CEO, Melanoma Fund
Dr Sophie Shotter MBchB BSc HONS
Melanoma Fund ‘Sunguard’ ambassador,
Director and Founder, Illuminate Medical
Using an SPF is a vital yet often overlooked step within your daily skincare routine. Instead of facing the consequences later, get into the habit of protecting your skin to keep it youthful and healthy.
When I talk to people about sun protection, unless they’ve been touched by skin cancer, most hear “blah, blah, blah.” Having spent the last eight years preaching the virtues of applying SPF30, when I get on this subject, I see the interest fade from people’s eyes. And yes, it’s soul-destroying.
However, not one to give up — or bore people — I saw this attitude as a challenge and a signal that a different approach was needed in my vocation to impact the staggering growth of skin cancer rates in the UK.
While educating on the facts is important, it doesn’t cut the mustard. Everyone knows sunburn is dangerous, UV rays age the skin and melanoma can be fatal. We needed to go deeper.
“Many of us spend a small fortune on moisturisers and makeup to ensure we look our best. However, a good SPF is the cheapest and best way to improve skin quality and vitality.”Dr Sophie Shotter
Truth beneath the skin
Looking at the psychology of avoidance, the solution boils down to this simple fact: Most of us believe a tan can enhance our social status and popularity by making us look more vibrant, sexy, alluring and healthy — and (this is the important bit) applying sunscreen can block that.
Please do read that sentence again, and be completely honest — is this you?
Until you face this reality, you’ll be hard-pushed to develop a good sun protection routine. That doesn’t mean just at the beach, but every day when outdoors for prolonged periods (such as playing sports). It will help you avoid the accumulated sun damage that heightens your risk of skin cancer and dramatically ages your skin.
Saving your skin
“Many of us spend a small fortune on moisturisers and makeup to ensure we look our best. However, a good SPF is the cheapest and best way to improve skin quality and vitality,” says Dr Sophie Shotter MBchB BSc HONS, Melanoma Fund ‘Sunguard’ Ambassador, Illuminate Medical Director and Founder.
Why not take advantage of that inbuilt desire to look your best, and instead of sabotaging your health and beauty, use SPF30 to improve it? At any age, you can slow down the wrinkle clock. If you’re a parent, you’ll be setting a fine example to your children, helping the next generation grow out of the issue.
Having read this far, I will assume I haven’t bored you but instead inspired you to think differently about sun protection, which starts by simply owning your truth.