May is Skin Cancer Awareness month so it is my duty as a journalist to bring a few important messages to your attention. First and foremost it alarms me to know that 50% of Americans still don’t use sunscreen when one if five people will develop skin cancer during the course of a lifetime.
If you are one of those people or know someone who is, take the time this month to get educated or educate someone and help save a life. For about six years I lived in a tanning bed daily and basked in the sun slathered in nothing but oil. My first journalism job in the beauty department at Cosmopolitan magazine may have saved my life. I know it seems like a stretch, but my boss (and the whole staff) forbid me to tan. We had to practice what we preached at Cosmo… safe sun. Five years later, I don’t walk out the door without an SPF of 30 on my face (even in the rain) and haven’t stepped foot in a tanning bed. Embracing my new self (pale) and learning to practice safe sun, I am now very thankful for that experience because who knows what could have happened.
This week, I had my first full body skin check by a dermatologist. Getting braver with the years, I’m ready to face good or bad news and take action. You should too. One person dies of melanoma every hour and it can be prevented if caught early enough. With regular skin checks this doesn’t have to happen.
La Roche-Posay recently launched SOSsaveourskin.com so you can join the cause. For each person that joins the cause, a donation is made to the Women’s Dermatologic Society and Skin Cancer Foundation to help educate people on sun protection. You can also find out information on sun safety and locate a derm near you to get your skin checked. Do yourself a favor, be responsible about your skin.