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Top 6 Reasons to Use Sunscreen

By now you’ve probably seen that the Birchbox editors are über vigilant about sun protection. Since you’ve been following along closely, we’re sure that you’re now wearing SPF everyday, right?

All joking aside, we know that despite the best of intentions, sometimes we’re all a little guilty of skimping on the sunscreen—especially if we don’t know how much formula to use or how often to reapply. (Hint: you need more for your entire body than you’d think).

We quizzed our Birchbox staffers to test their sunscreen IQs, and realized that we could all use a quick refresher; thus the handy tips in the video above!  I know I’ll be applying it more liberally and more often. Since I worry about clogged pores, I always look for an oil-free formula made especially for the face. I love using COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face because it’s super lightweight and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. Now go have some fun in the sun (but remember that sunscreen!)

—Katrina

Looking for more sunscreen tips? Read 9 Sun Protection Tips You Need to Know Now from Jill Scalisi, the founder of Scalisi skincare.

Good News! Gel Manis Actually Don’t Increase Skin Cancer Risk

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No need to worry about the UV lamps at nail salons. (Photo: Fox)

We’ve been a bit wary of gel manicures ever since we heard that the superspeedy UV lamps used to set lacquer may lead to skin cancer. Now it turns out that there’s no cause for alarm: a new study conducted by two independent researchers found that it would take 13,000 to 40,000 nail-drying sessions (the equivalent of 250 years’ worth of weekly manicures) to marginally raise the risk of developing skin cancer. Unlike the lamps used in tanning beds, nail lamps use “narrowband UVB” rays, which are regarded as much safer. 

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Banana Republic’s Anna Karenina Collection is Now Available!

Channel the glamour of late-19th-century Russian aristocracy with these cozy-chic pieces. (Photo: bananarepublic.com)

—Hallie

Genetic predisposition or not, defend yourself from harmful UV rays with our favorite sunscreen, Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum!

Skin Cancer 101: Melanoma Screening Tips from ZocDoc’s Dr. Arthur Colsky


There are only a few weeks of bona fide summer left, but just because beach days are coming to an end, that doesn’t mean you should be any less vigilant about your sun protection. Now is the time to keep an eye out for early warning signs of skin cancer like melanoma—which is why we enlisted ZocDoc dermatologist Dr. Arthur Colsky to tell us his best tips for monitoring and preventing a sun damage skin disaster. 

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Your iPhone Now Screens For Skin Cancer

Photo via Yahoo Shine.

There’s a small black mole on my right cheek that’s been there ever since I learned how to look in the mirror. While I like to think it puts me in the same league as Cindy Crawford and Marilyn Monroe, there’s a fine line between a beauty mark and a potentially cancerous skin growth. I know I should go to my dermatologist to have him take a look, but who has the time?

Well, now I don’t have any excuse to let my mole go unchecked. According to Yahoo, there’s a new iPhone app called SpotCheck that screens for melanoma. It lets you take a picture of any mole with your phone and send it to dermatologist Dr. Bobby Buka, the developer behind the app. Within 24 hours, you’ll receive a text message stating whether or not he thinks you should have the mole evaluated. Preventing skin cancer has never been easier.

-Mai

As always, make sure you wear SPF daily to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Turns Out, Tanning Really is Addictive

When it comes to soaking up the sun, I realize that I am at one end of the spectrum. If I’m on the beach, I am definitely under an umbrella and most likely wearing a hat and a long sleeve tee. But I have a close girlfriend who is my polar opposite, despite the fact that years ago, we were almost equally as pale. But warm weather vacations, summers at the beach, and tanning oil have made her fair skin incredibly dark. While I’ve tried talking to her and stressing the very real threat of skin cancer, I don’t seem to get anywhere.

New research conducted by UT Southwestern Medical Center and published in Science Daily might explain why my heart-to-hearts with this dear friend are pointless: she could be addicted. The study was conducted by measuring the brain activity and blood flow to the brain of participants who were using tanning beds. The results were similar to those of addicts, meaning that all-too-frequent tanners might feel a physical need to continue the harmful behavior. Does this mean my friend might need a full-blown tanning intervention? Maybe, and I might be ready to go there one day. For now, I am just thinking of swapping out her SPF 5 for some SPF 75. 

—Meredith

My daily regimen these days includes my new favorite Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+.