Health & Fitness

The #1 reason to stop tanning this summer

Getty Image by: Getty Author: Elle Canada

Health & Fitness

The #1 reason to stop tanning this summer

What I’m about to reveal is beauty-editor blasphemy, but here goes: I love the sun. I always have. Throughout the summers of my childhood, I lived in the pool. And when I wasn’t splashing around, my friends and I would play outside for hours dodging the sunscreen our mothers tried to coat us with.

For me, it was a badge of honour when, in Grade 7, I returned from a family holiday at Disney World with my face peeling. I used tanning beds before proms and formals in high school and, I’m sad to admit, well into my early 20s before vacations down south.

READ MORE: Need-to-know sunscreen facts

That all changed a few years ago, Noticing that the wrinkles and sun spots now appearing on parts of my face weren’t cropping up on the foreheads of my sun-avoidant friends, my affection for heat-seeking has gone cold. These days, I wear a hat even if I’m going out for groceries. I slather on a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and big sunglasses. It may look glam, but really it’s purely practical – and for good reason.

A report released this month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States says cases of melanoma (a rare but most deadly form of skin cancer) doubled from 1982 to 2011. Nine times out of 10, these cases are caused by damage to the skin cells from too much sun.

Over-tanning is catching up to us in Canada too. According to 2014 figures from the Canadian Dermatology Association, every year the number of Canadians diagnosed with melanoma increases – about 1.3 per cent for women and 1.6 per cent for men. (This at a time when instances of many other cancers are declining.) Young women are especially at risk: melanoma is the third most common type of cancer for women aged 15 to 29.

To combat this, more education is required, argues the report from the CDC, which suggest cancer-prevention programs could prevent 230,000 cases of melanoma in the U.S. and save $2.7 billion in treatment costs by 2030. Melanoma is highly curable if treated early.

READ MORE: Sunscreen facts and myths

Dr. Anatoli Freiman, dermatologist and medical director of the Toronto Dermatology Centre recommends giving yourself regular exams–inspecting the body for changes in moles or the sudden growth of sores or skin discolourations. See your doctor for regular checkups if you are high risk (people with fair skin that burns or freckles instead of tans; blondes and red heads; those with many moles and people with a history of sun exposure or family history of melanoma).

He also suggests staying out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., wearing a hat and sunglasses and sporting a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.

Slideshow

prev next 1 of 7

Agents of shield

Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF 50

Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF 50 ($42), at buy.dermalogica.ca. READ MORE: What it's like to have hot flashes in your 30s

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Marilisa Racco Source: Geoffrey Ross

Agents of shield

Natura Bissé C+C Oil-Free MacroAntioxidant Sun Protection SPF 30

Natura Bissé C+C Oil-Free MacroAntioxidant Sun Protection SPF 30 ($73), at naturabisse.com. READ MORE: 13 sports bras that will take your workout to the next level

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Marilisa Racco Source: Geoffrey Ross

Agents of shield

Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 100

Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 100 ($18), at drugstores and mass-market retailers. READ MORE: Five ways to master your workout like the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Marilisa Racco Source: Geoffrey Ross

Agents of shield

Garnier Ombrelle SPF 50+ Ultra Light Advanced Weightless Body Lotion

Garnier Ombrelle SPF 50+ Ultra Light Advanced Weightless Body Lotion ($20), at drugstores and mass-market retailers. READ MORE: 5 outfits you need for your next workout

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Marilisa Racco Source: Geoffrey Ross

Agents of shield

Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($38), at sephora.ca. READ MORE: The 17 most over-the-top workout leggings

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Marilisa Racco Source: Geoffrey Ross

Agents of shield

Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($17), at drugstores and mass-market retailers. READ MORE: 10 ways to detox the healthy way

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Marilisa Racco Source: Geoffrey Ross

Agents of shield

Eau Thermale Avène High Protection Spray SPF 50

Eau Thermale Avène High Protection Spray SPF 50 ($32.50), at drugstores and mass-market retailers. READ MORE: How to sweat like an ELLE Canada editor

Image by: ELLE Canada By: Marilisa Racco Source: Geoffrey Ross
 

READ MORE:
The must-have sunscreen this summer

What it's like to have hot flashes in your 30s
How meditation will change your life

Comments
Share X
Health & Fitness

The #1 reason to stop tanning this summer