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Summer Fitness for Your Skin

Be Sun Smart!

This is the season many of us move everything from our meals to our workouts outside. There’s nothing like a run along the sand or a game of beach volleyball to mix up your fitness routine! That means it’s also time to step up your efforts to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun, especially skin cancer.

Here are a few sobering facts to remember courtesy of the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer in women ages 25-29.
  • One person dies of melanoma every 62 minutes.

The good news is protecting yourself from skin cancer doesn’t have to be difficult. Wearing sunscreen is one of the best preventive measures you can take. However, applying it just once if you’re going to be outside for several hours isn’t enough. If you’re active in the sun, even sweat-proof sunscreens need to be re-applied. I admit many of the heavily promoted long-wearing sunscreens can be sticky and streaky, so if you have one that works for you when you’re breaking a sweat, I’d love to hear about it!

For those of us with sensitive skin, finding a sunscreen for the face can be an even bigger problem. I’m one of the 16 million Americans who suffer from Rosacea, a chronic inflammatory skin condition with symptoms including redness, bumps and even small visible blood vessels on the face. Unfortunately, my condition is partly the result of all the sun-worshipping I did in my teens and 20s. Now I have to be extra careful when I’m enjoying time at the beach as sun exposure is one of the triggers that can cause a flare up. Add an irritating sunscreen to the mix, and my skin can really be out of whack after just an hour or two in the sun.

I think I may have finally found a sunscreen that will protect my face from the sun and not aggravate my Rosacea. It’s called Athelios from LaRoche-Posay. I found it at my local Duane Reade drug store. It’s actually a super lightweight fluid that comes in SPF 45 and 60. Along with my Clinique SPF 30 stick for my delicate eye area and lips, I hope I’m all set for the summer!

Along with wearing sunscreen, if you have moles, it’s important to keep an eye on them. I can’t count the number of moles I have on my body but I can tell you I’ve had at least a half-dozen suspicious-looking moles removed in the past 10 years. I visit my dermatologist annually to make sure none of my moles, especially the ones that have irregular borders and different shades of color. In fact, I had my 2012 visit about three weeks ago and got the all clear til next year. Click here for more on the ABC’s (and Ds and Es) of when it’s time to get a mole checked by a dermatologist.

So if you’re busy replenishing your summer stock of moisture-wicking shirts and shorts, don’t forget to replenish your sunscreen supplies, too. Staying sun smart is a surefire way to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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