The Muse: Lisa Patulny of Call Time on Melanoma
Here at UNE PIECE, we’re well aware of the importance of being sun-conscious. One person who is out to make sun safety the new social standard is Lisa Patulny, founder of Call Time On Melanoma. Call Time On Melanoma (CTOM) is a not-for-profit initiative “for (sun) smart women”. Launching via a very engaging Instagram account, CTOM is encouraging people, especially young women, to take sun safety more seriously. We asked Lisa about how CTOM came to be and how she hopes to reframe the conversation about being sun-conscious.
What do you do for a living? Freelance journalist/writer/stylist/NFP founder/don’t know how to answer this question anymore!
What is your Life Mantra? I am who I choose to be.
In a few short sentences, can you share with us how Call Time on Melanoma came to be?
My friend Natalie Fornasier was diagnosed with advanced melanoma last year at the age of 24. (It was her second diagnosis, having been first diagnosed with melanoma at just 20.) Hearing about what she was going through, coupled with my shock at discovering that melanoma is the #1 cancer in young Australians, prompted me to create CTOM. It was intended as a place for Natalie to share her story to inspire others, but has grown to be and represent so much more than that. Together, we’re on a mission to save young lives.
Here at UNE PIECE, we love that CTOM is encouraging people to be sun-conscious. What has been the general response from the public so far?
The response has been incredible. Never did I expect we’d be engaging with 13,000 community members on Instagram in just under 8 months. We’ve had five women discover melanomas (and subsequently have them removed) through following the page. I’ve heard from women who have melanoma, who say CTOM has helped them to feel less alone. Women who now feel empowered by their scars instead of ashamed. Women who have completely rethought their approach to sun safety and are passing on positive changes by inspiring their circle of friends and family. Can you imagine? It’s the most meaningful work I’ve ever done.
The CTOM Instagram is not only informative and insightful, it’s also very visually appealing (an important factor in today’s digital landscape!) What was it about using Instagram as a platform to share your message that appealed to you?
It made sense as it’s a platform where young women (our demo) like to consume content. It wasn’t strategic in all honesty. It is important to me that our messaging reflect every Australian woman (as so many sun safety campaigns only target those with fair skin tones), so using a visual medium seemed logical.
Being sun conscious should be a part of everyone’s skincare routine. What are the beauty & skincare products that you can’t live without?
Sunscreen-wise, I can’t go past Dermalogica Age Smart Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50, Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF50 in Hydrating or Ultraviolette Supreme Screen SPF50+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen. SPF aside, I am currently into VICE REVERSA’s Pimple Patches (they zap zits so damn fast), Virtue Lab’s keratin-infused Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner (better than Olaplex, no lie), and Mecca Cosmetica’s Weekend Skin Hydra Skin Tint (like 8 hours of pre-kid sleep in a bottle—magic).
Sunless tanning products are such an easy way to get a ‘summer glow’ without having to expose your skin to the sun’s rays. Do you have any tips for achieving the perfect sunless tan?
Aside from the basics (i.e. shave and exfoliate with a non-oily scrub the night before and apply a dab of lotion to dry areas like elbows and knees beforehand to prevent the tan “catching”), I prefer to apply using washing up gloves. Unlike a sponge applicator mitt, they leave my hands 100% stain-free. I’ll then use a tanning mist to do the tops of hands (and feet) which blends the colour in a much more seamless way.
How does CTOM aim to change people’s, particularly young women’s, perceptions, about being sun conscious?
In a nutshell: through reframing sun safety as self-care. A big part of what we do is repackaging wearing sunscreen and getting skin checks as something you do for yourself out of love. My goal is to make sun safety the new social standard. Just as we cringe when you see someone smoking or using a disposable coffee cup, I want us to see sun baking as an old-fashioned thing we did when we didn’t know any better.