May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. In this week’s blog, Susan Posnick of Susan Posnick Cosmetics talks about her personal journey post skin cancer diagnosis, and her continued mission to use her brand and products to increase awareness, early detection, and prevention measures against skin cancer, one Beautiful person at a time.
LIVE. LAUGH. WEAR SUNSCREEN.
Sometimes I feel that to others, I might sound like a broken record when I talk about the importance of using sun protection to prevent many forms of skin cancer, and to protect the skin from showing the signs of aging. The truth is I continue to speak out because I know first-hand the damage the sun can do, and I want to spare others.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, the least discussed, and the most preventable.
I do not remember a time when I personally didn’t want to have a tan; almost an impossibility for such a fair-skinned person like me. I remember wrapping aluminum foil over album covers to bounce the sun’s intense rays right onto my face. We used baby oil and iodine rubbed right into our skin to achieve that desired golden color. For me, it was always burn, then peel, and then maybe after 3-4 times of that routine, I might have a little color. Heck, in my early 20’s I spent 2 years living in the U.S. Virgin Islands working on a tan. Yet my desire to obtain that sun-kissed look came at a steep price, and I had no idea of the cost. Little did I know that all this effort would almost surely one day lead to a diagnosis of skin cancer.
Since my late 40’s, I have had basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma, and have undergone treatment for all 3 types.
After my first MOHS Surgery to remove skin cancer, I was told that I could never again go without wearing sun protection and quickly discovered that I was allergic to chemical sunscreens, as are many people. As I began to research what I could use on my skin for protection, I thought about all the other people who were also in need of healthy, natural sun protection. That led to investigating zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two natural physical sunscreens that act like a blackout shade to the sun.
The technology of using zinc oxide in a powdered form, rather than the white cream the lifeguards used, was relatively new. Working with a chemist for over 3 years, we finally perfected a formula that would be both sun protection and foundation.
This reach for an answer led to the development of my award-winning products (COLORFLO, and BRUSH ON BLOCK) and established the purpose behind my Clean and Natural Beauty brand.
Before COLORFLO, and BRUSH ON BLOCK, products to block the sun containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide were pretty much non-existent. Regarding the products that were available on the market using only natural sun protection, there were complaints that it looked too white and felt too heavy on the skin. (It did!) and it was a chore to reapply, especially after working out or being in the water!
With Susan Posnick Cosmetics I sought to change all that. I developed products that not only can block the sun’s rays, but also improve how the skin looks and feels with dynamic skincare built-in, and flawless, undetectable coverage! You never have to be concerned with how you are going to re-apply your sunscreen over your foundation - with our products, you just simply brush it on whether your wearing makeup or not.
As sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours, I set out to make it easy to apply healthy sunscreen throughout the day. I focused equally on the “carry it with you” packaging, so people could reapply as often as needed or desired. COLORFLO, and BRUSH ON BLOCK brush on in seconds!
They stay on in the water 40 minutes and 80 minutes respectively! They never sweat off or sting your eyes. No more greasy hands, and kids don’t squirm around when you’re applying sunscreen on them (wink wink!) It is safe to use on ages 2 and up, and gentle enough to be used after surface skin treatments.
THE ID OF SUNSCREEN ALLERGIES
Quite often women who wear foundation with chemical sunscreen, notice bumps and rashes on their skin and never think that the culprit is the sunscreen in the product, but quite often it is.
Here are a few tips to identify if you yourself might be allergic to chemical sunscreen, alone or in foundation:
1.) CONTACT ALLERGY- An irritating rash or tiny bumps will appear on the skin immediately after applying the product, and it can take days for the reaction to subside.
2.) PHOTO ALLERGY- Reactions may include swelling, red skin, itching and fluid-filled blisters, and can appear at any time after applying the product.
SUN PROTECTION: It Is A Physical Vs. Chemical Thing
Most people do not know there are any such things as “physical” sunscreens versus “chemical” ones.
The one that most people are familiar with seeing at their local stores is chemical.
So I must first explain in speaking about the topic of sun protection, that there are two options, and how each works differently.
Natural sunscreens, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide “physically” block the sun’s harmful rays. When wearing mineral sunscreen, once the sun hits your skin, the light literally bounces off. Natural sun protection products will screen out UVA rays -skin aging, and UVB rays which cause direct damage to skin DNA, often resulting in cancer. When a product contains these two sunscreens, the product is referred to as “broad spectrum” sun protection.
As an added bonus that I very much appreciate, as they are readily available from the earth… meaning sustainable ingredients.
Chemical sunscreens react with the skin to screen sunlight. They are literally absorbed into the skin first, then a chemical reaction prevents the light from penetrating more deeply into the skin. By the way, this can take up to 30 minutes to be effective, which most people aren’t aware of. Which means, you are actually getting no protection for a period of time, absorbing harmful rays without realizing it.
Chemical sunscreens are proven harmful to the environment. Most people realize that swimming with them on is detrimental to ocean life and coral, but most must be reminded that the water one uses in the shower to wash off the chemical sunscreen also flushes out into the sea.
Today, we are now additionally aware that some chemical sunscreens absorb into the bloodstream, affecting hormones.
It is no real wonder with all that considered, that allergies to chemical sunscreens are problematic for so many people.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE
In most cases, skin cancer is preventable, and the chances of getting it do increase with age. In addition to wearing natural, healthy sunscreen, we advise on other measures to take as well. More is more! I tell people to keep a wide-brimmed hat with you, wear UV protection sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing- including long sleeve bathing suits. You can find all of these at every price range.
It is important to all of us at Susan Posnick Cosmetics to guide you in making the best choices in regard to ‘safe sunning.’ Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. Follow, Like, Tag and Share on Facebook and Instagram .
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