Don’t think you need sunscreen? Well, you’re wrong.

Hello sun, glorious sun! Thank you for finally emerging through the grey skies! I am ready for some fun in your rays.

Sunglasses – check, tunes – check, vat of sunscreen – double check.

That’s right – a vat.

With a family history of skin cancer and a skin tone that only has two settings; pale as the driven snow and burnt lobster shell, the sun is obviously not always my friend and neither is anyone in my general proximity during the “better weather” months. It sometimes feels like the glare of my legs in shorts is a siren call for stares and comments.

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I get it- I’m alarmingly pale.

I was the damn example in Health class, so trust me, I know my legs are white.

And I know, I know – there are other ways to get a tan, but I have never felt comfort with using tanning beds or spray tans or tanning lotion and I don’t naturally tan, no matter how many people suggest I just “get some sun”.  

Okay, I’ll be honest- I also don’t want to dye my blonde, nonexistent eyebrows to match whatever tan I get and using a filler? Hell no. It’s a miracle I can work eye shadow.

I don’t know where it started, but there seems to be this collective idea that only the fair-skinned need sunscreen, when in fact, everyone needs it.   

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association(AAD), an estimated 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime; this is the most common cancer in the U.S.

It can affect any skin type.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends preventative measures such as wearing sunglasses,  staying in the shade especially during late morning through mid-afternoon hours, avoiding indoor tanning and covering your arms and legs.

Need help picking a sunscreen? The infographic below is from AAD.

It may seem like a drag to take all these extra measures, but soon you’ll start to see sunscreen as a no-brainer addition to your beach bag and your skin will thank you.  

Enjoy your summer, show off that beautiful body, but don’t forget your sunscreen.