I originally founded Call Time On Melanoma (CTOM) as a platform through which to share our ambassador Natalie Fornasier's inspiring story, (Natalie was diagnosed with stage III melanoma at the age of 20, and again with stage IV at 24).
It exists to drive change – we’re reframing sun safety as self-care and creating a new social standard. We are the place to come to for statistics, facts, first-person stories and sunscreen recommendations, but we’re also an inclusive community.
CAN YOU HELP US BUST A MELANOMA MYTH?
Yes, but there are so many! One of the biggest ones we come across is that tanning is safe if you don’t get burnt. Spoiler: That’s bull.
SO HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES?
Most of us know to Slip on a shirt, Slop on the SPF50+, Slap on a hat, Slide on sunglasses and Seek shade, but I’d also add Send yourself for a professional skin check once a year (I always book on my birthday) to that list, and Share your sun safety behaviours and product recommendations with your circle.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO WEAR SUNSCREEN THROUGHOUT WINTER?
Mainly because it’s common for the UV rating to reach above 3 in winter in Australia (most experts agree that when the UV rating is over 3 sunscreen is required).
A lot of people don’t know that UV rays and heat aren’t necessarily related, so an overcast day could still have a high UV rating. Also, sun damage is cumulative. It all adds up and, unlike hyperpigmentation, damage done to the DNA in your skin cells is not reversible. Oh, and it causes premature ageing too, if you care about that.