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Summer’s just around the corner, and with it comes the promise of long days, warm nights, and of course, sunshine! But before you break out the swimsuit and beach towel, May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, reminds us of the importance of sun safety. At Tonic Day Spa, we want you to embrace the sunshine while prioritising your skin’s health.

Understanding Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a major public health concern.  It is  primarily caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. These rays damage the DNA in skin cells, leading to abnormal growth that can turn cancerous. There are three main types of skin cancer:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: This is the most common and least aggressive type, usually treatable with minimal scarring.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This type grows deeper than basal cell carcinoma and requires more extensive treatment.
  • Melanoma: The most serious type of skin cancer, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Sun Safety: Your First Line of Defense

The good news is that skin cancer is largely preventable! Here are some key strategies for sun safety:

  • Seek shade: Especially during peak sun hours (10 am to 4 pm), find shade under trees, umbrellas, or wear protective clothing.
  • Cover up: Long, loose-fitting clothing with a tight weave offers excellent protection. Opt for hats with wide brims that shade your face, neck, and ears.
  • Sunscreen is a must: Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply every two hours, or more often if sweating or swimming.

Sunscreen Savvy: Choosing the Right SPF and Products

Many everyday moisturisers now contain SPF, offering a convenient way to incorporate sun protection into your routine. However, it’s important to understand the limitations:

  • SPF only measures protection from UVB rays, the primary cause of sunburn. Look for “broad spectrum” on the label for UVA protection, which contributes to skin aging and cancer risk.
  • Moisturisers with SPF may not offer the same level of protection as dedicated sunscreens. These are often formulated for daily use, not extended sun exposure. Apply a separate sunscreen for outdoor activities.

Top Tips for Sun-Safe Summer Fun

Here are some additional tips to keep your skin safe and healthy this summer:

  1. Don’t forget often-missed spots: Apply sunscreen to your lips, ears, the tops of your feet, and the backs of your hands.
  2. Hydrate from within: Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin hydrated and resilient.
  3. Be mindful of medications: Certain medications can increase sun sensitivity. Consult your doctor if you have concerns.
  4. Seek shade by the pool: Don’t underestimate the sun’s reflection off water. Umbrellas or shade structures are key poolside companions.
  5. Sun safety for the whole family: Protect children’s delicate skin with sun-protective clothing, hats, and sunscreen specifically formulated for kids.

Beyond Summer: Year-Round Sun Protection Habits

Sun safety isn’t just for summer. Develop these habits as part of your year-round skincare routine:

  • Perform regular skin checks: Look for any changes in the size, shape, or colour of moles or birthmarks.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables can support your skin’s health.
  • Moisturise daily: A good moisturiser helps maintain your skin’s natural barrier, keeping it healthy and protected.

At Tonic Day Spa, we’re committed to your well-being. We offer a variety of skincare treatments to help you achieve and maintain healthy, radiant skin. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss personalised sun protection strategies for your unique needs.

Remember, a little sun safety goes a long way in keeping your skin healthy and summer fun worry-free!

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