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Redheads: How to Stay Melanoma Free

Updated: May 1, 2021

May is Melanoma Awareness Month. It was recently found that redheads are more susceptible to melanoma. A mutation in a gene called MC1R gives redheads their hair color and fair skin. Now a new US study suggests this same mutation triggers a cancer-causing signaling pathway when redheads are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

We have talked to some of the best skincare and dermatologist experts and they are here to share with you how to stay sun safe this summer.

1. 90% of your wrinkles are caused by the sun.

Jill Scalisi, CEO of Scalisi Skincare, said, “Most people know they should use sunscreen. A few people know that 90% of your wrinkles are caused by the sun. But what many don’t know is these UV rays are present with equal strength year-round AND go through glass. So it is just as important to wear sunscreen in December when you are riding in a car or sitting in your office near a window as it is to sit on the beach in the summer.”

Scalisi recommends these sun tips:

– Apply sunscreen after the shower and before you get dressed. You are sure to cover all parts and won’t have to worry about getting sunscreen on your clothes.

– Keep a lightweight scarf in your glove compartment to cover your neck and chest while driving.

– Make sure to always keep an SPF 30 or higher beach umbrella in your car and use it whenever you are sitting out in the sun.

2. Sun protective swimwear is a must.

“Sun protective swimwear is a must for redheads! The beach and pool are extremely intense UV environments because the UV rays bounce off the water and sand. UV exposure leads directly to skin cancer and melanomas. Kids’ skin is particularly sensitive to the sun so UPF 50+ swimwear (especially rashguard swim shirts protecting the back and neck) have to be worn,” says Betsy Johnson from SwimZip.

3. Daily consumption of tomato paste helps neutralize the harmful effects of UV damage.

Stefanie S., Master Esthetician at SkinCareRx, commented saying, “A great tip I have learned from my ‘German roots’ is the power of Lycopene. Lycopene comes from red fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes. Studies show that daily consumption of tomato paste helps neutralize the harmful effects of UV damage. Natural sources are always beneficial to the skin and body! Limit sun exposure to the recommended Vitamin D dose around 15-30 minutes3-4 times a week.”

4. Avoid being outside from 10 AM – 3 PM.

“Avoid running outside from the hours of 10 AM to 3 PM –– when the UV index is the highest,” shares Dr. Hooman Khorasani, Chief of the Division of Dermatologic & Cosmetic Surgery at Mount Sinai Health SystemChief. “Adults should always wear hats and large shades. Sunscreen should be applied every 40 minutes while outside and every 20 minutes while on the beach.”

5. Wear Vitamin C serum underneath sunscreen.

A Skin Authority skin coach has a favorite tip to boost your sun protection, “Wear a Vitamin C serum underneath your SPF. Combining the C and the sunscreen will boost the protective power against the UV rays.”

6. Wear two layers of sunscreen…every day.

Opt for wearing two sunscreens: sunscreen underneath your makeup and a powder/foundation with SPF.

READ: 6 Best Tinted Moisturizers for Redheads 

7. Use a lip balm that includes 30 SPF or higher.

Our favorite is Aquaphor’s Lip Protectant.

Stay sun safe and Rock it like a Redhead!