In honor of National Skin Cancer Awareness month, Danielle and I thought it was only appropriate to offer a sun savvy reminder as we approach the sunny summer months. When I shared my skin story two years ago, I was anxious to do it. Today, I stand firm on my choice to share my experience with melanoma in the hopes that someone else can avoid this scary ride.

When Danielle and I concocted the idea of sun savvy, we did so because knew our generation was at risk. With images all around us portraying tans as beautiful, being the pale one isn't easy. I still miss feeling tan, though I no longer miss looking tan. Though my family and friends never escape my sun savvy PSAs, I do quietly wish I could tell super tanned strangers the risk they're taking. Thankfully, this blog {and this recent article in Cosmo!} give me the chance to share my story with people who care to listen.

Being sun savvy isn't hard. In fact, it is one of the easiest adjustments you could make to your daily beauty routine. Adding sunscreen to your morning routine adds all of 30 seconds to your day. These fabulous bronzers and self tanners can also help you achieve the perfect faux glow--without suffering from the sun's harmful rays. Years from now, you'll be so grateful you took that time. In the five years since I stopped tanning, I can already tell a difference in the health of my skin. It doesn't take away the years of damage I did to my skin, but it will absolutely make a difference in my future health.

I count my blessings every day I took the time to go to a dermatologist five years ago. I shudder to think what my life might look like if I hadn't. If you have any spots you're questioning, call a dermatologist today. The peace of mind in knowing you're safe is more than worth it.

How are you being extra sun savvy this year? Share how on twitter with the hashtag #sunsavvy--or with a comment below! Danielle and I can't wait to see what you're doing to stay #sunsavvy. xoxo {av}



  1. I love this post! It is so important to be safe in the sun- my family bakes in the sun when they go on vacation and sit there looking puzzled when I spray myself head to toe with sunscreen frequently throughout the day. I'm all about the sunless tanner to get my bronze on!

  2. Love this. Ever since I read your post, I've been significantly more aware of my SPF and making sure I have it on, especially while I'm running. Even in the winter, it was so easy to get a burn out there running for three hours!

  3. Love this reminder. I have been very fortunate to have only had run-ins with the pre-cancerous variety, but that is enough to keep me regularly seeing my derm. I, too, would love to be able to pull off a tan, but I just have to embrace the whole Snow White thing and proudly bare my pasty legs. (Self-tanners aren't a great option when you've got an uneven skintone thanks to an ill-advised year of tanning booths in college. Ugh.)Everyone be safe and smart this summer!

  4. Love this post! My father had melanoma and our family went through a lot. I'm always extra careful now (even though I always was before the event happened) and I love that you are spreading the word!

  5. Thanks for this! I was in my cousin's wedding two weekends ago and leading up to it I told her "Cassie, I love you but you can't ask me to tan for your wedding. I have moles on my back that are questionable and I haven't faked tanned in 2 years, I refuse to start again." She was cool with it, but I kept yelling at her for tanning. I'm not sure if she heard me or not, but to be honest after months of tanning she didn't look that much darker, except in her face.

    I need to get to a dermatologist, but I don't know how to go about it. Did you have to make an appointment with your primary care first to get a referral? Or did you just pick a dermatologist and go? It's hard being in a new city and not knowing what specialists are good!

    carelessly graceful

  6. I am so glad to hear you caught your melanoma! I have had quite a few displatic moles removed and that wait for the phone call with biopsy results is never-ending, it seems. Your Sun Savvy project is great, I just signed the pledge. Here's to a summer full of sunscreen and helioplex.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story - it's really important to be reminded of just how serious the sun is! As a very fair person, I've had to rock sunscreen my whole life and I've always been super aware of sunburns...which doesn't mean that it isn't still fun to lay out and try to get tan :) I am learning to accept that this is the skin tone I've been blessed with and that I want to stay wrinkle free for as long as I can.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story-so many people think that skin cancer (or any cancer, for that matter!) can't happen to them because they're young, but they're wrong! I was a lifeguard for nearly a decade, and though I was religious about sunscreen I know you can't protect yourself from everything and I check myself for spots and abnormalities frequently. Glad to hear your story had a happy ending!!

    Blonde in this City

  9. Thanks for your reminder to be sun savvy! I've been much more alert to my own health but have also been more aware of the sun health of others. My poor nieces and nephew don't have a clue what hit them! When I'm with them, I take every chance to reinforce the importance of taking care of your skin...thanks for helping me see the importance!