May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, but healthy skin deserves to be celebrated all year long. At Jiva Med Spa, we know the key to healthy, radiant skin is a high-quality skincare routine that involves an everyday application of SPF, which is why we offer a variety of medical-grade skincare and sunscreen products available for purchase. Celebrating Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Why SPF Is Key To A Healthy, Glowing Complexion Cancer is an all-too-common disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy normal, healthy body tissue. Typically, human cells grow and divide to form new cells, and then they grow old and die to make room for new cells to take their place. But when cancer develops, “old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumors,” according to the National Cancer Institute. Since the body is made up of trillions of cells, cancer can happen anywhere – the lungs, the brain, the breasts, etc. Cancer is a genetic disease, meaning it’s caused by changes to the genes that control the way our cells function. You can either inherit cancer-causing genes from your parents, or you can incur damage to your DNA from dangerous environmental factors like cigarette smoke and ultraviolet rays. The month of May is dedicated to Skin Cancer Awareness, and skin cancer is overwhelmingly caused by excess exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, AKA the sun. What Is Skin Cancer? On a basic level, skin cancer is simply the abnormal growth of skin cells. According to Healthline, there are two main categories of skin cancer, and they’re defined by which cells are involved. Let’s explore each type. Category #1: Keratinocyte Carcinoma The first category of skin cancer actually consists of two types – basal and squamous cell skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are most frequently diagnosed in fair-skinned people, and long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the #1 driving carcinogen. Basal skin cancer is called so because it starts in the basal cells, a type of skin cell that produces new cells, and it typically looks like a slightly transparent bump on the skin. On the other hand, squamous cell carcinoma is characterized by an abnormal and accelerated growth of squamous cells, which are located near the skin’s surface and shed continuously as new cells form. Squamous cell carcinoma can look like a scaly red patch or open sore, or even a thick, wart-like growth. Quick Fact: Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, and an estimated 3.6 million cases are diagnosed in the United States every year. Quick Fact: Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, and its incidence has increased up to 200% in the past three decades. Category #2: Melanoma Melanoma is the second “category” of skin cancer, and it develops in the cells that give human skin its brown pigment – AKA, melanocytes. The melanocytes produce melanin, which helps to protect the deep layers of our skin from the sun’s harmful effects. Thankfully, melanoma is much less common than basal and squamous cell carcinoma, but it’s also more dangerous. Melanoma is more likely to spread to other parts of the body if it’s not caught early, and it can be more difficult to treat. According to the American Cancer Society, “melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin, but they are more likely to start on the trunk (chest and back) in men and on the legs in women.” The neck and face – both of which are heavily exposed to the sun’s rays – are also common sites for melanoma to develop. Quick Fact: Melanoma often looks like an asymmetrical mole that grows quickly and irregularly. It’s estimated that melanoma will kill 7,180 Americans in 2021. What Steps Can You Take To Prevent Skin Cancer? Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States, and it’s estimated that 90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure – and, of course, sunbeds and tanning lamps. According to Worldwide Cancer Research, “UV radiation damages DNA in your skin cells, which can accumulate over time and increase the risk of genetic mutations that cause skin cancer.” The more often you get burnt, the more damage is done to your DNA, and the risk of developing cancer increases. However, you aren’t “safe” if you don’t burn; tanning can also carry significant risk. It may seem like a staggering statistic, but experts say that getting sunburnt just once every two years can TRIPLE your risk of developing melanoma. If you truly want to protect your skin, you need to invest in a high-quality sunscreen that protects from UVB and UVA rays. What’s The Difference Between UVB And UVA Rays? Although there are many different rays in sunlight, the two most damaging to our skin cells are UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays are what we’re all familiar with; they cause our skin to tan and then burn, and they’re also largely responsible for the formation of skin cancer. While UVA rays can also contribute to skin cancer formation, they penetrate the skin’s layers more deeply than UVB rays, and they play a larger role in premature aging – think fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots. According to the University of Illinois, there are approximately 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight than UVB rays, so you need a sunscreen that protects against both if you want to reduce your risk of cancer while also preserving your skin’s youthful appearance. What Sunscreen Does Jiva Med Spa Recommend? While ANY sunscreen is better than NO sunscreen, not all brands are created equal, and there are thousands of products to choose from. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher, or SPF 30 or higher when you’re outdoors. Additionally, you should apply sunscreen first thing in the morning as part of your regular skincare routine, and then reapply every two hours if you’re outdoors and openly exposed to the sun’s rays. Your face and neck should be your #1 priority when applying sunscreen (especially if you’re worried about premature aging), but don’t forget about your hands, too. And, obviously, if you’re in a sundress or bathing suit, slather every inch of your body in SPF! At Jiva, we carry a few high-quality sunscreen products that we love, especially when it comes to self-care. We believe that applying sunscreen should be an enjoyable part of your daily routine, and we’re confident that you’ll love these products so much you’ll actually look forward to putting them on. Double win! 1) ALASTIN Skincare ALASTIN is an award-winning skincare brand whose mission is to bring the highest level of science and innovation to the skincare industry. The company’s unique TriHex Technology is a patented, synergistic three-phase approach to create smoother, healthier skin from the inside out. Not only does ALASTIN provide daily restorative skincare products like broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen, but they also sell procedure products that are clinically proven to help enhance results and reduce downtime after rejuvenating aesthetic treatments. 2) Avène vène has over 275 years of expertise in caring for sensitive skin and is recommended by dermatologists worldwide. Its clinically proven Avène Thermal Spring Water is the star ingredient of its award-winning formulas, and the brand is coveted for its unique ability to soothe, soften, and calm the skin. Avène is particularly dedicated to caring for sensitive skin and improving quality of life for all skin types, and popular products include intensive creams, hydrating serums, post-procedure kits, and SPF-infused mineral makeup. 3) Colorescience From mineral sunscreen to clinical skincare, Colorescience does it all. The brand is dedicated to preventing skin damage from things like sunlight, pollution, and free radicals, and it believes that the best defense against skin cancer and premature aging is a high-quality mineral sunscreen. Colorescience only uses 100% pure, natural minerals, antioxidants, and botanicals in its formulations, and clinically tested ingredients to maximize results. Some best sellers include the Colorescience Total Eye 3-In-1 Renewal Therapy with SPF 35 and the award-winning “Sunforgettable” Total Protection Face Shield Glow with SPF 50. 4) Neocutis Neocutis medical grade skincare products are designed to support the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, and they also defend against the most pronounced signs of aging and loss of elasticity with hand-crafted peptides. Neocutis was originally founded on the basis of extensive wound healing research. Now, 25 years later, the company applies the same wound healing principles to improve the appearance of aging skin. Some popular products from Neocutis include anti-aging broad-spectrum SPF lotions and multi-functional creams that restore moisture after aesthetic procedures. 5) SkinBetter Science SkinBetter Science creates award-winning skincare products that produce noticeable results. At SkinBetter, the brand believes that remarkable results can be achieved through product innovation, so they leverage advanced chemistry to develop scientifically-advanced formulas that go beyond. SkinBetter is also passionate about developing genuine patient-practice relationships, which is why their products are only available through authorized providers like Jiva Med Spa. SkinBetter’s “Protect” line of products features numerous SPF options, and its line of professional peels can reverse years of sun damage. 6) ZO Skin Health ZO Skin Health is associated with world-renowned dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi, and the brand is dedicated to helping people achieve skin health through the power of science. ZO provides comprehensive solutions for creating and maintaining beautiful, healthy skin regardless of age or ethnicity, and the company is acclaimed for its correct, prevent, and protect approach to skincare. Some ZO Skin Health best sellers include a growth factor serum, a 1% retinol blend, and an exfoliating skin polish. The brand also has sunscreen products that offer triple spectrum protection to protect against sun and light damage. We’ve Got Good News: It’s Never Too Late To Start A Skincare Routine Skin cancer is an unfortunate reality for too many Americans, and doctors estimate that 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. However, here’s some good news: when detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%. And since more than 90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, you can take very real steps to protect your precious skin and prevent a future diagnosis, simply by slathering on SPF as part of your daily routine. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never bothered with sunscreen before or used to have a bad tanning bed habit, it’s never too late to start a skincare routine, and we make it easy at Jiva Med Spa! Not only do we have a number of treatments and procedures that can reverse the appearance of sun damage, but we also have medical-grade sunscreen solutions available for purchase in our Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati offices. Take Advantage Of This Deal! EXCLUSIVE BLOG OFFER: To reward our readers and honor Skin Cancer Awareness Month, all sunscreen products are 20% off in May and June of 2021. Simply call us or stop by your local Jiva Med Spa and mention this “Sunscreen” blog to get the deal.