What is your name?
Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words.
Caring, honest, adventurous.
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
I’ve gotten much more proactive about sun safety in the last few years, since my daughter started nagging - I mean educating - me about it. I always wear my hat and sunnies when I’m out and about and I’ve started wearing sunscreen too and even using a sun umbrella on very sunny days. Not to mention my Solbari driving gloves to protect my hands while I chauffeur everyone around!
I wish I had started earlier, mainly for the anti-ageing benefits as I’ve been lucky enough to avoid any sign of skin cancers, but I’m glad I do it now. I’m also very insistent that the grandkids use proper sun safety when we’re out together - we sing slip, slop, slap, seek, slide together to remind them, and I always carry extra sunscreen around to reapply when we need to. It was hard to change my habits, but I think it was worth it to avoid further sun damage and possible skin cancer.
What would you tell your 16 year old self about sun protection?
Start early and do it everyday! Changing your habits is hard and you need to start young to avoid sun damage. And it can happen even on overcast days, which I had no idea about at 16 (didn’t know the difference between UVB and UVA rays, we didn’t know as much back in the ‘70s about sun safety). Sun protection while you’re young works much better than anti-ageing creams when you get older! Plus you’re far less likely to have to worry about possible melanomas, which are a big worry in Australia (it’s a bit different to England!). Also, don’t tan even when it gets popular. Not even at tanning booths, either!
Avoiding the actual sun doesn’t help if you go and immerse yourself in UVA rays anyway. I never got into tanning when I was young and I’m glad now that we know all the risks and drawbacks of it. I wish I had known more about sun safety as a teen, but unfortunately the education/science about it just wasn’t that good back then. But better late than never!
Thank you Cheryl for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.