If you have had the unfortunate experience of being diagnosed with skin cancer, we are so sorry. We hope that everything works out the best for you and you are able to move on with your life. We do know one thing is likely to change for certain though - the way you think about caring for your skin.
Don’t Purposely Damage Your Skin
The first known sunscreen was invented in the 1930s and was a thick, red sort of jelly substance. We have come a long way since then with the sunscreen that we use now. Believe it or not, the sunscreens that we use today were created in the 1990s. The 90’s were still full of sunbathing beauties, rubbing on that baby oil instead of sunscreen, just increasing their chances of developing skin cancer down the road.
We now know the dangers of UV rays and indoor tanning beds, but many people just can’t resist that bronzed glow after engaging in what they think may be a couple of hours of harmless rays. That is anything but correct.
According to skincancer.org, “tanning doesn’t only increase your risk of developing a melanoma— it increases your risk of developing other types of skin cancer as well. A single session causes a 67 percent increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and a 29 percent increased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, but BCC and SCC are the two most common forms of cancer.”
You Can Still Have Bronzed, Safe & Healthy Skin
Now that you’ve had your cancer scare, it is time to start researching what is safe for your skin. The doctors have preached no more tanning beds, no more sunbathing, no more going outside without sunscreen, seek shade when you are outside and always wear appropriate clothing to cover your skin. So how can someone who wants bronzed, sun kissed skin obtain that golden skin coloration?
The common consensus among the American Academy of Dermatology is that self-tanners are a safe and alternative way to achieve a tan. The Mayo Clinic also agrees! As long as the sunless tanning products are used per instruction, they are perfectly safe for use. There is no danger to our skin from using a sunless tanning product, especially one that is all natural.
The active ingredient in most sunless tanners is the coloring agent dihydroxyacetone (DHA). The faux glow is created by coating your skin with the DHA which then interacts with the dead surface cells in the epidermis to darken skin color and simulate a tan. The result usually lasts for several days. It is considered safe since it is derived from beet or cane sugar, which we love, and the FDA approves!
The DHA reacts with the amino acids in the top layer of skin causing a browning effect, like when a piece of fruit browns over time. The darkening effect takes place in about four hours and wears off when your outer layer of skin has naturally shed.
Still Use Sunscreen
Even though you may think that because you have a layer of sunless tanning on your skin, your skin is protected, it is not! UV rays can still harm your skin even with a sunless tan. It is very important to use sunscreen daily, even when you aren’t necessarily hanging out in the sun for hours.
According to the FDA, there have been very few complaints or issues associated with the use of sunless tanning products filed with the agency. Sunless tanning products remain the safest way to obtain a healthy glow on your skin. So whether you just had a cancer diagnosis or are researching ways to stay safe from harmful UV rays, sunless tanning is the way to go.