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April Franzino

Sunburn S.O.S.

Written on May 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm , by

There are simple solutions to keep sunburn from leaving you red in the face.

If despite all of our sun safety imploring and warnings, you’re still seeing red after the holiday weekend, fear not. Theri Griego Raby, M.D., founder and medical director of the Raby Institute for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University shares five natural sunburn remedies you can do at home, stat.

  1. Apply aloe: The plant has a long-standing history of providing sunburn relief due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. “Gel straight from the plant is most effective,” Dr. Raby says. “Aloe vera causes blood vessels to constrict, which can take the sting and redness out of a sunburn.”
  2. Refresh with peppermint oil:  The cooling and aromatic qualities of peppermint oil can help quell the scorch of a bad burn. The essential oil can be directly applied to the affected area or diluted with a cup of lukewarm water.
  3. Take an oatmeal bath:  Adding oatmeal to bathwater is an ideal skin soother that won’t irritate already-damaged skin. “The key is to soak no more than 15 to 20 minutes and to use cool, not cold, water to relieve skin without sending the body into shock,” she explains. “Afterward, air dry or blot skin with a towel rather than rubbing skin dry, which can cause further inflammation.”
  4. Go for green tea:  After brewing a pot of green tea, let the liquid cool and soak a washcloth in the mixture.“Placing the compress on affected areas wicks heat away from the skin and reduces swelling,” Dr. Raby says.
  5. Stay hydrated:  Drinking fluids can also help combat second-hand sunburn symptoms. Sunburn can cause a mild fever or headache, so be sure to replenish lost hydration by drinking plenty of water after a day in the sun.

Olay’s Handy Guide to Navigating the New SPF Rules

Written on May 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm , by

Our friends at Olay just shared this fun infographic explaining the FDA’s new sunscreen rules— plus protection tips— right in time for Memorial Day weekend. Here’s to a happy, safe summer!


Favorite Find Friday: Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel

Written on May 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm , by


It’s rare that a facial treatment product produces immediate, noticeable results. Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel is one of the few exceptions. We smooth the faintly citrus-scented glycolic acid cream-gel over our face, leave it on for ten minutes you’ll feel a bit of tingling then rinse to reveal a complexion that’s so vibrant and glowy it’s almost reflective, but with none of the redness or irritation normally associated with peels. Our time-saving trick: Slather it on before you step in the shower so it works while you wash, then rinse before you get out.

Tell us: Do you use at-home peels? What’s your product of choice?

Behind-the-Scenes: 2012 FITNESS Beauty Awards

Written on May 16, 2012 at 9:33 am , by

Here’s a peek at just a fraction of the 3,600 new products our beauty team called in for testing for the 2012 FITNESS Beauty Awards, the 60 winners of which will be published in the October issue. Our panel of twelve experts in the fields of dermatology, hair styling and coloring, and makeup artistry are currently testing the products, judging them on factors like effectiveness, ease of use, packaging, and cosmetic elegance. Next, we’ll distribute the products to hundreds of readers for the final round of testing before they’re narrowed down to the top choice in each category. Keep your eye out for the winners in our October issue on newsstands this fall!

3 Key Beauty Tips for Triathletes

Written on May 15, 2012 at 9:34 am , by

The number of people participating in triathlons has increased 50 percent in just the past two years—putting involvement in the U.S. at an all-time high. If you’re one of them, Brooke Jackson, M.D., a dermatologist and director of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago, shares these key beauty tips for each leg of a triathlon.

  • SWIMMING: Coat your hair lightly with conditioner before you put on your cap to protect against drying, color-stripping chlorine.
  • BIKING: Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes (bikers have an increased risk of cataracts) and prevent squinting, which causes crow’s feet to form.
  • RUNNING: Put on a hat made of a breathable material like Dri-Fit to protect your scalp from the sun and ward off strand damage.

Favorite Find Friday: Tocca Eau de Parfum Viaggio Coffret

Written on May 11, 2012 at 11:38 am , by

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, there’s no more elegant, charming choice than Tocca Eau de Parfum Viaggio Coffret, an adorable trio of three of the brand’s most popular fragrances in miniature vintage-looking bottles that make lovely additions to any vanity or on-the-go bag. The three scents are warm Colette, with jasmine and musk; feminine Giulietta, bursting with florals like rose, lilac, lily and iris; and fresh Bianca, a mix of bergamot, lavender, lemon and green tea. And the gilded box is so gorgeous it requires no more wrapping than the quick tie of a bow.

Tell us: What are your favorite beauty gifts for Mother’s Day?

Make A (Free!) Melanoma Research Donation With SkinCeuticals

Written on May 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm , by

One person in the United States dies from melanoma every hour. In honor of Melanoma Awareness Month, skincare brand SkinCeuticals will donate $5 in your name to the Melanoma Research Alliance for every interaction on their Facebook page (sharing a virtual button, short video or written testimonial). You’ll also be entered into a sweepstakes to win some of their best-selling products. An easy way to give back— and increase awareness about a life-threatening issue— without spending a penny!

More Buzz-Worthy Beauty Finds

Written on May 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm , by

The hand-crafted Worker B Lotion Bar is made with organic almond oil, olive oil, beeswax and propolis.

Our office was flooded with beauty products packed with vitamin-rich, nourishing extracts like honey, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly while we worked on our May 2012 “Buzz-Worthy Finds” Beauty Buys page. We couldn’t fit all our favorite picks on one page, so here are more sweet steals that had the beauty department buzzing.

ALL OVER

BODY

FACE

FEET

HAIR

Big Dipper Wax Works 100 Percent Beeswax Sphere Candles come in three gorgeous carved designs.

HANDS

HOME

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?