Well, maybe that would be OK, but just make sure they don’t get bad sunburns along the way.
May is Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Month and the fact is skin cancer is a growing problem, but almost 100 percent avoidable if proper precautions are taken.
Think of five people you know – mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends. Now, consider that one of those five will suffer from skin cancer in their lifetime. It is that prevalent.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over the past 30 years, more Americans have had skin cancer than all other types of cancer combined. Nearly 3 million people are diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma annually, while another 700,000 are diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which resulted in 2,500 deaths.
It is extremely important to make sure children are properly protected as one or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than double a person’s chances of getting skin cancer. Even less severe sunburns are dangerous, as five or more sunburns at any age also double the chances.
PRODUCT & APPLICATION: WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY?
According to Todd Anderson, sales director at Melbourne-based Absolutely Natural, the proliferation of very high sunscreens has not helped. “It is unfortunate that the industry is publicizing very high sunscreen values of SPF 75 or even SPF 100,” he says. “In my opinion, it causes people to be less diligent in the sun as they think they are protected all day long. As the father of two small children, I know that the right product and correct application are crucial.”
Anderson, of course, is partial to Absolutely Natural’s all natural, mineral sunscreens that provide full-spectrum protection while being gentle on the skin and environment.
Danny Richards has been working for Absolutely Natural for 10 years and emphasizes that proper hydration is critical during and after sun exposure. “The key is proper protection in the sun and, even more importantly, application of healing aloes after sun exposure,” Richards points out. “We have a product called Rosehip Aloe that hydrates and helps heal the skin so your sun exposure can turn into a nice tan. Of course, this works best when your sun exposure is moderate; you don’t want a sunburn.”
Absolutely Natural has been marketing their products for 20 years in many tropical resort hotels – often situated in harsh sun environments. They have developed a protocol for recommending sun care products, which includes different strength products for different parts of the body.
“We recommend a higher SPF, like our SPF 25, on sun-sensitive areas, while the rest of the body can use a more moderate product like our SPF 15 or even SPF 8,” Richards explains. Sun-sensitive areas of the body are defined by the company as anywhere the bone is close to the skin.
According to the company, the biggest mistake made is in the application. “You never rub the sunscreen quickly into the skin,” explains Anderson. “If you do, you can reduce or even negate the SPF value. Instead you ‘dab’ the product on sun-sensitive areas and ‘lay’ it everywhere else. Wait for a minute until smoothing it into the skin and that way you have the protection you need.”
While protecting people in the sun is the paramount goal of Absolutely Natural, the company also works to protect the environment. Lindsey Barber has been with Absolutely Natural for seven years and has helped implement programs with the Brevard Zoo and the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. “Not only do our products work better than chemical-laden ones, but we are friendly to the environment as well,” says Barber. “Our sunscreens do not have the high estrogen level of chemicals nor the other potentially toxic raw materials. They biodegrade quickly and do not harm the coral reefs.”