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Every year, more than 10,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, affects more than 3 million people annually.
May is national Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and to honor the occasion, dermatologist Dr. Angela Lamb joined Hoda & Jenna to talk about how people can protect themselves from the sun's harmful UV rays while still enjoying their summer.
It starts with a product you'll actually use, and she shared a few dermatologist-approved sunscreens.
"Buy something you will wear," Lamb advised. "If you don't like how it feels on your skin, if it is irritating, if you don't like how it smells: Please find another one. So many patients just don't wear it for those reasons, and thankfully now we have so many different options to choose from."
To help you find the perfect formula that you'll use all summer long, Lamb shared a few of her favorites.
Lamb praised this affordable lotion for its "non-sticky feel" and the fact that it applies cleanly without "leaving a white film" on skin. Lightweight and hydrating, it's perfect for wearing underneath make-up. Like every other sunscreen, users wearing this should touch up their application every 90 minutes.
This stick is perfect for protecting your face and has a light, lemon scent for a pleasant application.
"(I) love this for the nasal bridge or for children," said Lamb. She pointed out the product could also work well for anyone looking to add some extra moisture to their skin. With SPF 30, it's perfect for daily use too.
Don't neglect your lips during the summer! Lamb said that when it comes to sunscreen, people tend to forget about this area.
"Everyone forgets about the lips!" she said. "I have diagnosed many skin cancers on the lips and right above the lips."
Try this lip balm to keep the area protected, soft, and moisturized.
This mineral sunscreen stick is perfect for sensitive skin. Lamb said that it might look more white on skin due to the ingredients, but still helps protect from the sun. With SPF 50, it works great for prolonged outdoor exposure.
Like the matching sunscreen stick, this sunblock is great for sensitive skin and only contains zinc and titanium dioxide. When applying, make sure you're using enough — Lamb recommends using about "two finger widths" worth of sunscreen to cover your face and about one ounce to cover your neck and chest area.
Looking for cruelty-free, vegan ingredients? Try this brand's formula. It's great for adults looking for targeted sunscreen application. Avoid using sprays on small children though — Lamb said since they're more likely to move around during the application process, you might miss areas.
This more standard sunscreen spray bottle keeps the cruelty-free, vegan ingredients that Kiss My Face is known for. When applying, Lamb recommends holding the bottle 6 to 8 inches away from the skin, applying evenly, and then rubbing in to make sure it absorbs properly.
Another great option for young children, this sunscreen stick allows for mess-free application.
"It's one of the best for kids because it's a physical sun blocker to reflect the sun's rays off the block," Lamb said. "It also works right away. (With) other non-physical sun protection, you have to apply at least 15 minutes prior for them to work."
This brush allows for a new, fairy unique method of applying sunscreen. While it might be a little pricier than your standard sunscreen, the attached brush allows for easy application on top of make-up, and makes touch-ups neat and easy.
Sunscreen isn't the only way to keep safe from UV rays! Protective clothing can help those who are outside for long periods of time.
"Some folks get caught out there, during golfing or tennis, and they forget their exposed arms and back," Lamb said. "Sun-protective clothing is wonderful to help with this."
Lamb said that you should still apply sunscreen, but if you forget, this Coolibar hat has "dependable UV protection" with a moisture-wicking internal sweatband.
For more stories like this, check out:
- This $10 sunscreen is the most important part of my skin care routine
- The best sunscreen for your face, according to dermatologists
- 12 must-have products to protect you from the sun this summer