Growing up in Miami, I was always in the sun. As a teenager, I didn’t really think much about sun damage. Sure, I applied sunscreen when I remembered. But my tan was the highest priority. I never thought about sun safety. I thought freckles were cute so I figured the worse that could happen was I’d have brown spots on my arms. I wish I knew then what I know now.
To kick off summer, I teamed up with CVS Pharmacy for their Long Live Skin campaign. These days, I stock up on sunscreen all year long. Because of my younger tanning obsession, I developed white spots as I got older. Unlike freckles, these spots are a loss of melatonin. I’ve been to several dermatologists and have been told there is no cure. I can’t laser them off. I can’t take medicine or apply topical cream. Their only advice? Always apply sunscreen.
As part of their commitment to skincare, CVS asked me to share #advicetomyyoungerself. My advice would be it’s not just freckles that are a result of skin damage from the sun. You also get these annoying white spots that make you feel extremely self conscious. They bother me so much that I once tried dabbing self tanner on each white spot with a cotton swab. Talk about frustrating! It only lasted a week and the process was too time consuming to ever repeat. Of course, my white spots are nothing in comparison to skin cancer. But it’s certainly something I wish I knew when I was a teenager sunbathing every weekend.
These days, I apply sunscreen on my arms daily, whether I’m in a bikini or simply running errands. When I’m by the beach, I generally do SPF 50 lotion on my face and a SPF 30 spray on my body. For everyday, I swap the spray for a lotion. CVS Pharmacy is the only retailer to remove all sun care products with SPF lower than 15 from their shelves!
They’ve also joined with Johnson & Johnson, who is donating a $1 from every Neutrogena or Aveeno product with SPF 15 or higher purchased from June 18-24 to the American Cancer Society to help prevent skin cancer.
To get one lucky Sydne Style reader ready (and sun safe!) for summer, I’m giving away a $50 CVS gift card. You can enter over on my Instagram. And I’d love to hear, what would be your sun care advice to to your younger self?
Photos by Michelle Kyle
*Thank you to CVS for partnering on this post.