Category Archives: Sun Facts

Here comes the Sun – time to take cover.

Cancer patients can now get

Sunsreen on Prescription

So why don’t GPs tell us?

Here it is

Anthelios is an easily-aborbed cream (doesn’t sit in a white patch on your skin);  I use it on my face before I go out, even in Spring and Autumn (it seems to prevent lines on me) and is light and pleasant to use all over the body  – not sticky or ‘gunky’.

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NICE approves cancer skin care product

Cancer patients get Anthelios XL SPF 50+

factor suncream on prescription


NICE gets really ‘nice’ !

and has finally approved the first of the La Roche-Posay skin treatment                                                                          creams, that zap nasty painful rough skin we get as drug side effects.

Sitting on my desk is a precious tube of ANTHELIOS 50+ cream, with a high SPF and lovely ‘melt in’ texture, which means it doesn’t leave a white film on my skin.

I had to get this approved by my dermatologist, then take her note to my NHS GP, who issued the precious prescription.

The good news is that it is now on my ‘repeat prescription’ form, so I can order more.  All I need is some sun instead of eternal downpours!

Every day use

Unlike many suncreams, this absorbs easily and can be used every day, whatever the weather, as there are still harmful rays even on dull days.  Top beauty therapists’ favourite tip is to wear anti-sun cream EVERY, and one therapist told me “I even wear it on Christmas Day”.

As Anthelios is made from top ingredients, it does your skin good, rather than just barring sun’s rays from penetrating;  so it is like using a skincare cream.

Made by La Roche Posay, it was developed at the French medical spa centre for skincare.  And the lovely thing is, like French cancer patients, we can now get this on free prescription.


Legend has it that Bertrand Du Guesclin, High Constable during the reign of of the French king Charles V, discovered the La Roche-Posay springs on his way home from Spanish campaigns at the end of the 14th century.

As he stopped at La Roche-Posay’s spring to quench his thirst, his horse, which suffered from eczema, plunged into the water and came out cured!!!!

Well, that’s the legend, but the fact is that over 10,000 patients go to the medical spa here every year for help with skincare problems, including me.  When I developed bloody skin lesions all over my body, I was told that these were due “to your age”.

So I went to France, where the La Roche Posay centre worked their magic, and restored my skin.

What more?

The company makes a vast range of skincare products for everything from eczema to proriasis.  Next on the list to be NICE approved is probably Lipikar body lotion, which I have found excellent for a general body lotion, although we are supposed to use the Toleraine range.

If you have skin problems from drug side effects, get your doctor prescribing Anthelios first.  This may cause problems, as some doctors aren’t going to take happily to the notion that we need help with horrible skin: dealing with this is seen as ‘cosmetic’, and therefore not something that should concern doctors.

In France the attitude is that if dry skin is making life a misery, then you get La Roche-Posay to help you stay on the drugs, and to counteract skin lesions, etc.

Then, once your doctor is prescribing – keep on asking when Lipikar and other creams get NICE approval, so you can be first in the queue!

Eventually we might get the same treatment as the French, who incidentally live longer after cancer because their doctors help them stay on drugs by sorting out side effects.  In Britain it was just suggested I might come off drugs, and I was regarded as ‘strange’ because I said I wanted to stay on them and reap the benefits.

For the technical minded – and your Doctor:

Breakthrough Technology
New Anthelios 50 Mineral with Cell-Ox Shield™: a patent pending combination of mineral sun filter and powerful anti-oxidant complex to further protect your skin, even at the cellular level.
Recommended for  all skin types


High UVA protection & SPF 50 for outdoor use
Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
Photostable, long-lasting protection
Light, satin finish
Fragrance-free, PABA-free
Safe for Sensitive skin

Anthelios SX is the moisturizer with Mexoryl SX offering a high level of protection against UVA rays, the No. 1 cause of skin aging.
Anthelios SX is a light, non-greasy, fragrance-free formula. It is allergy-tested, PABA-free, suitable for sensitive skin and offers 24-hour hydration. Anthelios SX has complete broad spectrum protection.
Anthelios SX features Mexoryl SX, the 1st sun filter in a sunscreen approved by the FDA in 18 years

Anthelios SX has an exclusive combination of three sun filters:                                                                                  Octocrylene protects against UVB rays.
Parsol 1789 (avobenzone) protects against long UVA rays and is stabilized by Octocrylene.
Mexoryl SX, the only FDA approved sun filter 1 that fills the gap in sun protection in the US 2
1: in a sunscreen formula
2: fills the gap in the short UVA range

For maximum results, apply liberally to face, neck décolletté, hands, and other exposed areas of the body, especially the tops of your ears !

1. Wear a sunscreen that has a high level of protection against UVA rays and at least an SPF 15.
2. Use sun protection daily, even if it is cold or cloudy outside!
3. Visit your dermatologist for an annual check-up and notify him/her immediately if you notice change or discoloration in a mole, which can be an early sign of skin cancer.

1. Forget to apply sunscreen on those often forgotten areas: the hands, décolleté, neck, and ears.
2. Scrimp when applying sunscreen. Most people don’t use enough! Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure.
3. Forget that SPF measures protection against UVB rays only, and not UVA rays. Look for ingredients that offer high UVA protection as well.

Visiting the Medical Spa





Gisele Bundchen causes furore over sun tan lotions

Gisele Bündchen was born in Horizontinal.

Image via Wikipedia

Cancer exoerts question model’s statement

Sometimes models can’t help it.  They open their mouths and out comes something controversial.

Latest in line is Gisele Bundchen, the Brazilian who is one of highest paid supermodels in the world.

She claims she doesn’t use sun tan lotions because all of the chemicals they contain.  But was quite happy to have been photographed before for Nivea Sun products ads.

Then it all becomes clear – “I cannot put this poison on my skin,” she said at the launch of her own organic skin care range,  “I do not use anything synthetic.”

Instead, the leggy beauty says she protects herself from sun damage by only exposing herself to rays before 8 A.M.  And to carry on promoting, she has been photographed for a video which focusses on Gisele doing everything – from yoga to horse-riding; but I had switched off long before the end.

Sad – because I wanted to know why she thought other products weren’t helpful;  what made her range better and what were ingredients.  But there was nothing about that, just Gisele’s thoughts about how she felt about herself.

Then I go Googling, and see she makes the usual statement about “never testing on animals”.  Now this is an old chestnut – I can’t think of one major skincare company that tests on animals – in fact most don’t mention this because they changed over so long ago.  And there she is launching a skin care range for the face – but choosing to major on using sun tan lotions – very strange.

Cancer experts have been quick to question Bundchen’s expertise on the matter.  Her new range was launched in Brazil, and a local expert commented,   “Sunscreen prevents damage to the skin and is of fundamental importance for the prevention of cancer,” said Dolival Loao, head of dermatology at Brazil’s National Cancer Institute. “This is not any poison, when a public person makes a statement like this, it creates confusion.”

Other experts are worried – the best skincare companies go to a lot of trouble to produce sun care products that not only protect our skin from both kinds of rays, but also provide moisturiser and other benefits.  Yes, some will use chemicals in the products, but not all chemicals are bad.  No major company distributing in a global market would risk including any product that might leave them open to being sued. They care about their products and how they can protect their customers.

Watching Bundchen’s video, I would say she certainly cares about herself.  But whether her name will sell enough products, or if we will have all gone back to tried and tested faithfuls in a few months – remains to be seen.

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Sun care on the NHS!

Anthelios 50+Melt In Cream to be listed on NHS

.La Roche Posay’s anti-sun cream, Anthelios 50+, is listed on NHS lists.

If your doctor doesn’t know about this, Prescription should say 3957713 Anthelios SPF50+ Cream 50ml.

Boots tell me this line is in about 510 stores, but if not available in your local one, they can order if from central distribution, and it should be with you in about 25-48 hours.

So you can stay protected on a winter sports or winter sun holiday

This now means that if you are going on a winter sports or winter sun holiday, your doctor should be able to prescribe Anthelios cream for you, if you have had cancer.

Cancer patients are warned they must protect their skins, but up until now this has been expensive.  But parent company La Roche Posay has bit on the bullet, submitted their products to NICE’s testing – and in February are going to submit more products.

I have been using Anthelios creams for over two years, and haven’t had one burn mark – or even heated skin – even though I have been holidaying in more that 40°.  I love this cream, because it is absorbed immediately into the skin, and doesn’t leave white marks.  Being made by La Roche Posay it does my skin good – in fact I have never used a sunscreen that makes my  skin feel so soft.

The cream is water-resistant, but you must keep re-appying.  It is made in a clear formula, and also slightly tinted, for the face.  And if you have to buy it, it costs from £14 – £16 for a tube.

At last the NHS has seen sense;  it has always seemed crazy to me that our Government runs campaigns saying that we should protect our skin – then slaps VAT on to suncare products.

You are probably going to have to convince your GP that you should be protected – but you can ask the British Association of Dermatology for back-up information on how important it is for those who have had cancer to be fully protected.

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Latest research shows Skin cancer doubling

Cybill Shepherd moonlights at Madame Tussauds ...
Image by mharrsch via Flickr

Latest from Cancer Research UK highlights dangers from sun – celebrities aren’t immune

With the death rate from various skin cancers rising every year, sadly it is older people, particularly men, who show most shocking growth rate;  the number of men dying from the deadliest form of skin cancer has doubled over the past three decades.

For younger people, sunbeds have accelerated the growth of skin cancer, and there are moves afoot both in UK and USA to ban these beds, at least for those under 18 – but when will this happen?

One wonders if it was sunbeds that caused such a large number of celebrities to present with cancer?

Melanie Griffith, Cybill Shepherd, President Bush, his son George and Laura Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Michael of Kent,   Scottish actor Ewan McGregor and many others are said to have developed types of skin cancer.

And when famous actors such as Bob Marley sadly died of melanoma, how can we try and ensure we don’t follow in their footsteps?  Bob Marley’s death shows that anyone with a darker skin does NOT have immunity from this dread disease.

Cancer Research UK show figures more than doubling recently,  with a steep increase in deaths from malignant melanoma, especially in elderly men.  Yet they say the disease is preventable.

Caroline Cerny, from Cancer Research UK, says men needed to learn to look after their skin.  “Too often men leave it up to their partners or mothers to remind them to use sunscreen or cover up with a shirt and hat, and even to visit the doctor about a worrying mole,” she said.

If you are worried about a mole, go to a GP.  Dr Jonathan Bowling says “it’s crucial that people go to their doctor as soon as they notice any unusual changes to their skin or moles – the earlier the cancer is diagnosed the easier it will be to treat.”

What else should you do?

1.  If possible wear loose but covering clothing in sunny weather.

Avoid wearing

  • low-slung jeans  – bare flesh at the back is a danger zone
  • sleeveless vests and tee-shirts are a no-no
  • Watch out for the throat area
  • shorts are fun – but slacks and trousers are better, as are long skirts
  • and if you are recovering from chemo – or are bald –  wear a hat

Use Sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15:   30 is better

  • Put on creams at least 15 mins before going out;  don’t rub in, but let the skin absorb them
  • Don’t forget backs of hands; knees;  tops of feet; bald heads; back of neck and throat area
  • Re-apply during the day, particularly after swimming
  • And use an adequate amount.  Don’t scrape it on – slap it on.  You are doing this to prevent a horrid cancer.  Isn’t  your life worth the extra expense of using sunscreen generously?
  • and use DuWop. See below to find out what this is!

La Roche-Posay (LRP), the dermatological skincare brand recommended by over 25,000 dermatologists worldwide has issued the following advice, emphasising the importance of adopting sensible sun safe behaviour to prevent future complications.  Because sadly, skin cancers can take years to develop.

Teenagers spend hours on suntan beds, not caring that they are building up almost certain problems for the future.  Sportsmen and women go out in the mid-day sun without taking proper precautions, etc.

LRP say “Sun creams are an important part of sun protection, but no sun cream can provide 100% protection, so a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and T-Shirt should be worn in the sun. It is also important to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm and follow the British Association of Dermatologists Sun Smart advice. They also have a lot of factual information on their site about different skin cancers, and basic advice about how to treat the sun – because there are also benefits to sunlight, and you don’t want to stay out of it completely.

Sun radiation consists of UVB and UVA radiation. In the short term, your skin will be visibly affected by mainly UVB rays. But the true extent of the problem is seen through the long-term effects of UVA.

These rays are responsible for premature skin ageing and can cause sun allergies such as heat rash (Polymorphous light eruption) and brown spots (hyperpigmentation) and can even provoke phototoxic reactions when combined with certain commonly prescribed medications. It is therefore essential to choose a broad spectrum UVA-UVB sun cream.

Anthelios XL, provides unparalleled effectiveness and dermatological tolerance to

protect against cellular damage caused by UV rays offering highly effective suncare

protection. La Roche-Posay, has demonstrated the clinical efficacy of Anthelios XL with 21

clinical studies. The combination of patented filters Mexoryl® SX and Mexoryl® XL

enables the Anthelios filtering system to provide efficient protection against the entire

spectrum of UVB-UVA rays. New this year La Roche-Posay introduces a new minimalist

filtering system called Mexoplex® into its SPF 50+ Fluid range, offering the highest UVA

protection ever as well as excellent photostability with a reduced content of chemical


iS Clinical is the American skin care range that was developed at Washington Cancer Center.  They say they do not manufacturer a fake tan product, however, spokesman Alan Kelly says, ” we do sell a tinted sunscreen in both the standard cream, and a powder form.  Many of our clients use the tinted version at this time of year instead of make-up. They apply the tinted sunscreen and some will also use some blusher to provide definition. That way they receive a full board spectrum UVA/UVB protection all day. I will also be honest and say that some clients find our perfect tint version slightly too dark. In this instance they normally purchase the translucent and tinted version which they can mix together to achieve their desired shade”.

iS Clinical also make an SPF25 Treatment sunscreen to protect the body, which I often use as it moisturises my skin as well.  Double action!

Their products are mostly sold through doctors’ practices, or contact

Beware! Sun bounces off reflective surfaces, such as water, sea, concrete, etc.  Even when under an umbrella, sitting by the seaside, or on a concrete patio, the sun’s rays can get bounced off the surface, and you end up with horrible burns.  So wear something or slap on sunscreen, even when under the protection of the largest umbrella.  Those rays bounce an awful long way!

And finally – don’t despair

You don’t have to go round looking pale and white – or copy Victoria Beckham and other celebrities who spend hours, – and mega-pounds or dollars – having spray tans.

All my friends have been asking “where have you been?”  I look as it I have been carefully suntanning for the past week on a Mediterranean beach (I wish – the beach part anyway!).  My skin is a lovely colour, thanks to a wonderful self-tanning gel from DuWop.

Calling itself ‘clear revolotion’,  i

this is really a clear, cooling ice blue self-tanner that actually tones and conditions your skin,  provides natural sunscreen and gives you a safe, healthy, glowing tan that develops overnight.

I keep on looking down at my legs – all smooth and golden – and am so proud of them!  And possibly the nicest bonus of all it NO SMELL!

You know that horrid ‘bad grapes’ smell that sticks around you when you wear self-tanning products?  Time and time again I read the blurbs that promised no smell- and found the advertising hype wasn’t true.

But with DuWop there is no smell – no-one would know I had put this on, if it weren’t for my tanned body!  Lovely stuff!

And a weird warning!

Lisa Fayed, writing on Cancer Guide,  for American and Canadian readers,  says “If you drive on a regular basis, you may be putting yourself at risk of developing skin cancer. Whether you hang your left arm out of the window or rest it on the door with the window closed …. the left side of your body is being exposed to harmful UVA rays, especially your face and arm. Window glass may protect you from UVB rays, which cause sunburn, but it does not block UVA rays, which play a role in the development of skin cancer”.

A study published in the May 2010 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that drivers are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer lesions on the left side of their bodies more often than their right. In the study, researchers examined the medical records of 1,047 people with skin cancer. They found that 52.6 percent people had skin cancer on the left side of their bodies as opposed to 47.4 percent on the right. Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, occurred much more frequently on the left side — 74 percent compared to 26 percent on the right.

For those of us who drive on the correct i.e. Right side, this obviously refers to our right side!

In the old days you rode on horseback on OUR side of the road – it was easier to draw a sword against an attacker.  But during the French Revolution this was changed (by the French) to walking or driving a cart on the opposite side of the road;  they didn’t want to be reminded of aristocrats, who could afford to ride horses.  Gradually, as Napoleon conquered Europe, he made every country follow the French way.  But the British were never conquered by him, so we still drive on the correct side of the road!  As does half the world!

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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.

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