Surprise, surprise. I’m a redhead and I wear sunscreen year round because if I don’t, my skin fries in the sun. Even in the winter. While the silver lining is plenty of new freckles and a vitamin D boost, the downside of spending too much time in the sun is at best red cheeks, at worst, melanoma. While everyone knows that it’s important to protect your skin against the sun, a recent study from Beth Israel Cancer Institute discovered some pretty scary stuff for anyone with ginger genes.
Natural redheads get their coloring in a few different ways one being the MC1R gene, which controls the type of melanin in the skin and the hair. However, according to the new study, a small percentage of copper tops carry a mutated form of that gene. This mutation decreases the cells ability to protect itself from UVA/UVB rays resulting in a higher risk of melanoma in red heads. Carriers find themselves with a ten to 100 higher frequency of the getting skin cancer.
Scared yet? I was, but then ran to my beauty bin to check all my sun protection products to make sure I was doing as much as I could to take care of my skin. To combat painful, skin-damaging sunburns and various cancers, I have several go-to products to help protect myself. In light of the recent FDA requirement regarding sunblock, I’ll only use a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher to shield against harmful UVA and UVB rays. My favorites include Clinique Broad Spectrum Protection Stick, Murad Essential-C Day Moisturizer and Coppertone Sport Spray
Applying sunscreen should be part of everyone’s daily beauty regime – and not limited to days at the beach or summer. But this is a word to the wise so my fellow gingers take extra care to lather up – and often.