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Myleigh's Personal Sun Care Protection Tips

Myleigh's Personal Sun Care Protection Tips

Hello there! I am Myleigh Taylor from The Clean Living Clinic.

Last Thursday at the age of 35, I had my second skin cancer removed! This skin cancer that was approx 5mm (not a mole). This year there has been a big controversy from skin cancer specialists and chemical free advocates regarding sunscreen. So today as a chem free advocate and a skin cancer patient, I am sharing my thoughts!

I am a super "Moley" person, I was born that way. 

As a kid I remember my mum counting my moles one day before I hopped in the bath and she stopped at 100, I would have been about 9 at the time.  My mum and dad embedded in me the importance of having my skin checked and took me regularly, so as a young adult it was just habit to continue the practice.  At 22 years old at a regular skin check I pointed out a new suspect mole on the back of my leg.  It looked like someone had pressed the tip of a fine point sharpie on the back of my leg, that is how small and dark it was.   The mole was removed and tested and thankfully was a level 1 Melanoma which meant that the only treatment I would need would be one more surgery to remove surrounding tissue to ensure it hadn't spread and 6 monthly skin checks. 

For someone like myself with a history of Melanoma the importance of a 6-month check-up can mean life and death. My specialist has informed me that studies have shown that high percentages of dangerous level melanoma patients with previous history have not had a skin check in 12 months or more.  I NEVER miss a check! Over the years I have had in excess of 20+ more moles removed all of which have been what they call "Dysplastic Navae" -  this type of mole can turn into Melanoma very quickly and needs to be watched very closely. 

Today I am still extremely "Moley". On my lower arm I can count at least 20 moles so you can only imagine what my body total would be.   At my regular skin check this month they discovered a skin cancer on my shoulder. Although because of my history it is not uncommon for another melanoma to be found it was slightly surprising for my specialist to come across this type of skin cancer. It is automatically assumed by many that as a child I must have never wore sunscreen.  This actually could not be further from the truth!  My parents were methodical with sunscreen! We applied 15+ (which was recommended at the time) every 4 hours, our faces where plastered with bronze zinc, my mother even spot zinc my moles, hats were compulsory and we all had sunglasses. 

I did what most kids do...

We were beach & swimming babes! Our mother had a strict rule NO SUN between 10am-2pm but from every second around that time frame from the moment the sun went up and down, we spent all our time at the beach and pool...UNCOVERED! Yep this was our downfall. As toddlers we were naked or just in bottoms, as kids and teens togs, boardies, bikinis, there was no rash shirts, or covering up. 

As you can imagine, I take sun protection these days very seriously, especially since I have kids of my own! 

Choose sunscreen carefully

Living toxin free is extremely important to me and I take the amount of dangerous chemicals added into our products extremely seriously. So, here are my thoughts: I absolutely believe the dangerous ingredients in some of our mainstream sunscreens that we apply to our and our children's skins every day is also a serious health risk.  

Most sunscreens are tested and approved to provide the sun protection we need.  They come with basic topically use instructions.

I have written a separate article about how to choose sunscreens and what to be aware of. There are also excellent resources like EWG, who aren't in Australia, but the information is globally relevant and super helpful.

What they don't always say is: Apply sunscreen often

Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and again every two hours (whether or not the label tells you to do this). Use a generous amount of sunscreen. The average-sized adult should apply more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen (about 3 ml) to each arm and the face/neck (including ears), and just over one teaspoon (about 6 ml) to each leg, front of body and back of body. That is, 35 ml of sunscreen for one full body application, for an average-sized adult. 

Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and re-apply again every two hours (whether or not the label tells you to do this). Remember to reapply after swimming, excessive perspiration, towel drying or excessive sweating. 

Cover up!

What is the best sun screen? I have written about that in a separate article, but honestly, the best suncreen is to COVER UP!  The best sort of protection is covering up.  I wear long sleeve and jeans when gardening and mowing, hat, sunscreen, swim shirts etc.  I do not sunbake EVER! 

Protect our skin and our bodies. After all they are our soul’s vessel. 

Images: Unsplash - Yoann Boyer | John Schnobrich & Swimsuit from Salt Gypsy
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Science Notes
UVB rays are what causes burns, however UVA rays, are the rays that cause invisible (and insidious) damage.  
Related Tip
Even as a DIY'er, I don't make my own sunscreen or teach others how to make it at The Clean Living Clinic. The reason is because it is really hard to know if you are getting coverage.
Unless you are having your homemade sunscreen professionally tested, you don’t know if it works. Sunscreen is way harder to make than think, hence why it is so tightly regulated.