What is your name?
Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words.
I like riding my bicycle.
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
I think that the sun is dangerous and that we need PPE (personal protective equipment) to protect ourselves from sun light. I feel annoyed that my parents lied to me and told me the sun is good for my health, and that they encouraged me to spend time in the sun which I now understand is dangerous. Now that I know this, I plan to always wear clothes which are UPF50+ or better with good sunglasses.
Sunscreen wears off quickly or when it gets wet, and also sunscreen ends up being more expensive in the long run because we have to keep buying it, while a good set of clothes will last for a long time. Also, sunscreen can rub off or be removed by sweating during exercise. I ride my bicycle to work for 1 hour there and 1 hour back, and even with sunscreen I get sunburn on my face, so I think a mask and gloves etc is necessary.
What would you tell your 16 year old self about sun protection?
Sun light is very dangerous and the damage is cumulative. Even sunscreen doesn't work well and is far inferior to a good physical barrier. We should wear hats, gloves, face masks, and wear thick long sleeve shirts and long pants every day, along with sunglasses.
Aside from skin becoming darker or growing unsightly moles, freckles, and sun spots etc, eventually there will be cancer and many people die because of skin cancer.
A few years ago I would have recommended to wear sunscreen on the face and hands, but now I've realised that we can wear UPF50+ masks and gloves, so I recommend those instead.
When I was 16 I asked my father why the skin on my arms was getting darker. He told me that my arms were dirty and that I needed to scrub them harder in the shower. I remember scrubbing the skin on my arms until they were red. It wasn't until many years later that I realised it was because of the sun and by then I had much more skin damage, and I wondered why he had lied to me.
Thank you Jay for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.
The Solbari Team