|Timna Understein of Respect The Rays skin cancer awareness blog always carries her "brelli" with her that's 99% UV protective.|
At age 38, Timna discovered a black dot on the bottom of her foot and had an instinct it wasn't just a freckle. After getting checked out by a doctor, she found out that she had melanoma. “I was in shock. I had an appointment with an oncologist, and scheduled for chest X-rays and surgery. I had no idea what melanoma actually meant — that it was way more than just a disease of the skin,” Timna says.
Timna, who holds a masters degree in Education, started Respect The Rays blog and Facebook page in 2012 to share personal stories about living with melanoma and raising awareness for prevention. Being a mother of three children, she initially targeted educating teens and speaking at high schools, but her audience quickly grew wider.
“I am always hoping that people who have never had melanoma can learn from my experience and not have to experience it themselves. I had to learn the hard way. I also hope people feel they can live life fully, travel, be active, be outdoors, but doing it with sun safety as top priority. Once I had a cancer diagnosis, after the initial fear subsided, I wanted to live more, travel more, get out there and make the most of life and this big world," Timna says.
Wherever she goes, Timna makes sure that she has all of her essential sun protective gear with her. She shared with us what’s going in her suitcase to her next destination: Israel to keep her skin covered when exploring the deserts, Dead Sea, beaches and open-air markets.
|Photo of the port of Jaffe adjacent to Tel Aviv, Israel by Ron Shoshani on Flickr. Map of Irael bordering the Mediterranean Sea.|
|Timna's Seea favorites. The Palomar Rashguard in Tea Leaf and Jalama bikini in Tea Leaf.|
For the pool or beach: “The Seea Palomar Crop Top Rashguard and Jalama Bikini will be my water adventure go-to! The retro-inspired Tea Leaf print had me hooked at first glance. I love rashguards as they simplify my water/sunscreen routine, allowing for less reapplication of sunscreen to the protected body parts covered by the rashguard. When I find when that I adore style-wise, I’m all over it. Style + Sun Protection= Perfect."
|Timna imitates art in the Parque de Maria Luisa in Seville, Spain, with her Brelli.|
All day Portable Shade: The Brelli. “If my Brelli had a passport, it would be filled with stamps! This beautiful, miracle comes with me EVERYWHERE! The Brelli will accompany me through the streets and alleyways of Jerusalem, the bustling city of Tel Aviv, the open-air markets, my hike up Masada National Park, and more! And although it has a “clear” appearance, it’s 99% UV protective. The Brelli draws attention of passersby and is a conversation starter."
|Timna's favorite wide brimmed hat, sunscreen by Blue Lizard, Acure Organics and EltaMD for face.|
Must-Have Hat: “I knew right away when I saw the Cabana Life Straw Sunset Hat, it was going to be a favorite! It’s beautifully woven, goes with everything, wide-brimmed, UPF 50+ material, floppy, and packable.”
For the body: “Right now, my two favorite sunscreens are Blue Lizard Sensitive 30+, and Acure Organics. Both of them are mineral-based, chemical-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and for my skin, have a good texture and don’t make me rashy."
For the Face: “EltaMD UV Clear has been a staple of mine for years. I use it everyday, and typically try to have one in my bathroom, and one in my purse…because one is never enough.”
|Timna doubles up in a hat and her Brelli.|