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You use make-up to help hide your flaws—to even out skin tone and mask wrinkles. But even better, make-up can help block the sun’s rays. And that’s good news for two reasons: You have protection against skin cancers like melanoma, and by blocking the sun, you can also help minimize the fireball’s aging effects on your skin.
Here’s what you need to know about make-up and protecting your skin, according to Andy Chung, M.D., an ear, nose and throat specialist on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano.
1. Know your risk. “Melanoma can occur in non-sun-exposed areas,” Dr. Chung says. “And there are also malignances that are sun-related.” Your risk of sun-related melanoma, he adds, will depend on factors such as your skin type. For example, people with red hair and fair skin are at higher risk.
2. Choose foundation with SPF. “We do know that sun exposure is a known risk factor for skin cancers, including malignant melanoma,” Dr. Chung says. “There are foundations with SPF [sun protection factor] which would make this make-up protective against sun exposure.”
Choose a foundation with an SPF of at least 8. It’s also a good idea to apply a moisturizer with SPF under your foundation for extra protection. When using your moisturizer, don’t forget areas that won’t be covered with make-up, such as your neck, upper chest and ears.
3. Add compressed powder. The tiny particles in compressed powder offer an additional physical barrier against the sun’s rays. Plus, powder helps set your foundation and moisturizer to give you longer-lasting protection from the sun.
Learn more about the types of cancer we treat at Baylor Plano, and ask your physician about prevention and early detection. Get a referral to a physician on the Baylor Plano medical staff.
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