Long-weekend sun safety tips

How to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays, while still enjoying your weekend.


Heading into the first official long-weekend of spring/summer, I’m brushing up on my sun safety. Yes, when I was younger, I relished the sun’s rays and let my olive skin soak them up. Now, I know better, and find myself reluctant to turn my head to the sun. If I can’t see it, it can’t see me, right? Not so, of course.

According to the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA), one in three cancers diagnosed with year will be skin cancer. Skin cancer is also one of the most preventable cancers and approximately 90 percent of cases are thought to be induced by UV light.

That’s why it’s important to protect yourself and apply sunscreen regularly. However, “sunscreen should actually be your last line of defence,” says Dr. Sonya Cook, a Toronto-based dermatologist. In fact, if you’re applying sunscreen and then sitting out to tan, you’re actually abusing the product, she says. “Sunscreen is meant to be a protective measure for when you absolutely must be out in the sun.” First and foremost you should try to avoid exposure during peak hours (11-2); if that’s not possible, cover up with UVP clothing or seek shade, and finally, if you must be in the sun, apply sunscreen, and often (every two hours). Dr. Cook recommends applying a lotion with at least SPF 30 prior to going outside and then reapplying with a spray sunscreen.

The latest from La Roche-Posay is the Anthelios Mist which goes on white (so you can see where you’ve applied) and then blends into the skin. The formula is non-greasy and paraben- and fragrance-free.

$32, 200 mL; Available at Shopper’s Drug Mart and select drugstores across Canada.

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