As summer swiftly approaches, SpaFinder’s third annual Melanoma Initiative is kicking into high gear. Spas around the world are partnering with SpaFinder to help educate the public on the dangers of sun exposure, promote effective and affordable sun safety habits, and raise awareness of the importance of an annual full body mole check.
Since its inception in 2007, SpaFinder’s Melanoma Initiative has enlisted spa therapists and estheticians who not only have trusted relationships with their clients, but also frequently see their skin close up, to encourage them to use sunscreen regularly and schedule yearly skin exams with a dermatologist. SpaFinder is distributing educational literature to participating spas (and on the Web), that features sun safety facts and perspectives from noted skin expert Doris Day, MD, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist, author, columnist, lecturer and sought-after media personality.
Day stated that this year, two issues are heating up for consumers: strapped budgets, driving the need for affordable sunscreen options; and new controversies, such as whether mineral-based particles or chemicals in some sunscreens are safe. This may be confusing consumers, and leading them to stray from practical sun safety basics.
“If you’re using products with the components outlined below, you’re doing the right thing,” says Day. “People need to be vigilant about re-applying sunscreen every two hours when they’re outdoors, but also need to realize that sunscreen is, in essence, the last line of defense, and no silver bullet.” She added that as a physician she encourages people to exercise, and get out and enjoy their lives—but they need to be sun smart, that is, wear hats and sun-protective clothing whenever possible, avoid tanning salons and use a good sunscreen.
This year will see the return of SpaFinder’s popular ‘I Will Reflect’ photosensitive wristbands, which change color from white to an attractive shade of purple when exposed to harmful UVA rays. The chic bracelets bear a metal faceplate engraved with the Melanoma Initiative’s motto, “I Will Reflect,” reminding wearers to think about the five melanoma prevention tips included in the bracelet’s packaging:
- Be sun and skin smart
- Wear sunscreen year round
- Use a minimum of 15 SPF sunscreen, providing UVA protection
- Have an annual full-body mole check
- Share this important message with others
Spas interested in distributing SpaFinder’s ‘I Will Reflect’ bracelets or obtaining more information about holding their own melanoma awareness events can contact Loreen Guertin at [email protected] or 212-716-1176. Proceeds go toward melanoma research, and programs that raise awareness of this deadly but largely preventable disease.