Don't play games with your skin

Photography by Glen King: Mariam Badavi - Owner Purity Boutique Spa & SkinAngels/ Carl Rimmer - SkinAngels Ambassador & Exeter Chiefs Prop with Topsham RFC U16's

November 24, 2016

Owner of Exeter-based Purity Boutique Spa, Mariam Badavi, hosted a specialist skin-care workshop as part of their ‘SkinAngels campaign’, called ‘Don’t play games with your skin’, aimed at teenage boys. Over a dozen players from Topsham RFC U16’s, plus their Dads/guardians, and the club’s coaches, Andy Smith and Ray Syradd, were invited to attend, and had the chance to meet and chat with SkinAngels ambassador and Exeter Chief’s Prop, Carl Rimmer.

Carl became an ambassador following the loss of a close relative to skin cancer. He said: Mariam approached me at an event at Sandy Park and asked if I would become an Ambassador for SkinAngels. She was very passionate about the cause, and wanted to raise as much awareness as possible about the importance of protecting skin from sun damage. I have lost a family member to skin cancer, and if I can help to educate young people and prevent this from happening to them, it can only be a positive thing.”

Mariam, a former nurse at Exeter’s R D & E Hospital, set up the SkinAngels initiative in 2013, with the aim of sharing knowledge with young people everywhere; enabling them to make informed choices about skin care and skin protection. She regularly gives up her time for free to visit local schools and colleges with her band of therapists, to educate teachers and young people on the dangers of sun damage. Mariam said: “I am really passionate about educating people about skin protection. The SkinAngels are on a mission to show that applying sun cream is important all year round and in addition provide advice to people with common skin conditions such as acne.”

The special ‘Don’t play games with your skin’ event was opened with a welcome address by Mariam before introducing David Greensmith, director of local marketing company Glen King PR. David is a long-term survivor of life-threatening malignant melanoma skin cancer, and he talked about how he was saved by ground-breaking techniques in the late 1970’s. During the very hot summer of 1976, David was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma at the tender age of 19. He was given just 18 months to live, and 40 years later he is still here to tell the tale. David explains further: 1976 was a pivotal time in my life, when we had a great summer with temperatures above 30 degrees centigrade for over 18 days and maximum temperatures of 33 degrees centigrade. Back in those days, however, we weren’t educated on importance of using sun protection. It was a very worrying time when I was diagnosed with skin cancer and spent six months in hospital, so am keen to support Mariam in getting out this important message to teenagers to always protect their skin.”

On the night, workshops were set up within the salon focusing on various skin issues teenage boys can experience. This included educational facials and a specialist skin scanning machine provided by International Institute for Anti-Ageing, demonstrating sun damage to the volunteers’ skin. A presentation followed from Consultant Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeon, Mr. Chris Wallace of the Exeter Nuffield Hospital and Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, who has recently joined the Purity Boutique Spa team to provide aesthetic treatments for clients.

Mr Chris Wallace comments: “Seven young people are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK, and each year over 200 young people with skin cancer in the South West.” He adds: “Over 90% of 13 – 24-year-olds surveyed had been sun-burnt, and yet just one episode of painful sunburn every two years can triple a person’s risk of developing malignant melanoma, one of the most serious forms of skin cancer.”

Andy Smith – Coach Topsham RFC U16’s comments: “In my whole life I have never thought about the long-term effects of the sun and not even discussed sun screen protection when on holiday. After attending the SkinAngels evening with my stepson Chris, we talked about it all the way home, and more importantly, as a result we’re both now using sun screen every day – thanks Mariam and Carl for this awareness.”

Mariam Badavi, Owner of Purity Boutique Spa and Founder of SkinAngels concludes: “The event was a great success and we were delighted to have Topsham RFC U16’s attend. The boys and their Dads showed a real interest and enjoyed getting involved with demonstrations of our products and skin analysis machine. Our mission is to share our knowledge with young people everywhere enabling them to make informed choices about skin-care and protection. I hope the things they have learned will stay with them and keep them safe in the sun. I want to thank all those who gave up their time to take part and Carl for kindly donating the rugby ball to help raise much needed funds for Teenage Cancer Trust.”

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