DON’T copy Chanel when out in the sun!


Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cancer Patients must avoid direct sun, be careful when out in sun, and don’t forget that even under an umbrella, sun’s rays can bounce off the sea, or even concrete, and burn you!

It was Coco Chanel who made a sun tan fashionable, after she was caught in the sun one day.

Today, although sun is good for you, doctors advise use a good sun cream and top it up regularly – particularly after swimming. When slapping on the suncream, take the opportunity to examine your skin for ABCD, suggests the Cadogan Clinic.

Precautions The Clinic recommends you check for moles:

  • A = mole that becomes asymmetrical         B = edge/border changes                          C = develops more than one colour            D + diameter enlarges to more than 6mm

If you find a mole with any of these ABCD traits,  get it checked as soon as possible.

SUN BEDS And never, never use sun beds. WHO (World Health Organisation) and recent studies say Tanning beds increase your odds of getting cancer.

CHANEL made Suntans fashionable  

Ironically, the great fashion icon Coco Chanel made suntans fashionable. Chanel was the Celebrity IT girl of the 1920s; she was also the lover of the Duke of Westminster (one of world’s richest men), and whatever she did was news.

Until her time, all women wanted the pale, elegant look; only peasants got sunburn. But after a day spent on a yacht in the Mediterrenean, where she accidentally got sunburn, Chanel changed that, and made the ‘sporty outdoors look’ fashionable. All the fashionistas wanted the same look

Today, we realise that the lovely bronze colour of a suntan actually masks burnt skin underneath the top layer; a recipe for disaster. And it is this unseen damage that causes the problems. Also, sunburn is ageing – you only have to look at some film stars and TV presenters, past their sell-by date, who always had a deep tan. Seeing their skin close to is frightening.

PREPARING FOR SUN To look good, you have to prepare your skin.  Every month at least, have a Facial to help restore the moisture in your skin, and prepare skin on face, neck and bust to survive pollution, sun, stress and modern life. Before you visit any Salon, make sure they ask you to fill out a detailed medical questionnaire. No questions asked – no facial – just get up and leave!  It will save time if you take a list of medications with you – as this re-assures a good therapist.

Attention to detail BEFORE you start is incredibly reassuring, and shows you are in the hands of someone who knows their job. Some salons also have a special camera – and boy – do they highlight the damage sun does to our skin!

Every Day – preparation  Before you slap on sun protection, you MUST have a clean skin. Water is essential too – inside, NOT as a cleanser on its own.

  1. Twice a week have a full body and face exfoliation. Get rid of those flaky dead skin cells and buff the skin to aid absorption. Use a circular motion with or without a mitten and focus on dry areas like noses, elbows and shins.
  2. Ditch face wipes! They can dehydrate your skin so invest in a good cleanser.
  3. Don’t splash your face with cold water as this can damage the skin especially if you’re prone to redness or veins. Splash with tepid water instead.
  4. If you have dry skin then go for a nourishing cream foundation; dehydrated skins should use a fluid foundation; oily skin should try either mineral powder base or an oil control foundation.
  5.  Even in winter, I put on a minimum SPF 15 protection every day, such as Clinique’s Repairwear lift. Good name, and it does what it ways on the label. Remember even on a dull day the sun’s rays still get through to harm skin.
  6. Slip – Slap – Slop When the sun does shine, remember some of the best cancer skincarecare advice comes from Australia, so copy their mantra Slip – Slap – Slop.
  • Slip on something cool that covers the body
  • Slap on the high factor protection
  • Slop on a hat.


France is another country where cancer care is good – and the medical spa of La Roche Posay has developed a user-friendly range of suncare products under the trade name Anthelios.ANTHELIOS-XL_Tube-Creme-Confort-SPF50+-50ml-2

For years the French have had the benefit of excellent skincare for medical conditions on their health service and now the pioneers, La Roche-Posay products, are made under licence by L’Oreal skincare. Recently La Roche-Posay (LRP) have come out with high factor Sun protection product, Anthelios,which gives protection up to Factor 50+. They also have an SPF 50 cream for the face that is tinted, so I often use this instead of foundation.

DON’T think you are immune if you have a dark skin, as skin cancer can attack ANY skin colour.

When deciding on what protection you need, you may be confused by talk of UVA and UVB rays.

La Roche Posay says: UV rays come in two forms UVA and UVB. UVA rays are 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the earth; responsible for ageing of skin and can cause skin cancer. UVB rays are more dangerous than UVA rays, even though they only account for about 5% of radiation that reaches earth. They burn the skin and can cause skin cancer and eye damage. Anthelios range offers greater protection of less than or equal to 2.5.

All sunscreens with an SPF will filter out some of the rays, but you need overall protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and the European Commission recommends a ration between UVB and UVA protection of less than or equal to 3.

Anthelios, being French, has been developed with a strong in-put from feminine users, and the first thing you notice is that although the creams vary from SPF 20 – 50+, they sink straight in to the skin – you don’t have that white layer making you look like a ghost. They advise putting on one application ,waiting ten minutes, then add another application. And don’t miss out on ears and back of neck and knees. And listen to the French – their women didn’t start with-out good skins, but boy do they age better – and that is because they are taught to take care of their skin from an early age.

If you perspire, you need to renew sun protection more frequently, and LRP recommend re-applying every hour. Well, they would, but this was confirmed by Prof. John Hawk of St. Thomas’ Hospital in a recent speech. S

Sunbeds Prof. Hawk didn’t have a good word to say about sun beds: to be avoided like the plague. Use fake tans – I am using a marvellous one by Estée Lauder called Self Tan, which they make in three colours, so you can choose your tone. One thing I like particularly is that it doesn’t have that horrid smell on my skin. But remember – Fake Tans are not sun protection – you need to use both.

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7 thoughts on “DON’T copy Chanel when out in the sun!

  1. Dartz December 26, 2008 at 8:52 pm Reply

    Repellent is one thing you should always bring, since it keeps tics off as well, and tics spread all sorts of nasty diseases. Also, if you’re naturally pale or suffer from albinism or vitiligo, you need to take that much more care since you have much less melanin in your skin.

  2. lauraj January 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm Reply

    Always keep yourself covered and use some sort of repellent. Also make sure that if you are out where there can be thousands that you use the candles that are designed for keeping them away. So with taking the right precautions you are always making sure you are able to protect yourself.

  3. zordani February 1, 2009 at 11:11 pm Reply

    I’ve always been afraid of the sun, as its rays are incredibly damaging, no matter the type of skin you’ve got. So a full body suit sounds great for swimming. I don’t know if it’s really necessary to wear sun block every time you get out of the house, but it couldn’t hurt, now could it?

  4. vlada February 3, 2009 at 8:10 pm Reply

    I have always been the fan of the sun. I have adored to acquire a tan until the last summer when I have noticed the nevus pigmentosis on my skin. I have considered that it would never takes place with me but now I am absolutely sure that my sunburn was a great mistake. And I shall use all needed precautions, to be protected from the sun.

  5. tongyun February 7, 2009 at 8:41 pm Reply

    When I was much younger, in my teens, I worked for my tan and thought nothing of the dangers of the sun. Now that I’m no longer in my teens and the father of 4, I make sure my children are covered with sun screen to protect their skin as much as possible.

  6. sanju123 February 8, 2009 at 10:52 am Reply

    Sun is too damaging when one is at a beach, my son has an acute problem of pigmentation, no amount of sunscreen lotions bring around any relief. It takes few him months to get back his original complexion. I think as referred in the article above a full covering swim suit would make a perfect option for him.

  7. Oigen February 8, 2009 at 9:40 pm Reply

    I’m afraid of the sun. Yes, it might seem silly, but I think that its radiation has intensified in the last decade. With pollution and all, I believe it’s best to be safe than sorry. So I try to protect myself every chance I get. Anyone reading this, think about it thoroughly.

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