I am a 70’s baby, and as a child was so excited at the thought of going to Durban beach to tan my lily-white skin. My mum promptly slathered me in baby oil and occasionally something that smelt like coconut which will forever remind me of the beach.
I would burn red raw but was assured that after a few sleepless nights in pain it would turn brown and I would look “healthy”. So it happened and my skin peeled layers off but I had my tan. It was common in those days as we used suntan lotion, something to aid in the tanning process not sun-block, god forbid you go to the beach and not get a tan.
Years later I discovered I had a melanoma at the back of my knee and went to a plastic surgeon to do a wider-excision. It was only then that I discovered the melanoma was a result of damage done to my skin years and years go. If I had left the dodgy mole and not had it checked out I was told it would have metastasized, gone to my brain and killed me in 6 months.
South Africa has the second highest incidence of skin cancer in the world after Australia. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented by respecting the sun. I hope I have instilled a little fear, and you book your annual mole scan with your dermatologist asap.
For all the reasons above and to avoid pre-mature aging, we need to wear sunblock, even while inside, or when it’s overcast. Yes, even when in snow or just chilling on the sofa. When we’re indoors, UV lights can cause skin damage, so while you’re at your desk in the office, your skin could be at risk. All skin types get damaged by the sun and UV light – whether you have light or dark skin. Lighter skin is however more prone to skin cancer.
In order for sunblock to be effective it needs to be re-applied several times during the day. As busy individuals, no one has the time or inclination to take their make-up off to reapply sunblock. This is why the clever people at Dermaquest have a sunblock which comes in powder-form (called On-the-go Finishing Powder). It can be applied over your make-up during the day and voila, you’re protected! Men especially don’t like using sunblock as it makes their faces shiny and for them I highly recommend Eucerin Sun Gel-Crème, oil control, which has a matt finish, availible at Clicks and Dischem.
SPECIAL OFFER: The Dermaquest On-the-go Finishing Powder is availible for R850 at DNKLD Aesthetics, but you can grab it at R770. That’s a R80 discount for Equilibrio readers. We also stock tinted sun-blocks for R950 which we are discounting for Equilibrio readers by R120. These offers are valid until the end of July 2017. Be sure to mention you’re an Equilibrio reader!
Lastly, remember: sunblock in not for beach days only. We need to wear it all year round, even in the middle of winter, while in a car or under UV lights.
Do you have further questions or need a dermatologist? Visit www.drmediderm.com, a website run by talented dermatologist Dr Karen Koch at Donald Gordon Hospital.
The author, Kim Barrowman is a Medical Laser Therapist and owner of DNKLD Aesthetics. You can contact her on 011 327 6491 or [email protected]