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Sunscreen in School: How You Can Protect Your Kids

Written on August 26, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

While you’re stocking up on back-to-school basics for your little ones, make sure to pick up a very important, yet easily forgotten essential—sunscreen. We know, you’re sending your kids to school, not to the beach, but children actually spend a great deal of time exposed to the sun walking to and from school, outside at recess, during after-school sports and on field trips. And considering that the new FDA regulations state that sunscreen remains effective for 80 minutes max, the stuff you slather on your kids in the morning will most likely wear off by lunchtime.

But before you pop some SPF in your child’s book-bag, consider this: Only two state policies exist that allow for sunscreen use and application during the school day (crazy, right?). In fact, a school ban on sunscreen (it’s technically considered a drug) left two children from Tacoma, WA with severe sunburns during a school field trip last year. One year later, policies affecting sunscreen usage in schools remain nonexistent or vary from state to state and potentially even within school districts. The worst part: new data shows melanoma rates are rising among U.S. children.

Luckily, two savvy sun-care brands are trying to change that:

Coppertone has launched their Making the Sunscreen Grade program, which educates parents with tools and information on how to help protect their children from the sun and enables them to start a conversation with their schools to make sun protection a priority during the school day. You can find more info here as well as download the full Making the Grade sunscreen guide.

Supergoop! has implemented Project Backpack, which not only serves as a vehicle to influence change in these state policies, but also provides SPF to schools in the U.S. so that kids have what they need to protect their skin during time on the playground or athletics. For every SPF 30 Everyday UV lotion ($15, supergoop.com) sold, Supergoop! will donate one backpack-sized sunscreen to partner schools in the U.S. Click here for more info.

Favorite Find Friday: Sun Bum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion

Written on August 23, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

I’ve traveled all over the map this summer, from Texas to the Jersey Shore, Bermuda and San Diego. While prepping for these sunny destinations, the number one product on my to-pack list has been SPF. I am fair-skinned with an irrational fear of aging so I’ve tried dozens of formulas in search of one that not only adequately protects my skin, but also feels and smells good, too. You need to want to put this stuff on every 80 minutes. Luckily for me, I stumbled upon Sun Bum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion ($16, trustthebum.com). It’s non-greasy texture is so light, I have no problem slathering it all over my face and body—no need for two options. The subtle coconut scent has just a hint of banana so it smells like a vacation in a bottle, but won’t clear out the entire tiki bar when you walk in. I plan on using mine this fall to remind me of my relaxing summer days spent exploring new places.

Summertime Skin, Sun and Stay Fit Tips from Top Derm, Jeanine Downie, M.D.

Written on July 17, 2013 at 10:52 am , by

Photo Courtesy of Jeanine Downie, M.D.

We’re all for low-maintenance beauty during the warmer months, but that ‘lax vibe of summer doesn’t mean it’s time to skimp on SPF or staying healthy. Jeanine Downie, M.D., board certified Dermatologist and director of her own practice, image Dermatology P.C. in Montclair, N.J., shares her surefire ways to stay fit, safe in the sun and keep your skin glowing all summer long.

How do you stay fit?
“I exercise 7 days a week. Running is my favorite way to stay fit. But I also love spinning, swimming, kickboxing and lifting weights!”

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?
“I used to swim competitively when I was younger so anytime I can swim outside is great for me. I also love to run and go kayaking.”

There are a lot of misconceptions about sweat and acne. Can you clear them up for us?
“I have a lot of patients who come in thinking that they need to shower before they work out, so they have a “clean sweat.” Also a lot of people think sweat causes acne. These are both common misnomers. Sweat is clean and doesn’t cause acne. And the right time  to shower is after you work out, because the friction and moisture of sitting in wet gym clothes can cause acne.”

What’s your one go-to piece of advice that you offer to your active patients?
“I encourage all my patients to exercise a minimum of four times a week, while wearing broad spectrum sun protection with an SPF of 30 higher ever day, rain or shine. Working out decreases stress, increasing skin’s circulation and overall glow, makes hair and nails grow faster, makes your body work better, keeps you body trimmer and your mind more clear and focused! For all my active patients, I recommend washing with a gentle cleanser with salicylic acid and exfoliating 3-4 times a week with either a gentle exfoliating face wash with salicylic acid, glycolic acid or even just a nubby wash cloth and your own gentle cleanser with salicylic acid.”

What are your favorite summer products?
“Protecting your skin from harmful rays is incredibly important. I’m a big fan of spray sunscreen, like AVEENO Hydrosport SPF 30 ($8, aveeno.com) because its adherent and works great on wet skin! In the summer you don’t want anything that feels or smells too heavy so I switch to a lighter fragrance. My favorite is Dior Escale à Pondichéry ($75, dior.com).

Do you have any favorite healthy snacks that give you energy for your workouts and also have skin-benefiting ingredients?
“My favorite snacks are apples (there is nothing better than a crispy apple) and Ideal Protein Bars.”

 

—Karee Hackel, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: StriVectin Sun Kit and Eye Bundle

Written on May 24, 2013 at 9:43 am , by

Even though the forecast is looking a bit dismal for the holiday weekend for us New Yorkers (meh!), I’m still looking forward to enjoying some time outdoors—protected, of course, because yes, you can get rays even when it’s cloudy outside. So whether you’re headed somewhere sunny or just planning a staycation this weekend, one of the best things to have on hand is this convenient travel kit from StriVectin. The Sun Kit and Eye Bundle ($59, strivectin.com) holds an Age Protect Sunscreen SPF 30, Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks and Wrinkles and Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles housed in a cute little orange pouch. Plus, it includes a UV indicator bracelet, which alerts you when you’ve been in the sun too long and serves as a reminder to reapply sunscreen. Speaking of sun protection, if you’d like to help contribute to The Skin Cancer Foundation, head over to the StriVectin Be the Face of Safe Sun app to submit your profile picture to be included in their mosaic. For every picture submitted, StriVectin will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to The Skin Cancer Foundation. Once they receive all 10,000 pictures to complete the mosaic, they will share the interactive design as a fun, inspirational way to continue to spread awareness of skin cancer.

Elite Paddler Jenny Kalmbach Shares Her Sun Protection Picks and Paddling Tips

Written on March 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm , by

To most, paddleboarding is an up-and-coming sport, gaining popularity each year, but for Jenny Kalmbach, it’s been her focus for a long time. After paddling for six years, she’s established herself as one of the sport’s high profile racers, even being honored with SUP Awards’ 2011 Female Paddler of the Year. As an athlete who is passionate about both her demanding sport, and her love for the environment, she teamed up with Morgan Hoesterey in 2010 for Destination 3 Degrees, a standup paddle journey across the channels of Hawaii, to raise awareness for the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and to fight against plastic contamination in the ocean. That kind of eco-conciousness is what brought the suncare brand Coola to her attention. She’s teaming up with the luxury organic company, and here, dishes about her love for paddling and their products.

What sparked your interest in stand up paddling?
“I moved to Hawaii in 2005 and I got a job shortly after working at a beach and golf club. It was back when stand up was just starting out, you didn’t see it anywhere. We had a couple of standup boards at work, and a few of the guys would go out and paddle. So after some time, I started paddling and also surfing. A few years later, I entered my first paddling race. This was back in 2007, so it was still really new. It’s just so much fun and I love doing it. In 2008, a friend called to tell me about a race that was taking place in California and it was the Battle of the Paddle and they suggested I try to do it. I wasn’t really sure because I hadn’t raced against 70 other people before, but I took a chance, flew out and ended up winning the women’s division.  So I think that kind of set off this whole thing in motion where I was like ‘Wow, I can compete and I love this and it’s really fun.’ I haven’t looked back since.”

You’re always outside and in the water paddling and surfing. I know you’ve teamed up with Coola Suncare as their spokesperson—how has the brand aligned with your SPF and skin needs? 
“Just spending so much time in the sun and being fair-skinned, it’s really important for me to cover-up. So when I’m outside, I’m generally with a hat or sunglasses or long-sleeves and I always try to wear my sunscreen. But the problem before was I was always really nervous about what was in the sunscreen so I tended to stay away from using too much sunscreen and I tried to just cover up as much as I could. And then about a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Coola and I really loved that it was made with natural and organic ingredients so I felt really comfortable putting it on my skin. I wear it all the time now. I’ve just absolutely fallen in love with it; it’s an incredible brand.”

What’s your favorite product?
“I’d have to say the Mineral Sport SPF 35 Citrus Mimosa ($36, coolasuncare.com) is my favorite. That’s what I tend to use the most when I’m paddling. I also love their ER line, they have a good face wash, Environmental Repair Plus Clear Recovery Foam Wash ($24, coolasuncare.com). They smell so good. And the Liplux is good, too ($12, coolasuncare.com).”

So switching gears to your workout routine, how do you stay fit outside of the water? 
“I go to the gym 2-3 times a week and I have a program that changes every 3 weeks. I do spring training in the gym and then on top of that I do a triathlon once a year. I run, swim and bike as a side thing to stay in shape. I really enjoy biking because it’s really good for building power and endurance. So in the gym it’s spring training and then sprints on the treadmill and then outside it’s biking or swimming.”

So cool! I did my first triathlon last summer and am itching to do another this year.  
“Yeah! It’s so fun. I’ve done a few as relays. Two years ago, I did my first solo and I really liked it. It’s fun because it’s three different sports so you don’t feel that you’re constantly doing the same thing. You can kind of mix it up through your training so it’s really exciting. I have a Tuesday training tip I put on my blog and I talk about different exercises you can do in the gym for paddling or last week, I did a sprint workout that I like to do for running.”

I’ll definitely check that out. Do you have any favorite snacks that give you tons of energy for these intense workouts? 
“When I’m racing and training, I really like Honey Stinger products. They make these waffles and chews and they’re all honey-based, and organic. So I’m a really big fan of that brand. I’ve also used Bonk Breaker bars in the past, which are really delicious and they’re gluten-free so they tend to be a big hit with people.”

Any advice for someone who wants to break into paddling or try it out this summer? 
“Yeah! Depending on where you live, it is so accessible now anywhere that has a body of water; it can even be a pond. The best thing to do is go with somebody or find somebody who can give you a few pointers, just because the first time you do it, it’s kind of nice to have an idea of what you’re doing. But it’s a really easy sport to pick up; anybody can do it, all ages. And it’s really fun. First just try it; some people are hesitant to try it because they don’t think they can do it but anybody can do it. Just get out there and try it and just enjoy being out there.”

Skin Cancer is Color Blind

Written on July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm , by

If you have brown skin, skin cancer may not be top of mind—but it should be.

Research by L’Oréal Paris USA has shown that sun can cause DNA damage in all skin types light to dark. Ultraviolet induced DNA damage is the number one reason that skin cancer develops, so this science debunks the ”people of color don’t get skin cancer” myth.

The truth is, only 17 percent of surveyed minority respondents had been to a dermatologist for a mole check, and over 65 percent of surveyed African American adults had never worn sunscreen.  The incidence of skin cancer is going up particularly fast in Hispanic and some Asian populations, and because of delayed detection it is more likely to be deadly in those with darker skin. Skin cancer is curable if caught early, so everyone regardless should be wearing broad spectrum SPF 30 daily, getting skin checks by a dermatologist yearly, and doing monthly self-skin checks with particular focus on new/changing lesions of the palms/soles and genital skin.

—By Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut

Score Pro Volleyball Player Christal Engle’s Beachy Beauty

Written on June 27, 2012 at 11:53 am , by

As much as we love a fun, outdoor workout, we hate how it turns us into hot, sweaty messes. One thing we’re always in awe of: how top-notch athletes manage to look so good! To find out their secrets, we chatted up Christal Engle, the 26-year-old pro-volleyball playerwho has her eyes set on the Olympics in 2016. Engle dished about the beauty products she digs, and how you can score an effortless look pre- and post-workout. You won’t want to pass on this advice before your next friendly competition on the beach!

Photo credit: Jose Cuervo

FITNESS: In your sport, you’re exposed to a lot of sun! How do you protect your skin?
CE: “Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! I carry it wherever I go and apply everywhere, especially on the face, chest and shoulders. That’s what gets the most sun when you’re playing beach volleyball. I use SPF 75 on my face and reapply four or five times per day. I’m only 26 and I already see sun effects. And I wear sunscreen all the time!”

FITNESS: Do you have a favorite brand?
CE: “I use COOLA organic sunscreen. It’s a new company, but they have things for your face and body; they have mist sprays, everything. People don’t realize when they’re in the sun how much it affects them. Even with 75 SPF or whatever, the rays still come through. I’m fairly tan but I wear sunscreen all the time.”

FITNESS: What about makeup? Do you wear it while playing?
CE: “Yes, but not a lot — I’ll just put on waterproof mascara. I’m not one of those super girly-girls who has to cake it on, but you want to perform beautifully. That’s Oakley’s motto [editor’s note: Engle is sponsored by Oakley], and I like to stay pretty and work hard.”

FITNESS: Do you do anything to protect your hair?
CE: “Not really, because I like the natural highlights that I get from the sun. I just had my hair done and I asked them if I should be doing anything specific, and they said just to use sunscreen and get trims every couple of months. But I have to be careful of salt water! If you go into the ocean after a game, you definitely want to get a good shampoo that cleans it really well. I know Neutrogena Clean Replenishing is a good one.”

FITNESS: And I’m sure being out in the sun and sand all day must make you feel dry…
CE: “It does! And I find sand everywhere. It’s ridiculous. I have to moisturize a lot and I make sure that has SPF in it, too.”

How do you make working out look so good? I’m a hot mess when I sweat!
CE: “I recommend using wipes afterward. When we’re working out and playing in the sand, our hands get dirty and we wipe our foreheads, making our faces grimy. Wipes clean that all up – Bioré Daily Cleansing Cloths are great, I also use Evian Facial Mist Spray—it’s amazing! I use it after matches on my face and reapply sunscreen.”

FITNESS: What about when you’re not on the courts? How do you go from game to glam?
CE: “I use two items: mascara and bronzer. Bronzer just brings life to your face – you could be super tired, but if you put that on, it brightens you up. I love L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze. For mascara, I use CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion because it doesn’t run when I sweat and it’s super easy to take off, making it perfect for beach volleyball. As for my hair, I love doing a high twisty bun after a game because it works whether it’s wet or dry, and it’s somewhat fashionable.”

Tell us: How do you bounce back after a sweaty workout?

—By Laura Cofsky, editorial intern

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!


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.

Pro Tennis Player Caroline Wozniacki’s Secrets to Flawless Skin

Written on March 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm , by

Professional tennis player and Proactiv spokesperson Caroline Wozniacki manages to have flawless skin despite constant sweat and sun exposure on the court, so we jumped at the chance to get her secrets. Here’s what she said about the products that keep her looking gorgeous, her on-the-road routine, and her proudest career moment.

FITNESS: What’s your haircare, makeup and skincare routine like on a typical day?
Caroline Wozniacki: I really try to keep my daily routine simple and natural.  I always like my skin to feel light and clean, so I really try hard to use products that are good for my skin and keep me looking naturally fresh.  Since I travel so much, I like to make sure my routine can easily come with me from country to country! I make sure to drink a lot of water, get plenty of sleep and moisturize my skin every day.  I find that doing these simple things are easy ways to keep me looking my best.

FITNESS: You’re constantly on the court and exposed to the harsh sun. How do you keep your skin protected?
CW: I wear SPF under my daily moisturizer every day. I’m on the court and outside playing so much that I don’t want to have to worry about my skin getting damaged from the sun.  So I just make sure I am properly protected every day. Now it’s such a routine that I pretty much have SPF on all the time!

FITNESS: How did you start working with Proactiv?
CW: I started having bad breakouts when I was about 15 years old. I was playing a lot of tournaments back then, so I was in the public eye a lot and didn’t really feel comfortable with all the cameras around because I wasn’t confident about my skin.  I decided to give Proactiv a chance, and my experience was really positive. After about a week, I started to see significant results. I was so happy, and didn’t have to worry about breakouts anymore.  Since I love the product so much, I figured a partnership with them was a great idea.

FITNESS: What’s the one beauty product never leaves your bag? Why?
CW: Once again, SPF is really important to me so I always have some in my bag with me.  You never know when you’re going to need it! I’m also obsessed with a bunch of the Oriflame lip glosses so I keep those on hand most of the time as well.  I hate when my lips are dry or chapped! So I always like to have lip treatments with me, and if they have SPF in them, even better.

FITNESS: What are your gym bag beauty essentials?
CW: Definitely my blister patches! Compeed makes these amazing blister patches that I keep in my gym bag all the time because I wear them almost every day.  Blisters are the absolute worst when I’m playing or practicing and can really affect my game so having the patches on me makes a huge difference.

FITNESS: What does your training consist of?
CW: Naturally I spend a lot of time on the court, but I also spend a fair amount of time training off-court. I also like to mix it up and have some fun with boxercise.

FITNESS: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
CW: I definitely indulge in my fair share of massages, but most of them are more sports therapy.

FITNESS: What are the beauty products you can’t live without?
CW: Proactiv 3 Step System, Proactiv Refining Mask, Compeed Blister Patches, Oriflame Giordani lip gloss line, Oriflame Divine Body Cream and the Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment.

FITNESS: Where do you get the confidence and energy to keep working your absolute hardest on the court?
CW: I’ve always been very motivated to do my best when I play.  It’s definitely a passion and drive within me that keeps me going and playing my best.  I also come from a family of athletes, so they have always been very supportive and motivating which helps me stay focused and try my hardest.

FITNESS: What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
CW: Holding the #1 position for so long is definitely something I am really proud of.  I finished at #1 for two years in a row, so that is something I really strive to reach again.

—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern