So this is what I brought back from work today: it’s a sample sized container of Anthelios XL sunscreen by La Roche-Posay. I don’t mean to offer any endorsement to the brand, I just wanted to use the sample to make a point.
Do you know how much sunscreen you are supposed to apply when you go outdoors?
The experts say that you should apply approximately one ounce of sunscreen over your entire body. One ounce is the amount of sunscreen that would fit into a shot glass. That’s a lot! Do you ever apply this much?
I confess that prior to hearing this fact, I would not have thought that I needed this much sunscreen. It explains a few things, however. At my workplace, I see a lot of patients who complain of having a bad sunburn despite having applied sunscreen. If you are only applying a thin smear over your skin, it might not be enough protection.
In the photograph above, I am featuring a sample size of sunscreen which is 3mls in size. You would have to apply TEN of these to reach the one ounce mark. That’s a lot!
This summer has been much the same as many previous ones, in that I still see MANY people in my workplace who have sunburns. It’s really frustrating to see how many people are still not getting the message about the dangers of skin cancer. You can develop cancerous skin tumors after having received only one bad sunburn. So it’s not enough to say “I forgot to apply sunscreen” and just shrug it off. Just like putting on your seatbelt when you get into your car, applying sunscreen needs to be second nature. That is the goal in my mind.
I saw an obituary in my local newspaper this week. The woman who died was in her 40′s and she died tragically of a disease called malignant melanoma. This is the most serious form of skin cancer, and the one that can be fatal. I watched a co-worker of mine succumb to the same disease at the age of 62. The suffering he endured at the end of his life made me rethink how serious a sunburn can be.
So love your skin this summer, and keep that precious organ called your SKIN covered up.