Skin Is In

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As a 20-something year-old, I can firmly say that skin is in. From YouTube skin care tutorials and tips from Instagram beauty influencers to advice from wellness gurus about self-care, there is no shortage of information about skin care for women my age, younger and older. However, most of the advice tends to skew toward having a blemish-free complexion or smoothing out wrinkles. But our skin is the largest organ on our body and requires a lot more care that just aesthetics when it comes to defense against the elements.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime, making it the most common cancer in the U.S.

If that’s not a wakeup call to slather on the SPF (and reapply accordingly), put on your best UVA/UVB protective sunglasses and find the widest brim hat, keep reading.

The skin around our eyes is actually the thinnest skin on our body, and this fragile skin is incredibly susceptible to UV damage. In fact, according to NPR, 5 percent to 10 percent of skin cancers occur on the eyelid.

While some individuals are at a higher risk for skin cancers by having lighter skin and eye colors, certain types of moles or a family history of skin cancer, anyone, regardless of race is at risk.

According to a fact sheet from the AAD, “Skin cancer in patients with skin of color is often diagnosed in its later stages, when it’s more difficult to treat. Research has shown that patients with skin of color are less likely than Caucasian patients to survive melanoma.”

So high risk or not, protecting our skin applies to everyone. From being vigilant about using SPF daily and wearing quality sunwear to regularly getting screened, Skin Cancer Awareness Month is a sure reminder of how important self-care really is.

jwilson@jobson.com