Let's Talk About Melanoma (And Why Protecting Your Skin is Worth It)

Some people think that having darker skin means you will not get melanoma. This is not just a myth; it is a dangerous misconception.

The truth is, melanoma doesn't discriminate. All types of skin need protecting. After many years of working under the sun in Cuba, both of my grandparents were diagnosed with skin cancer. Like many people, I had always thought of wearing sunscreen as one of those things I was just "supposed" to do. I didn't fully comprehend the consequences of sun damage until I witnessed them first hand.

Watching my grandparents struggle and seeing their pain was a major wake-up call. As I began to understand the importance of sun safety, I couldn't understand why more people weren't talking about melanoma. I realized it was time to start a conversation and raise awareness about this preventable disease, especially among women.

Here are my tips for protecting your skin, your beauty, and your life. I promise you, it's worth it.

Make it a morning habit

You know how you wouldn't leave the house without brushing your teeth? Take the same approach with sunscreen. Slather on some SPF in the morning and it will become second nature before you know it. I always use a moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF to hydrate my skin and protect it at the same time.

Rain or shine

Do not assume that sunny days are the only time you need to protect your skin. UV rays can pass through clouds, so be sure wear sunscreen even if it is overcast.

Do not forget to reapply

Unfortunately, you cannot just put on SPF in the morning and forget about it. You need to reapply! I keep a quick dry spray formula in my purse because they're super easy to apply on the go.

Protect your neck

You know you are supposed to wear sunscreen on your face, but do not forget about other areas that might be exposed to rays throughout the day. Your ears, neck, and hands need protecting, too!

Do not be afraid to fake it

It's 2016, guys. Getting a beautiful, beachy glow no longer means baking in the sun or under the lights of a tanning bed. I am all about creating a faux glow with makeup and self-tanner. Sweep on a bronzer or apply self-tanner and--voilà!--a sun-kissed glow sans skin damage!

Spread the word

Help get the word out! Educate your friends about the importance of protecting their skin every day. I am proud to work join forces with L'Oréal Paris in the fight to prevent melanoma.

Since 2013, L'Oréal Skin Expert Paris has donated $750,000 to the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) to support the fight to prevent melanoma. For the next three years, L'Oréal Skin Expert Paris will continue supporting the MRA by donating $250,000 a year to this worthy organization.

Visit itsthatworthit.org to learn more.