially if you’ll be in the sun for hours. (According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a higher SPF means a greater number of UVB rays are being filtered. An SPF of 15 filters 93% of UVB rays, while an SPF of 50 filters 97%.)
  • Keep in mind that applying sunscreen isn’t a one-and-done activity - sunscreen should be applied a half-hour before going outdoors and reapplied every two hours.
  • Remember, harmful rays can hit you even through a car window or when you’re just spending short bursts of time outdoors. Start each day with sunscreen on your face for extra protection.

Go Ahead… Keep Yourself in the Dark. Wear Shades!

Let’s not forget about protecting our eyes, as UV rays can damage eyelids, causing dangerous cancers. In addition, UV rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and Keratitis (corneal sunburn). None of these conditions sound like much fun; thankfully, they can be prevented:

  • Start by wearing sunglasses bearing the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation - with shades blocking 99 to 100 percent UVA and UVB light. Wear them every time you’re exposed to sunlight.
  • Wearing a hat with a three-inch brim also helps block harmful rays. Wallaroo prides itself in offering a variety of fashion-forward hats with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) up to 50!
  • Look for shade when possible and be careful around water, snow, and sand… the reflections from the sun are extra dangerous.
  • Be careful, even when it’s cloudy… the sun’s rays can damage your eyes even through clouds or haze, so keep your shades on!

Dress for Sun Protection Success

Do you know what’s trending? Protecting yourself from skin cancer. Lucky for you, the options for sun-protective clothing grow each day. And they’re stylish, too.

  • When purchasing sun-protective clothing, check the UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). The fabric should have a score of at least 30, meaning the Skin Cancer Foundation approves it. (Ideally, you’ll want the rating to be between 30 and 49. Anything over 50 is optimal.)
  • There’s more to it than UPF… also keep in mind that dark colors are better than light when it comes to UV protection. In addition, choose densely woven cloth over sheer or loosely woven fabrics, look for a loose fit, and keep in mind - the more coverage, the better. Lastly, remember that clothing becomes less protective when wet.

But Wait, Don’t I Need My Vitamin D?

If you’ve ever justified sun exposure by stating you need Vitamin D, the Skin Cancer Foundation begs to differ. In fact, they suggest you look for Vitamin D in the form of supplements and food sources, not lazy days at the beach or tanning bed, as the risk of skin cancer and damage from these activities far outweigh the benefits.

The Best Line of Defense?

The threat of skin cancer is real, but we can take the upper hand:

  • Protect yourself with sunscreen and sun-protective clothing.
  • If possible, avoid the sun during peak hours (10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Northern Hemisphere).
  • Stay out of tanning beds!
  • Be vigilant with your skin - check your skin regularly and report any findings to your doctor.

Early detection is key!

Our mission at Wallaroo is to spread the word about skin protection and provide hats with optimal protection. We’re proud of our Give Back Program and our support of the Melanoma Research Foundation, the Skin Cancer Research Foundation, and the Colorado Melanoma Foundation. We take sun protection seriously, and we’re here for you!

 Stay safe and protected!

 skin foundation logo       B Corp logo image