For the Love of the Sun-Skin Cancer Basics

I love all things sun, beach, sand, ocean and outdoors.  And I deal with skin cancer.  My beach chair is under an umbrella, or under the shade of the palm trees.  I swim with a sun shirt on.  And I see my dermatologist every six months. 

I am paying the price for spending my youth out in the sun, unprotected, for many summers. 

The three most common types of skin cancer are Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Melanoma.  There are a few additional types of rare skin cancers.  

Basal cell is the most common type of skin cancer.  According to (and my doctor),  this type of skin cancer grows slowly and generally stays on the surface of the skin. About 80% of skin cancer falls into this category. It is rare for them to spread, but can do so if left untreated.  It also states that they can reoccur in the same location.  I have had Basal cell cancer and pre-cancer removed from my back, legs and face.  I have had it froze off, scraped off, and burned off via a chemical cream.  Last week I had to have basil cells scraped off a spot on my back, it takes a long time to heal, and is very painful.   

Squamous cell is the second most common, accounting for about 20% of non-melanoma cancers.  This type of cancer also spreads slowly, but is more likely to go deeper beneath the skin. I have had this type of cancer removed.

Melanoma is the skin cancer none of us wants to get. Melanoma is the skin cancer that can develop in areas that are not exposed to the sun. According to “Melanoma accounts for about 2 percent of all skin cancer cases, but it is also responsible for most deaths caused by skin cancer. Viewed separately from the other forms of skin cancer, melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the United States, with more than 85,000 cases diagnosed each year.”  I have had two moles cut out that, when tested, indicated tendencies to turn to Melanoma, but at the time they removed, they were not cancerous. 

Here are a few of my favorite products that I use for sun protection:

Colorescience Water Resistant Loose Mineral Sunscreen.  I love this powder because it is easy to take on the run, leave it in the hot car, and take it in your carry on, when flying. It is chemical free and all-mineral powder, with SPF 50. Bare Minerals used to have a similar product that I also used and loved, but they discontinued it.  

Bare Minerals Original Foundation powder.  SPF 15. Make up powder with non-chemical mineral sunscreen. Free of talc, parabens, phthalates, fragrance, preservatives and chemical sunscreen. 

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47.  I use this lightly tented face moisturizer each morning.  With chemical-free SPF 47 powered by zinc oxide and titanium dioxide it provides powerful UVA/UVB protection.  This lotion moisturizes with argan oil and blends very nicely into my skin.  I have used this lotion in the hot sun all day at Disneyworld, with a touch up of powder, with no sun burn at end of day.  


And of course, don’t forget a great hat and a cool pair of sunglasses!

With carful attention to my personal sun protection, I have managed to keep my skin healthy and so far free of any lasting cancer issues.  But it is an ongoing battle I will face the rest of my life.  Prevention really is the best medicine. 

Being confident in your own skin is very sexy. I think when you have fun and are yourself that is sexy too.
-Candice Swanepoel


No matter what shape or size you are, you should feel confident in your own skin. You should feel like a beautiful woman, no matter what!
-Joanna Krupa


One Comment Add yours

  1. Naomi says:

    This is so informative, and appropriate…especially for desert-dwellers. I’m glad you have found a good regimen to keep your body healthy.


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