The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2015

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

Issue link: https://skincancer.epubxp.com/i/526209

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"I've had a wonderful career. Really, it's been tremendous fun and I've been blessed to work with great people and travel to amazing places. But I've always kept myself out of the sun in spite of the casting agents, pesky art directors and clients always wanting me to be tan. I've had a tan-free life with no regrets. Just don't ask me about Pinterest ® , Instagram ® or any of that stuff. Ugh." They say never ask a woman her age. But model Deborah Gear is more than happy to reveal that she's 62. One glimpse of her milky, porcelain complexion and shiny blue eyes and you'd assume she's decades younger. Starting out as a print and runway model in the 70's and 80's, Gear has had one simple beauty secret to keep her skin looking radiant through the years: every single day of her adult life she's used a high-SPF sunscreen and avoided the sun by seeking the shade and wearing hats and sunglasses. That's it. "I've taken my career seriously," said Gear. "You can't be tan and do beauty shots. I know that sunscreen has made a difference." Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Gear remembers her mom being very careful about protecting her face from the sun. Unfortunately, she wasn't so careful about the other parts of her body. Gear has memories of her mom sitting on the porch in shorts with tanning oil slathered on her legs, while keeping her upper body out of the sun. Later in the modeling world, Gear resisted pressure from clients and casting agents who expected her to be tan for swimwear shots. Back then, people didn't think twice about applying baby oil and iodine and baking in the sun. "One client sent us to the Bahamas ahead of a shoot to get tan," said Gear, who tried to rely on self-tanners to bronze her naturally pale skin. Today Gear hopes to be a role model to in- spire younger women to care for their skin. Her daily skincare routine is simple. At night, she washes her face with a salicylic acid cleanser and applies retinol cream. In the morning, she washes her face again and applies an inexpen- sive broad spectrum sunscreen, fully covering her face and neck. She'll apply a moisturizer with sunscreen to her body. Depending on the day, she'll wear foundation or mineral face pow- der. "These are such simple steps. But it makes a difference. It takes five minutes," she said. Besides having good genes, Gear also thinks her lifestyle keeps her looking young. She eats a healthy Mediterranean-style diet, drinks lots of water, and does yoga and Pilates regularly. She also makes sure she gets a good sleep each night. Among her friends, Gear says she's the one "who drives them crazy," by constantly remind- ing them to protect themselves from the sun. But Gear is living proof that if you maintain good sun protection habits over a lifetime, you'll age beautifully and gracefully. "First of all --all you kids --just get out of those tanning beds! That's just for starters. Use your SPF's and take care of your skin--it's supposed to last a lifetime. And by all means floss. Think of safe sun care as flossing-- do it every single day and you'll thank me." 31 1974: These black & white shots are from my first fashion shoot in hometown Cincinnati, Ohio with photographer Mark Treitel for The Cincinnati Inquirer.

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