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We’re incredibly lucky here at Powder, because we have access to some of the most celebrated beauty professionals. If we want to know the perfect way to apply lip liner, we can get in touch with a world-renowned makeup artist and get a detailed step-by-step guide back. If we want to know the most effective process to bleach hair without frazzling it, we’ll get on the phone to a colourist at a top salon. And if we want to know why a huge spot has erupted on our chins, we speak to one of the best dermatologists in London, who gives us a cracking treatment plan that zaps the zit into oblivion.
We decided that you, our lovely dedicated readers, should have the same sort of access. And so we’ve enlisted the help of Dr Stefanie Williams, Medical Director of Eudelo London - a multi-award-winning private Dermatology clinic in Central London. Every month she will wax lyrical about a topic related to skincare and believe us when we say, you are going to learn a lot.
As we’re in the summer months (supposedly – did anyone else get drenched in rain yesterday?), it seemed appropriate to start with sun care. So read on, do as she says and transform your skin…
Dr Stefanie Williams: suncare and moles
Sun protection and mole checks are my hot topics at the moment. Protecting our skin from the harmful effects of the sun is crucial in order to lower the risk of skin cancer – a very common type, which can affect even young people. However, thankfully the vast majority of cases are not life threatening and can be removed easily, if detected early. That’s why everyone should care for their skin, keep a close eye on any changes and report any suspicious moles to a dermatologist as soon as possible.
Dr Stefanie’s sun safety tips:
1. Seek Out Shade
Avoid sun exposure during the middle of the day, when UV radiation levels are at their highest. If you are outdoors during these times, stay in the shade.
2. Slip on protective clothing
Cover up with clothing (ideally long sleeved shirts and trousers) and don’t forget to wear a wide rimmed hat. Sunglasses provide good protection for the delicate skin around the eyes.
3. Slap On Sunscreen
Although the first two tips are most imperative, it is also important to apply sunscreen. Make sure it has an SPF (i.e. UVB protection factor) of 30-50. The UVA circle logo or a 5-star UVA rating gives an indication about UVA protection.
I always recommend self-examining the skin on your entire body once a month, from head to toe. The best way to do this is when coming out of the shower. Ask your mum, your partner or your very best friend to check your back, scalp, ears and other areas you can’t easily see yourself. Oh and don't forget to look between your toes!
Dr Stefanie’s tips for a successful mole check:
Remember your ABCs. When checking your body, ask yourself the below questions. If any of the signs below are positive, make an appointment to see your GP or a dermatologist as soon as possible, as it might be indicate a melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer. If in doubt, check it out!
Do the two halves of a mole differ in shape?
Are the edges of a mole irregular or blurred? Do the outside edges of the mole show notches or look ‘ragged’?
Is the colour uneven, patchy or are there different shades? For example you might notice shades of black, brown and pink.
Is the lesion more than 5mm in diameter? Has it changed size or become raised?
Has your mole changed in any way? Size, shape or colour? Has it become itchy or bloody? Is it oozing?
If you did answer positively to the above - don’t panic. The doctor will examine the mole with a special magnifying lamp that will allow them to see the mole’s pigment structure in greater detail, which provides them with information as to whether the mole is harmless or may have to be removed. Even if it has to come out, don’t worry. The procedure is very straightforward and completely painless after numbing the skin. Most skin cancers can be stopped if detected early enough, so don’t forget to check your skin, in addition to having a full body mole check with a dermatologist once per year as a routine measure for peace of mind.
Fancy being safe and finding a bronzer to fake the tan? Why not take our quick quiz to find the best bronzer for you...