I was recently diagnosed with a melanoma. This does not strike anyone as a happy topic, for sure, but it’s one that’s quite prevalent with more than 200,000 cases diagnosed each year.

I’ve always been a LOVER of sun. Sitting in the warm rays is my kind of therapy- always relaxing for me to just sit, read, or sleep in the sunshine. Sadly, years of not wearing any protection on my skin have caused non-reversible damage. Luckily for me, though, my melanoma was detected in an early stage, and so with surgery, that particular spot of cancer is gone forever. As good as that sounds to me, it’s not the end-all for me, knowing what my chances of having other melanomas surface is greater.

I’ve had to make some changes to my beloved sun-worshiping practices. Now I sport a floppy sun-hat- one that covers my head, face, and the brim is wide enough to give my neck & shoulders a bit of protection as well! I’ve also had to incorporate a broad-spectrum sun cream with zinc oxide into my sunbathing routine. Two that I’ve tried are: Blue Lizard and EltaMD. For my personal use, I really like the Elta MD because it spreads very easily and “incorporates” into my skin more easily. You see, with the addition of zinc oxide, this makes it less easy to spread & blend-in with my skin. The Blue Lizard brand is a bit thicker & bit harder to rub in. I love this brand for my kids- they are constantly in and out of weather and I just feel like this one is a great choice for them. Additionally, the bottle is normally white, but when it’s exposed to UV rays, the bottle turns blue. That’s an indicator that you need to apply sun cream. To me, that’s a really cool feature, especially for the kiddos!

I also like to use a lip balm that has SPF in it. Additionally, my dermatologist recommended that I stay out of the sun from the hours of 10am-3pm. While that one is a bit more difficult, I make sure I have these other provisions in place and then I truly do limit the amount of time that I’m in direct sunlight during those hours. I’ve not looked in to sun shirts yet, but that could also be an option for me to research, especially if I’m wanting to participate in beach/water activities during that window of high-intensity exposure time.

Each morning I apply a layer of Lancome’s Bienfait 30 SPF before I put on any make-up. I apply it to my entire face, neck, and even the part in my hair! It’s super light and make-up can go on over it very easily! Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll love it!