Skin cancer is now the leading cancer in the country, with 40 to 50 percent of all adults who live until the age of 65 being diagnosed with some form of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at least once, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation.
The far deadlier melanoma cancer accounts for 75% of all skin cancer deaths, yet is 99 percent treatable if caught in the early stage before it grows through the epidermis. Once that happens, survival rates drop to 15 percent.
Clearly, early detection could mean the difference between life or death.
"The good news is that moles are easily removed, and easily detected. If you notice changes or are skeptical about an irregular mole, seek a dermatologist for an expert opinion. If a harmful mole is discovered, it can be removed on the spot. 'Early and often' is the key to skin cancer prevention," advises New York dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz.
When looking over moles, remember the ABCD rule of warning signs; asymmetry, border irregularity, color changes and diameters bigger than five millimeters. Keep in mind that 'safe' moles you've had for years can change over time, so make sure your self-checks are thorough.
With the sunny summer months ahead, you'll want to make sure you're protected by stocking up on extra sunscreen. Consider one of the below brands, as they're all going above and beyond by donating to skin cancer awareness causes this month that aim to educate and protect Americans so that skin cancer statistics don't continue to soar.
Texas dermatologist Dr. Naila Malik will donate 190 bottles of her Skin Care Defend SPF 20 lotion to local Southlake school children whose families can't afford sunscreen. The light-weight lotion is paraben-free with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection that is formulated to not clog pores or irritate sensitive skin.
Too Faced's adorable Love Lisa SPF 15 Lip Balm was created by founder Jerrod Blandino in honor of his sister Lisa, who is currently battling fourth stage melanoma and 'kicking its butt,' says Blandino. The balm contains calming orange, almond and apricot kernel essential oils, and a portion from the sale of each stick will benefit the Too Faced Love Lisa Melanoma Research Foundation Grant that was created to help fund and find a cure for skin cancer. Plus, we love the cute bobblehead charm.
Sephora's Sun Safety Kit, $25, puts mini versions of their top sun protection products -- plus a hand UV bracelet -- in a cute pink bag. Packed with brands like Bliss, Shiseido, Bare Escentuals, Cover Fx and Kate Somerville, these mini sunscreens are brilliant for carry-on travel, and 100% of the net profits of sales is donated to The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Skincare brand NIA 24 has donated 100% of the proceeds from their Sun Damage Prevention 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 purchased online by May 15th. Even though the promotion is over, the gentle sunscreen is worth trying. It contains pro-niacin, which is a form of vitamin B3 that counters sun damage by minimizing pigmented dark spots.
La Roche Posay's Save Our Skin (SOS) campaign aims to spread the word about proper sun protection and practices, and the brand will make a donation every time someone signs up for their campaign. Known in the industry as the pioneer of the previously-only-sold-in-Europe mexoryl sx ingredient, La Roche Posay's new Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer blends the star ingredient in an oil and fragrance-free lotion that you can slip on every day.