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Staffer Beauty Snoop: Art Intern Heidi Smith

Written on August 18, 2011 at 9:52 am , by

Next up in our Staffer Beauty Snoop series, Art Intern Heidi Smith shares her quick and simple beauty tips, tricks and obsessions:

Describe your beauty style in three words or less: Fresh, relaxed and playful.
What are the three beauty products you can’t live without? Clean & Clear Morning Glow Oil Free SPF 15 Moisturizer, Soft Lips Lip Balm SPF 20 and Maybelline Great Lash Blackest Black Mascara.
What’s your beauty routine in the morning? I put my makeup on while my hair is still wet to save time and let my hair air dry as much as possible to save it from the blowdryer. I like an easy, fast routine.
At night? Before bed, I wash off all my makeup and put on moisturizer.
Post-workout? I don’t like when I see girls with caked-on makeup at the gym. I want my skin to breathe, so I keep my face clean while I workout and wear only sunscreen. Afterward, I jump in the shower.
What beauty product instantly makes you feel good when you use it? A light-textured lip gloss like Lancôme Paris Juicy Tubes Lip Gloss. Anytime I’m nervous, like before a date or special event, I put on this gloss and it instantly makes me feel sexy and more confident.
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve ever received (or thought of yourself)? Don’t wear mascara at the beach or pool: Raccoon eyes are not attractive!

—By Amanda Downs, beauty intern

The FDA’s New SPF Rules

Written on June 15, 2011 at 9:35 am , by

After decades (!) of deliberation and anticipation, the Food and Drug Administration recently revealed new rules regulating sunscreens that will go into effect in a year. Here, a brief crib sheet on what you need to know:6877099-woman-applying-sunscreen-lotion-lotion-at-the-beach-rear-view

  • In order to be labeled “broad spectrum”, sunscreens must provide equal and adequate UVA (wrinkle and cancer-causing rays) and UVB (burning and cancer-causing rays) protection.
  • Sunscreen companies will be banned from labeling their products as “sunblock”, “waterproof” or “sweatproof”; instead, they’ll be able to indicate on the packaging  how many minutes the sunscreen resists water, based on FDA-reviewed tests results.
  • Any sunscreen under SPF 15 or without a proportionate amount of UVA and UVB protection will have to include a label that states that the product does not provide protection against skin cancer or skin aging.
  • The FDA has yet to decide on one additional rule: Whether to ban the labeling of SPFs above 50. They are still accepting comments about this proposed regulation.

What do you think about the new sunscreen rules?

Happy Summer!

Written on May 26, 2011 at 9:59 am , by

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It finally feels like summer here in New York City—and Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to our favorite season. Grab your SPF, get outside and have a wonderful holiday weekend!

—The FITNESS Beauty Team

Categories: Beauty On the Go | Tags: , ,
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Apps for Staying Safe in the Sun

Written on May 25, 2011 at 10:16 am , by

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May is Melanoma Awareness Month, but you can stay safe all year long with these handy sun safety apps from Appitalism.com:

  • Sun Safety (free for the Apple iPhone): Provides useful, up-to-date sun exposure danger information for any U.S. city, along with tips on how to protect yourself and your family from skin cancer.
  • UV Index (free for Android): This easy-to-use app allows you to enter your zip code or city/state to get the color-coded UV index each day.
  • Coppertone MyUVAlert (free for the Apple iPhone): Offers custom SPF reapplication reminders along with personalized product recommendations, coupons, sun protection advice, and local UV index forecasts.
  • Handy Weather for Blackberry (Free for the Blackberry): Venturing out of the country? This app shares worldwide weather forecasts for over 40,000 preset cities, including the UV index, real feel temperature, wind, and humidity.

Week Four: Sun Protection Secrets

Written on May 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm , by

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, so we are going to feature weekly sets of sun protection secrets from Mona Gohara, M.D., FITNESS advisory board member and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. Get set to up your sun smarts and stay safe all summer!

Day 22: One person dies of melanoma each hour. The most common cancer amongst women in their 20s takes someone’s life every 60 minutes. However, if detected early, melanoma is curable. Do monthly self skin checks to seek out moles that appear new or different.

Day 23: Examine all your parts. Don’t forget to look at the palms, soles, behind the ears and in the scalp-melanoma can occur on non-sun-exposed skin as well.

Day 24: One is the magic number. One blistering or five non-blistering sunburns in childhood double the lifetime risk of melanoma.

Day 25: Know your risks. Other risk factors include: those with a family history of melanoma, individuals with fair skin and light eyes, or multiple moles and tanning bed use.

Day 26: No one is immune. Everyone regardless of skin color is at risk for skin cancer. In fact, when skin cancer occurs in brown skinned individuals it is usually more aggressive and more likely to metastasize. The most common locations for melanoma in people of color are the palms, soles, under the finger/toenails and on mucous membranes (mouth or genital skin). Amongst those with darker complexions skin cancer is more likely to occur in areas of previous trauma, scars, burns or radiation-although the sun plays a role it is not the most likely culprit. Daily sun protection, yearly visits to the dermatologists and monthly self-skin checks are recommended for all ethnic groups.

Day 27: Melanoma and breast cancer are linked. Recent studies have shown that those with melanoma are more likely to get breast cancer and that those with breast cancer are at a higher risk for melanoma. This could be as a result of genetics or more diligent cancer surveillance in these populations. Other people at an increased risk for skin cancer are organ transplant recipients and those with lowered immune systems such as HIV+ patients. All of these groups should establish care with a dermatologist in order to ensure early detection should a problem arise.

Day 28: Beautiful skin is healthy skin.  Protecting your skin daily will ensure radiant skin for life. May is Skin Cancer Awareness month. Share with buzz with your family and friends; spread the word, save a life.

Week Three: Sun Protection Secrets

Written on May 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm , by

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, so we are going to feature weekly sets of sun protection secrets from Mona Gohara, M.D., FITNESS advisory board member and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. Get set to up your sun smarts and stay safe all summer!
Day 15: The damage is not already done. Contrary to popular belief, 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is not acquired before age 18-only 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18. Forty six percent occurs between the ages of 19 and 40.  It is never to late to fight those feisty free radicals which wreak cosmetic havoc and cause skin cancer.

Day 16: Like SPF, Moisturization is a must year-round. Keeping the skin well hydrated helps to decrease the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Take note of what special care your skin may need. For eczema prone, sensitive skin try Aveeno Nourishing 24-Hour Ultra Hydrating Whipped Soufflé, which contains colloidal oatmeal to soothe the skin. For rosacea, Eucerin Redness Relief helps to mask summer flushing. For acne-prone skin, Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer is light and effective. Always top these moisturizers with a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher every single day, 365 days a year.

Day 17: Eat to beat skin cancer. Antioxidants are the ultimate antidote to free radical damage. Fruits and veggies that fit the bill: kiwi, mulberries, blueberries, 
 blackberries, prunes, pomegranate, pink grapefruit, red grapes, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets and red bell pepper.

Day 18: Avoid summer sheen. Courtesy of sebum, the skin’s natural oil, many of us struggle with that not-so-fun glisten. This summer, let the sun do the shining and look for mattifying primers that have SPF too. (Studies show that unprotected skin can produce up to 26 percent more oil when exposed to UV rays than SPF-covered skin.)

Day 19: Sneaky sun spots. Sun damage rears its ugly head in many ways, but one of the most menacing is the seemingly out of the blue appearance of permanent brown sun spots (aka, lentigos). Lentigos almost inevitably darken and become more obvious over the summer. Diligent, daily sunscreen use and lightening creams with hydroquinone, soy, licorice root extract or other skin lighteners are the gold standard for treatment, but sometimes a quick fix with concealer is in order.

Day 20: Yoga benefits the mind, body, soul and skin. Stress creates muscle tension all over the body, especially the face. Tense 
facial muscles parlay into wrinkles, permanent lines and can increase the effects of sun damage. Training the body to diffuse tension with meditation techniques helps contracted facial muscles to relax. Plus, working out can help ward off cell damage head to toe, which is important for skin cancer prevention.

Day 21: Visible light can worsen melasma. Just when you thought you were safe from the sun, buried in your office, mired in deadlines and meetings. Enter  “need for daily sunscreen” reason 101. Recent data out of Henry Ford Medical Center Department of Dermatology, has indicated that melasma (darkening of the face from sun, pregnancy, or birth control pills) can indeed be worsened by the indoor visible light we are exposed to in the office, home, shopping malls, etc. Don’t panic, no need to slather on “greasy, coconutty” protection, instead channel cosmetically elegant make-up enriched with physical UV light blockers, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Favorite Find Friday: Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen SPF 40

Written on May 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm , by

In keeping with Melanoma Awareness Month, we’re divulging the best facial sunscreen we’ve ever encountered: Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen SPF 40. Pricey, yes, but the titanium-dioxide based formula is natural, non-irritating, feels like silk, blends seamlessly and undetectably—and has a soft baby-powder-but-better scent that we can’t get enough of. Most important of all, we actually look forward to applying it every morning. What’s your go-to SPF?

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Week Two: Sun Protection Secrets

Written on May 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm , by

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, so we are going to feature weekly sets of sun protection secrets from Mona Gohara, M.D., FITNESS advisory board member and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. Get set to up your sun smarts and stay safe all summer!

Day 8: Know your natural SPF. The melanin level in most fair skinned individuals provides a “built-in” SPF of 3.4, while those with brown skin have an SPF of 13.4. Although Mother Nature does provide a nice buffer, official recommendations are daily application of SPF 30 or higher-and with intensive sun exposure reapplying 1-2 ounces (the size of a ping-pong ball) every 2 hours for optimal use. Think beyond the beach or pool, prolonged summer sun exposure can happen at barbeques, outdoor concerts, trips to the zoo or amusement parks with the family and sporting events.

Day 9: Brown is beautiful. No one can dispute the aesthetic appeal of sun-kissed skin. Unfortunately, since 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet light, excessive sun represents a forbidden fruit to most health conscious individuals.  The solution? Tan in a can. Sunless tanners have bridged the gap between dazzling and dangerous. Remember to exfoliate the entire body prior to applying in order to avoid streaks.

Day 10: The “D”lemma. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that humans get via diet and sunlight. This vitamin is found naturally in cod liver oil, liver, eggs, butter and fatty fish. It can also be absorbed by drinking fortified milk/orange juice. We know that vitamin D is imperative for healthy bones, cancer prevention and protection against osteoporosis, cardiovascular and autoimmune disease. An ongoing study from the department of dermatology at Stanford University now shows that this super vitamin may also protect against melanoma, especially in women with a previous history of skin cancer. The dilemma? Because of genetic tendencies, trends towards skin cancer prevention and inadequate dietary intake, some people are deficient in this vitamin.  That being said, supplements and a diet rich in vitamin D foods remain preferable to sun exposure when is comes to ensuring adequate levels.

Day 11: The forgotten land, your scalp. Often times the scalp gets burned because of an “Oops, I forgot to put sunscreen there” or “ I didn’t want my hair to get greasy” maneuver. Ok, no more excuses. Skin cancers develop on the scalp commonly. Worse yet, tumors in this location are more likely to be aggressive and metastasize. Tip: To avoid excessive sheen, spray sunscreen on to the tips of your fingers and work into the hair, starting with the part.

Day 12: There is a formula to melanoma prevention. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that by applying sunscreen daily to the face, hands, arms and neck one could reduce melanoma risk by 50 percent. An easy fix to a potentially fatal problem.  That being said, the fact remains that 35 percent of women separately surveyed admitted to NEVER wearing sunscreen. Scary, but true.

Day 13: Learn the labels. Sunscreen isles in drugstores can be confusing and overwhelming. Decode the sunscreen Rosetta stone with a few basic tenets.  1-SPF only refers to the amount of UVB protection a product supplies, make sure to look for a label that reads “broad spectrum” to ensure sufficient UVA coverage as well. Active ingredients such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mexoryl or avobenzone, also guarantee that UVA will be blocked adequately. 2-Don’t let the numbers fool you. Nothing is truly 100 percent. SPF 15 blocks out 94% of the sun’s harmful rays, SPF 30 blocks out 97% and SPF 100 blocks out 99% of carcinogenic UVB rays. 3-Sunscreen is like a gym membership-its great in theory, but it only works if you use it (the right way!)

Day 14: Seek the shade or avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm, when ultraviolet rays are the strongest. If you are exercising outdoors try to do it in the early morning or the evening. If prime sun hours are more convenient, scope out a big tree and do your squats in the shade!

Give & Get with SkinCeuticals

Written on May 4, 2011 at 7:44 am , by

Talk about getting what you give: In honor of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the brand SkinCeuticals will donate $20 to the Melanoma Research Alliance and send you a free full-size bottle of their new Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 (a $30 value and a personal favorite of ours!) when you share a sun protection-related video testimonial on their Facebook page. And each written testimonial posted to their page will garner a $2 donation to the cause. Truly a win-win proposition!

Week One: Sun Protection Secrets

Written on May 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm , by

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, so we are going to feature weekly sets of sun protection secrets from Mona Gohara, M.D., FITNESS advisory board member and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. Get set to up your sun smarts and stay safe all summer!

Day 1: Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. Protect your largest organ by getting yearly checks by a dermatologist and examine your own skin monthly. The silver lining? Most skin cancers are curable if caught early.

Day 2: 90% of the visible signs of aging are caused by daily sun exposure. Ultraviolet A rays cause brown sun spots, wrinkles, saggy skin and the breakdown of collagen. An easy fix? Daily sunscreen application to the face and hands. SPF 30 or higher is ideal.

Day 3: Talk to the hand! Damaging ultraviolet rays come through the windows of most cars, leaving your hands (as they rest on the steering wheel) and the left side of the face, most vulnerable to unwanted sunspots and wrinkled skin. Apply sunscreen to the backs of your hands before and after your commute, and enjoy the appearance of youthful hands for years to come!

Day 4: Protect those gams. The most common place for melanoma in women is the calves! Avid runners, swimmers, tennis players and other outdoor sports enthusiasts should be particularly cautious. For ultimate protection, slip on  sun-protective workout gear and apply sunscreen.

Day 5: Melanoma is the most common cancer in women between the ages of 25 and 29. The culprit? Tanning beds. “Parlor” patrons are exposed to 12 times the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they receive from outdoor sun. Tanning bed devotees younger than 35 increase their melanoma risk by 75%. Look for moles that are asymmetric (one side is not the mirror image of the other), have an irregular border /color or those that are larger than the size of a pencil eraser. Pay close attention to subtle symptoms, such as pain, soreness, itchiness or a visceral compulsion to recurrently examine a mole—these are all reasons to pick up the phone and dial your derm.

Day 6: Fifty percent of Americans will have at least one skin cancer by the age of 65. Remember if you can spot it, you can stop it. Look for any spots on the skin that are bleeding, oozing, crusting or not healing. These are all potential signs of skin cancer.

Day 7: When it comes to skin cancer prevention, women are better listeners. A recent study published in the Archives of Dermatology revealed that when men and women melanoma patients were surveyed up to a decade later, women were more likely to have adjusted their behavior towards sun protection. Results of a separate questionnaire showed that women more often seek skin exams because of a concerning mole or fear of previous sun exposure. Men on the other hand, were usually inclined to get skin checks only after a diagnosis of skin cancer. Tip: Make a date for annual his-and-hers derm appointments!