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Critical sun safety tips for breast cancer fighters

I'm a mom of two and breast cancer survivor who founded the first breast cancer-inspired fashion website to provide support, mentoring and products for women currently diagnosed.

Summer’s sunny days and warm weather provide the perfect reasons to spend your days outside or at the beach, but a day in the sun can be a dangerous one without the proper sun protection, especially for ladies fighting breast cancer.

Sun safety is important for everyone, but for those women fighting conditions such as breast cancer, there are some specific dos and don'ts to get your vitamin D without harming your overall health. Thanks to the Guardian Divas and leading ladies of CureDiva.com, we’ve compiled the top tricks, tips and gear to keep you safe and healthy as you get your sun on.

1. Cover up

This doesn’t just mean lathering up your skin with SPF; make sure you keep key areas of your body out of direct sunlight. Especially for those in post-chemotherapy or radiation stage, your skin will be extremely sensitive and keeping yourself covered will avoid sunburn. There are stylish options to stay safe that don’t require hiding out, though. We love wearing stylish hats with wide brims that also cover shoulders, especially our Physician Endorsed hats with SPF, or wearing clothing with UV protection included; UV Skins makes fantastic (and stylish) shirts, pants, bathing suits and cover-ups perfect for the beach.

2. Go organic

Organic is popular in the media right now, but it’s an especially important trend for breast cancer fighters. When heading off to the beach, choose your sunscreen carefully and look at the ingredients. Organic sunscreens are a great option because they don’t contain the toxic ingredients and chemicals that certain mainstream sunscreens have. Some great options are Nuture My Body sunscreen or CV SkinLabs, anything with all-natural ingredients. They’re specifically tested to be safe for BC fighters and easy to throw into a beach bag.

3. Stay hydrated: Water, water, water.

This is a rule no matter where you are, but especially important when you’re in the sun. Lack of water can leave you dehydrated, causing fainting or complications. Make sure you’re packing water in your beach bag.

4. Stay cool

This is especially important for fighters like you because your body’s changes can make it difficult for you to withstand heat like you once did. To keep cool, try positioning yourself under an umbrella or packing some cooling products like a fan or these really cool cooling beads. Combined with the nice breeze at the beach, you’ll be set for a fun day.

5. Hydrate the skin, too

Water keeps our bodies hydrated, but we need to keep the skin moisturized as well for optimal health. Throw some organic, all-natural lotion in your beach bag and apply on your way home from the beach. The sun’s rays can dry out our skin, and a little hydration once you’re out of the sun will go a long way.

6. Personal preparation is key

There’s no problem seeking some rays a few days after surgery if you’re up for it (one of our Guardian Divas hit the beach 10 days after her mastectomy!) but make sure you’re waiting until you can handle the rays of the sun and that you’re keeping your safety as your number one priority. There are great sun sleeves and really cute cover ups (like these from CureDiva) that will help you stay covered while also covering up drains or other areas.

7. Have fun

Fighting breast cancer is an extremely brave and physically/emotionally draining experience, so once the summer hits, don’t let your diagnosis keep you from summer fun activities you love. It’s very possible to spend a day at the beach if you pack your bag with all essentials that will keep you prepared and safe. It’s all about the preparation.

Photo credit: mediaphotos/iStock/360/Getty Images
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