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May 2012

Melanoma Monday: 5 Sun Secrets You Need To Know

Written on May 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm , by

Protect your skin 365 days a year, not just when you hit the beach.

Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. Arm yourself with these sun protection secrets from FITNESS Advisory Board member Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University and founder of K&J Sunprotective Clothing.

1. Commute carefully:  Cancer-causing ultraviolet rays can come through the windows of your car, home or office. Studies in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology show that in the U.S., left-sided skin cancers— and aging— are more common as a result of sun exposure during driving. Regardless of weather conditions, apply a light, broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher on your face, arms, and hands before hitting the road.

2. Get out early: Choose the morning to have (protected) fun in the sun. Research published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that afternoon sun exposure is five times more likely to lead to skin cancer. Scientists say this is because a protein the body produces to repair damage caused by ultraviolet rays is most active in the mornings. In general, seeking the shade between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. is best, but when this isn’t possible, try to get an early start to your day.

3. Know your ABCDE…F and G’s: Do monthly self skin exams and look for any spot that is new, not healing or— as gross as it sounds— bleeding, oozing or crusting. When examining moles, be on the lookout for asymmetry (one side doesn’t equal the other), border/color irregularity, lesions growing in diameter, and anything evolving (itching, hurting, etc.)— but don’t forget to look at your fingers/toes and genitalia. Skin cancer can come anywhere, and it’s usually more dangerous in those not-so-easy-to-see spots.

4. Say no to tanning:  When someone’s first tanning booth exposure is in youth, their chances of developing melanoma are increased by 75 percent.  It has also been shown that ladies who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. Additional studies have concluded that tanning can be as addictive as hardcore drugs, making it a hard habit to break.

5. Don’t rely on dark skin: People with dark skin are not immune to skin cancer— fact it can be more deadly in this population. A survey in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that only 17 percent of ethnic minority respondents has been to the dermatologist for a skin check. Everyone, regardless of skin type, should wear sunscreen daily and seek the care of a dermatologist for guidance on optimal skin health.

Favorite Find Friday: Bath By Bettijo Organic Aromatherapy Stick in Sleep

Written on May 4, 2012 at 11:45 am , by

Rest doesn’t always come easy— even to the weary— but we’ve found that it comes a little faster and better with Bath By Bettijo Organic Aromatherapy Stick in Sleep. We roll the handmade blend of organic lavender and cedarwood essential oils in a jojoba oil and vitamin E base on our wrists, temples and neck at night before we hit the pillow. Almost instantly, the soothing formula helps calm our senses and achieve a deeper sleep. And the apothecary-style cobalt blue glass roll-on is easy to tote on flights, trips and overnights.

Tell us: What do you swear by to help you drift off and sleep soundly?

Wellness Retreat at the Pacific Waters Spa at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort

Written on May 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm , by

Last weekend, I jetted across the country to California (tough job, I know!) to check out the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and its Pacific Waters Spa, taking part in the resort’s Wellness Retreat. The daylong hybrid healthy-lifestyle and pampering program includes:

  • A 60-minute wellness consultation, where they tailor the day to your needs and give you a private fitness assessment
  • A 30-minute fitness activity
  • Spa cuisine lunch (The fruit and vegetable-heavy, locally-sourced menu offerings are both good-for-you and delicious— we swear.)
  • Two (!) 60-minute spa services (We recommend the super-indulgent Pacific Waters Rhythmic Massage and leaving time to soak in the jacuzzi, lounge in the cozy relaxation room, and sweat it out in the spacious sauna.)

The spa offers treatments using products from locally-sourced, handmade and USDA organic-certified Kimberly Parry Organics. Our favorites were the Body Oil in Ocean blended exclusively for the spa (a unique mix of lime, lavender, basil and fir essential oils) used during the massage, and the intoxicating lemongrass and ylang ylang-scented Soft Hand and Foot Balm infused with a healing combination of shea butter, olive, coconut and jojoba oils that we took home and can’t stop applying.

Tell us: Have you gone on a spa wellness retreat or are you planning one? If so, where to and what did you think of it?