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Top Irish skin expert Eavanna Breen, who is responsible for the glowing skin of Irish celebrities such as Talia Heffernan, Erica Cody, Greg O’Shea, Glenda Gilson & Samantha Mumba, is urging the Irish public to correctly protect their skin from the sun, to mark this skin cancer awareness month.

Skin cancer is the number one most diagnosed form of cancer in Ireland, with over 11,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Over 75% of the Irish population have the ‘Celtic skin type’, meaning we freckle and burn uncommonly easily. Despite the vast amount of education and information available to us on the perils of sun damage, many of us still do not take the right precautions when it comes to protecting our skin. The staggering number of skin cancer cases emphasises the urgent need for increased awareness and prevention efforts throughout the country.

Founder and Clinical Director at Eavanna Breen Skin and Laser Clinic, Eavanna Breen says:

“Sadly there is still a broad misconception or miseducation in Ireland that because we live in a predominantly cloudy climate, people believe they’re essentially safe here and don’t have any need to take protective steps from the sun’s harmful and dangerous rays. Something they would automatically do when on holiday in a more sunny climate. This is particularly true for Irish men. This is completely wrong. UV rays penetrate through the clouds, so it’s a false sense of security.”

One of the most prevalent misconceptions we have regarding our skin is tanning. While we might no longer slather ourselves in baby oil, like decades gone by, many of us still venture into the sun unprotected seeking out a sun tanned complexion. The simple fact is that if you fail to protect your skin from UV radiation, you are putting yourself at risk. If you allow your skin to become red and burn, this risk dramatically increases as one sunburn every 2 years triples your risk of melanoma. 

Eavanna continues: 

“Almost all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun/and or sunbeds. UVR can damage all skin types. This damage is permanent, irreversible, and increases with each exposure.” 

The renowned skincare guru has put together her top 5 tips for ensuring you keep your skin safe, particularly in advance of those sunny summer holidays to come, where we are most at risk:

 Step 1: Seek Some Shade

“If it is not cloudy and it is directly sunny, the most effective thing you can do to avoid being in the sun too long. Good shade can give up to 75% protection from UV rays. If you are someone who sits at a window all day at work, or drives a lot in the course of your day, you need to use clothes and sunscreen to protect and cover your skin. That window is not protecting you.”

 Step 2: Be Clothes Conscious

 “One of the simplest things you can do to protect your skin from UV rays is to cover it with clothes. Choose clothes that cover as much skin as possible. For example, wear a shirt with a collar, three- quarter length sleeves and a maxi skirt. Some fabrics give better UV protection than others.”

 Step 3. Embrace The Hat

 “Ensure the hat gives shade to the face, neck, head, and ears. A baseball hat is not ideal as it does not provide enough shade. Good examples are a broad-brimmed, bucket, or legionnaire style hat.Wearing sunglasses will also help to protect your eyes.”

 Step 4. Wear Sunscreen

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 “It is essential to wear SPF daily, even when in cloudy Ireland. The damaging UV rays can still penetrate the clouds and age the skin, so although the sun does not feel hot or look like it is changing colour, it affects the skin. The sun’s UV rays penetrate the skin and reinforce old damage that might have

happened years previously, even as a child. The skin remembers that damage and is constantly weakened by the regular exposure to UV rays. It is a common misconception that darker skin types shouldn’t be concerned; everyone is at risk, even darker skin types. Although lighter skin will be that bit more at risk of developing cancer.”

 “The best face sun protection product I have ever come across in my long skincare career is the ‘Protect and Care Sun Oil’ by applied science led, German skincare brand Skinmade. Which is exactly why it is the sun protection product I choose to stock at my clinic. Irish celebrities like Brendan Courtney and Triona McCarthy are known to also love it. One little drop of this in the morning and you’re protected for 8 hours. This is uncommonly rare. The SPF 50 light oil provides long lasting UVA and UVB protection. Plus as an added bonus, it is also packed full of the world’s strongest antioxidant, so not only is it providing complete protection, but it is also doing wonders for your skin.”

 “They more recently brought out a luxurious version for your body as well, which is just as good and powerful”. 

 Step 5: Know The UV Index

 “When the UV Index is three or more, you are at greater risk of skin damage leading to skin cancer. Get into the habit of checking the UV Index as a reminder of the need to be sun smart every day. Early detection of skin cancer is vital. In the case of melanoma skin cancer, spotting it early can save your life. If spotted early, up to 90% of cases are curable.”

 Eavanna Breen and her expert team are available for consultations to ensure you are on your correct and best skin health journey. Let the team decide for you, after a skin review, your optimum treatment course and skincare product plan for home, and you will never go back. Their Dublin 2 clinic even boasts the most advanced ‘skin read’ system in Ireland. The non-invasive, pain-free system allows the team to know incredibly in depth details about your skin health, from your precise collagen levels to your lipid and moisture levels. This allows the team to plan your treatment course with exceptional precision, taoilered just for you. 

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