With Mother's Day come and gone and summer around the corner, one of the first things we start to look forward to is summer sunshine. We crave it, love it and cherish it while we have it. In Wisconsin, it can sometimes feel like seeing sunshine is comparable to seeing a unicorn! While it may seem like it's rare and we want to take advantage, it's also important to be smart and prepared. With May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share a few things to keep in mind to protect your skin from the harsher side of the summer sun.

We'll start with a few facts about skin cancer from The American Academy of Dermatology that you may not know or are great reminders:

So where do we go from here? Well, here are some steps to take to lower your chances:

  1. Sunshine rays are at their strongest from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. so find activities indoors or seek shade during those hours.
  2. Wear protective clothing if you are going to be outdoors - hats, long sleeve breathable shirts, and sunglasses.
  3. Apply sunscreen on your kids as well as yourself! Sunshine or clouds, make sure to wear it daily.
  4. Generously apply sunscreen! Look for broad-spectrum, water-resistant with spf over 15 and under 50.  Anything over 50 contains unnecessarily added chemicals and does not provide any extra protection. Broad-spectrum will provide protection to UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Apply sunscreen daily; every 80 minutes is usually the recommended amount of time depending on the activities outside. Follow the instructions on your sunscreen bottle.
  6. Apply sunscreen on all exposed skin; that includes top of the head and anywhere there is exposed skin like ears, back of neck, lips, and feet (the most common areas to burn that you forget to apply).  One shot glass is a guide of how much you should apply for the full body for an adult.
  7. Avoid tanning beds AT ALL COST! We provide Sjolie Sunless airbrush spray tans at Spa Western and bronzers that will give you color. We have our LED Bed that help provide the extra benefits many look for with the tanning beds without being harmful to your skin.
  8. Perform regular skin checks on yourself and visit your dermatologist yearly.  If you notice anything that looks different, it's not an overreaction to schedule an appointment. Skin cancer comes in all forms and it's better to be safe than sorry.

A few final notes: no tan is a safe tan. A tan is your body's way of protecting itself. Over time the injuries to your skin weaken its ability to protect itself, resulting in premature aging,  hyperpigmentation (age spots/brown spots), increased sensitivity, and increase your risk for skin cancer, including melanoma.

To learn more about skin cancer and how to protect yourself, CLICK HERE.

If you're needing to shop for sunscreen, no need to look any further than Spa Western! We have your sun needs all taken care of with our variety of Epicuren sun protection. If you have any other questions please stop in and Danielle and I can answer all of your questions!   


Skincare doesn’t just entail creams and serums, facials and fillers, it is a whole lifestyle/wellness approach. Think of your skin as a roadmap to what is happening internally—it is a guide to where you may need to do some tweaking or areas of your body that may need some attention. When you come to Spa Western for one of our skin treatments one of the first things we do is a skin consultation.

Never underestimate the power of a good skin consultation—it is a great place to start to find out your skin type, conditions, discuss your lifestyle and where in your skincare journey needs to be adjusted. One of the first places I like to start with my clients is discussing hydration levels and diet. One of the biggest things that many people are missing is the variety of fruits and vegetables which give you the proper balance of vitamins and nutrients your skin needs to be at it’s prime.

A go-to I recommend to my clients is a cold pressed juice, or my favorite, a freshly made smoothie. It is important to know that with smoothies there is two types, a snack and a meal. The difference between the two types is the number of ingredients you incorporate into your smoothie which increases the caloric intake and the nutrition you receive.

A perfect example of a snack smoothie that has many skin benefits is from Western Fuel Bar: Berry Boost Smoothie.

The main key ingredients: strawberries, acai, and blueberries. I love this one as a boost of beauty for your skin and I’m going to break it down:

Strawberry—High in Vitamin C and antioxidants to fight free radicals that cause premature aging. Contains sugar but it is natural sugar, so your body knows how to break this down. Ideally, you want to buy organic as this is classified in the category “dirty dozen”.

Acai—Highest fruit with antioxidants, great for diabetics who want fruit but need low sugar, we carry it in a powdered form, so it can be added to other smoothies easily but for at home use, I suggest buying the frozen packs from Sambazon in the freezer section of the grocery store.

Blueberry—High in antioxidants, proven to help with several skin conditions if consumed daily. One of my favorite berries, this is something you will also want to buy organic when possible.

I am not a nutritionist, dietician or a doctor so as always, make sure you consult your doctor before making any major health changes. What I do have is a passion and knowledge for skin and how it functions and what it takes to be at it’s prime. A healthy diet is a perfect place to start to see a difference in your skin, then we can start approaching your skin from the outside.

Skincare is fun and there are so many components of what healthy skin looks like for every individual person. This is just a great place to start, healthy skin from the inside out. I love to talk about skin and making small, healthy changes to see a big impact so if you have any specific questions please feel free to come say hi and we can talk skin!

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