May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and as we enter the summer months LazaDerm Skincare Centre wants to get real about protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., with 1 in 5 Americans developing some form in the course of their lifetime.

Of all diagnosed, 86% of melanoma and 90% of non-melanoma skin cancer is associated with exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Although the more life threatening form, melanoma, makes up only about 1% of all skin cancers diagnosed, it represents the majority of skin cancer deaths with 1 every 52 minutes. These statistics are sobering, however, skin cancer is primarily a behavioral disease and is highly preventable if we just take the necessary steps to protect our skin.

First and foremost, the best form of defense is to wear sunblock! Our makeup doesn’t count either, ladies, and most likely neither does our “SPF 15” moisturizer. To be effective, we need to look for a Broad Spectrum sunblock with an SPF 30 or higher. Look for ones containing physical sunblock ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

At LazaDerm we love the Elta MD line of sun protection. It’s light, sheer and wears great under makeup while providing the skin the UV protection it needs. Also, think about wearing a broad brimmed hat for the occasions when you will be outside for long periods of time. Next, it is always recommended to avoid sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. But let’s face it, this is the Midwest and we revel in as much outdoor time as possible when the weather warms up. So slather up, find a fabulous hat and, if possible, take some breaks in the shade.

Finally, the summer months are not the only time to be upping your sunblock A-game. All year round you should be wearing sun protection. Those harmful rays are not deterred by a few clouds or rain drops, and even in the winter months, the sun doesn’t weaken. In fact, the winter sun can prove to be even more intense in areas where snow is on the ground, reflecting off that sparkly white powder, giving you a double dose of UV ray exposure!

By embracing proper sun protection year round you’ll not only reduce your risk of skin cancer but will also prevent those unsightly things we call wrinkles, leathery skin and dark brown spots. And to all the guys out there who don’t like to hassle with any sort of skin care routine, in 2011 there were 10,000 more skin cancer cases in men then in women. So take the extra 30 seconds to apply sun protection!

The staff at LazaDerm would love to help you with your skin care needs and choosing the best possible sun protection for your skin and life style.