Tanning booths are considered unhealthy by dermatologists, but what about sunless tanning (A.K.A. self tans, UV-free tans, fake tans)? While rocking the natural skin look is most recommended, those who cannot ditch the glow should opt for self tanners over UV tanning. First learn how it works. Then how to properly apply it.
At the local drug-store and you’ll find self tanners in the form of lotions, creams, sprays and tanning wipes. All contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a sugar molecule that darkens the top layer of skin and is the main ingredient used in self tanners. DHA does not instantly dye the skin. Rather, over the course of a few hours, skin will gradually brown. This color will fade in 5 – 10 days.
In the 1920’s DHA was first used as an active ingredient in the pharmaceutical field. Then, in 1957 a doctor discovered the tanning properties of DHA. DHA is the only approved agent for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for artificial tanning—external use only. According to the FDA tanning pills pose many risks, thus they are not FDA approved. Similarly, Melanotan, an illegal synthetic hormone injection that tans skin, can have serious side effects, possibly including death.
Melanie D. Palm, MD, MBA, recently wrote an article for the Skin Cancer Foundation where she states, “There is no clear evidence that DHA is harmful to humans if applied topically and used as directed. Concern about DHA arose recently when a study correlated use of highly concentrated amounts of DHA with production of free radicals, molecules that form naturally in the body due to oxygen use and can damage cells. However, concentrations used in sunless tanning preparations are considered non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.” Self tanners typically contain between 3 and 5 percent DHA.
If you’re going to use self-tanning spray or visit a spray tan booth, it’s recommended not to inhale or get into the mucus membranes as the long-term health effects for inhalation are not yet determined. When the FDA originally approved DHA for external use back in 1977, it was popular in tanning lotions. Now that is comes in spray form, toxicologists are concerned and urge consumers to use with caution.
Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.
Helen Vong, skin care guru at theskiny.com, came to us with a brilliant SunAWARE idea. “Let’s do a Coolibar UPF 50+ outfit makeover to show how easy it is to be protected from the sun.” Who are we to argue?
“After writing a magazine story about the aging effects of the sun, back in the early spring, I decided that this (now past) summer is going to be year I start changing my ways. Why? Well frankly, I’m getting older and my skin isn’t bouncing back like it did from weekend trips to the cottage.
Like most people I only really wore sunscreen on vacation, and in my twenties, I went on my fair share of sun escapes – and I have the sunspots to prove it. In fact, I’ve got a newly formed speckle on my lower lip that wasn’t there last year (thank you, Ibiza). After age 30 you can’t get away with calling these spots ‘cute freckles’ anymore.
Consider this photo taken last summer at the hotel lobby at the Thompson in Beverly Hills (before picture). At first glance, you’d think I was being sun smart with a wide brimmed hat and long sleeved button up shirt. Truth is, that flimsy hat was a cheapie from Walmart with absolutely no sun filter. The shirt was also a bargain that was useless against the scorching UVA rays (think of the “A” as for aging) I surely soaked in that weekend.
I guess I could’ve wore clothing with sun protection, but I’ve long equated anti-sun clothing as frumpy athletic gear. And who wants to look blah on Rodeo Drive? In retrospect, I wish I knew about Coolibar, back then. This company makes sun-protective apparel look sexy! I particularly fell in love with their sun hats. My dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett, says that size matters when it comes to the brim of an effective sun hat: six inches is the way to go.”
Helen took her look and gave it a UPF 50+ makeover (after picture).
US Nationals Competition: An update from Marion Lepert, Coolibar Athlete and Windsurfer:
I recently returned from competing in the US Windsurfing Nationals in Hood River, OR. This event took place on the Columbia River, a renowned location for windsurfing, where it is sunny and warm. I raced in both formula course racing and slalom racing classes and had a blast while doing it. Each day, we had three formula races followed by three slalom races, making for about 5-6 hours of total sailing every day.
Formula racing is done on big boards that can be sailed in 7-25 knots with fins up to 70 cm long and sails up to 12 meters big. The courses consist of a start, then upwind and downwind buoy roundings and then a race to the finish line. I have been racing in this discipline for five years. I was very pleased with my performance in this event; I finished 1st in the women’s category and 8th overall (men and women).
Slalom racing consists of much faster paced races than formula, and the gear is much smaller and done in more wind. The courses also have a start, but the rounding of buoys is different; they are all downwind and must zigzag through them to get to the finish line. I am still learning this discipline, but I had a great time racing in it at the Nationals. I had a difficult start to the event, still being uncomfortable with the format of the racing and falling on several of my transitions. However, I stayed focused and improved during the regatta to win the Women’s National Champion title.
Racing in the Nationals reminded me of why I love windsurf racing so much. Speeding around courses and trying to get ahead with tactics is a lot of fun, and the community of windsurf racers is very friendly and close-knit. I had a great time, but the event would not have been the same for me had I not had my Coolibar gear. I spent almost 10 hours every day in the sun racing, resting, or taking care of my gear, but wearing my Coolibar clothing helped me stay safe from the sun. I wore my Stash Pocket Swim Shirt, pink Long Sleeve Swim Shirt, Fingerless Gloves and red Sun Gaiter, all of which worked great and allowed me to focus on my racing, not the sun.
Last month Defensive Line Coach for the New York Jets, Karl Dunbar, shared his thoughts with us on training camp. For Coach Dunbar, it’s a time to get away and focus solely on football. He needs to prepare his team to play at a high level and teach them proper techniques. We wanted to dive a little deeper with Coach Dunbar to discover tips and tricks of NFL training.
1. What are the best exercises to get your team in shape?
The best exercises to do to get your team in shape is “contact”, all out scrimmaging without taking guys to the ground. There aren’t many drills I know of other than that! The weight of the pads and the pushing and pulling of other players are hard to simulate. That’s why I really think if a player comes to training camp in excellent shape it will take him 2 to 2-1/2 weeks to get into football shape.
2. How do you incorporate endurance training?
We try to start off by giving the players 3 reps at a time before switching groups and as the practices go on we increase the reps to 4-5-6-7 and sometimes 10 plays before we give them a break. This way they will be able to handle a regular offensive drive during a game.
3. What portion of time do you spend on strength training?
The guys lift weights 3 to 4 days a week and workouts last from 45 minutes to an hour. They do machine base lifts as well as free weights. Leg press, shoulder press, leg extension and curls on machines and then bench press, squats, dumb bell curls and power cleans would be the free weights.
4. What about drills?
Drills are more position specific. Everyone does the quickness and change of direction drills but receivers and defensive backs run farther than the other positions because that’s what they do on the field. The offensive line and defensive line do more short burst and rest while the running backs and linebackers do a little of both.
5. Is balance and agility a part of training?
Balance is very important as well as core (abs) strength. That’s why the guys do free weights, to work on their balance, and the abdominal and back workout ties the upper and lower body together.
6. Over the course of your career, you have worked with many talented athletes. Tell us about some unusual techniques your players (past and present) have used for conditioning, for example; sumo, stair running, flying trapeze, etc.
Some of my guys over the years have engaged in boxing, MMA, wrestling, yoga, karate, and some hired a former Marine Drill Sgt. to put them thru a mini boot camp! Guys try all sorts of things looking for an edge!
7. What are you most excited about for the 2012 football season?
The thing I’m most excited about for this season is getting to see our younger guys play and contribute to the team with our veterans! We have a nice mixture of defensive linemen and since it’s my first year with them, in the words of #57 Bart Scott, “Can’t Wait!”
8. Other thoughts on training?
Training Camp was awesome and the people of Cortland treated us like family. It was great to get away, but it was great to get back home and see my girls and sleep in my own bed.
More updates soon.
NFL Defensive Line Coach for New York Jets
New Year’s resolutions get us in the gym at the first of the year. Spring energizes us to get out there and get that bathing suit body ready. Summer has longer days and a variety of activities to keep us busy, active and fit.
Fall. Days get shorter. Weather changes. School starts back for some. The seasonal temptations begin starting with pumpkin spices. Little by little fitness gets pushed back and pushed back until one day you realize you have fallen off the fitness wagon.
The best way to combat falling out of fitness is to not let it happen to begin with. But in the event you do fall out of fitness, here are some tips and ideas to help you get back on track.
Set a goal. Think New Year’s resolution now. Want to lose weight? Run a 5k? Come up with a goal, it will give you something to work toward.
Find someone to hold you accountable. Friends, a coach, a personal trainer, find someone who will hold you accountable. Find someone who supports you and lifts you up when you are down. Find someone to work out with you; it’s hard to skip the gym when you are meeting someone there.
Get virtually inspired. You would be amazed what you can find online now. There are virtual coaches and personal trainers, online fitness challenges, even virtual races.
DIY. Can’t find a fitness challenge? Start one! Start a fitness challenge at work, school, among friends. Come up with prizes for meeting goals. Make it competitive and fun!
Try something new. Find a new workout. Run a different route. Try a new sport. Add some new songs to your iPod. Sometimes we do the same fitness routine over and over it just gets, boring. Change it up.
Watch Rocky. We’ve all done it at some point in time, watched a movie or an event and decided to get out there and get in shape. Think about a time that happened to you, and do it again.
Make good food choices. Your body is an engine. Don’t give it bad fuel. Look for healthy alternatives to fall’s temptations. Make it a challenge. Think of something sinful you have a hard time resisting, and create a healthy version of your own.
HAVE FUN. Bottom line you won’t stick to anything unless you are having fun.
Embrace fall and enjoy finding fitness again! You’ll be glad you did.
We recently received some great feedback from a new Coolibar customer after his trip to Taiwan. Cory expressed what we try to convey, he just does it much better. Cory’s note is below.
“I wanted to let you know that I recently purchased an XXL Blue Sky Sun Shirt on the recommendation of Tim Ferriss. I got it right before a trip to Taiwan. It was perfect.
I wore it during the hot, humid day to keep cool and protected from the sun.
I wore it to a semi-formal meeting where it fit in just fine.
I wore it on a boat between scuba dives.
I wore it on a scooter around the island of Lanyu after I got a little too much sun one day.
I wore it on the plane ride home because I was so comfy.
I never write letters about products, but I was compelled after the experience I had with this shirt. Thanks for making a great product.”
Cory H. Washington DC
About Cory Originally from Kentucky, Cory is an entrepreneur, a former officer in the Air Force and a high school basketball coach. He loves to travel! He once rode a bicycle from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. He is always up for a good old fashioned road trip in his truck…he lived out of it for two years while exploring the U.S. He also writes about music on his blog yobigbro.com.
Happy birthday to Coolibar! As we celebrate our 11th birthday we wanted to take a moment and reflect on our successes over the past year. 2012 has proven to be busier than ever with an updated catalog, exciting new designs and a growing list of customers. As we continue to evolve, know that we are resolute in our commitment to providing the highest quality sun protection. We want families to be healthy while enjoying their time outdoors. We thank you, our customers, for making 2012 a great year!
Highlights from 2012
Fresh New Designs – The first wave of products from our newest designer, Alicia Pizzo, became available to our customers. Our catalog hit with an exciting mix of new silhouettes and colors for the entire family.
Launched Sponsored Athlete Program – We called for applications to become a 2012 Coolibar Sponsored Athlete last winter, and we were astounded by the number of responses. There were so many remarkable applications that it was impossible to choose just 5 athletes, so we picked 10. Our athletes have continued to inspire throughout the season.
First Coolibar Sweepstakes – The first ever Coolibar-sponsored sweepstakes took place this past spring. One lucky winner (and her husband) won a week-long vacation to Honolulu, Hawaii. Coolibar provided airfare, accommodations and $500 worth of Coolibar sunwear.
Record Shipping Day– Memorial Day weekend was a record-breaker for Coolibar. Our warehouse shipped the greatest number of packages ever for one weekend. With record heat across the country, our customers were preparing for a SunAWARE summer.
Camp Discovery Donation– Through our outreach program Coolibar Cares, we were able to provide UPF 50+ sun hats to all campers that attended the American Academy of Dermatology’s Camp Discovery for young people with chronic skin conditions. A crew from Coolibar visited Camp Knutson in MN and distrubted Coolibar swim shirts, hats, and goggles.
Sun Safe Media Coverage– Media coverage on the important role sun protection plays in overall health, anti-aging and skin cancer prevention continued throughout the year. Coolibar had product on the Today Show, in the New York Times, O, the Oprah Magazine, Time.com and on countless blogs. As the public becomes educated on the need for sun protection and the innovative tools to do it, tanning will become a fad of the past.
Only people with light colored skin can get skin cancer—right? The truth is that anyone of any ethnic background is susceptible to all types of skin cancer including melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is in fact more common in Caucasians. When caught early and treated soon after, skin cancer is almost always curable. However, it’s more likely to be fatal in people of color because it’s usually detected at later stages.
Dermatologist Dr. Charles Crutchfield III, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in ethnic skin, is also concerned that people of color oftentimes believe they’re protected from skin cancer and that if a cancerous lesion develops, it’s not as recognizable. “Skin hue can affect the way lesions look,” Crutchfield says. “Things that appear red in white skin often look completely different in skin of color.” In the past, teachers generally demonstrated skin cancer cases on fair-skinned people, making it more challenging for physicians to recognize suspicious moles on darker skin.
People with darker skin tones do have more “natural” protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Cells in the outermost layer of skin called melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin and eyes their color. This pigmentation helps protect the skin against the sun’s ultraviolet rays that can lead to skin cancer and premature aging. “In African American skin, melanin provides a sun protection factor (SPF) approximately equivalent to 13.4, compared to 3.4 in white skin,” states the SCF.
“Pigmentation doesn’t give you a free pass,” says Crutchfield. “It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, anyone can get skin cancer.” Crutchfield also notes that even though pigmentation does offer some sun protection, that using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and broad-spectrum coverage is recommended for everyone. “I also recommend sun protective clothing and sun hats with a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) as it’s more effective and easier to use than sunscreen alone,” says Crutchfield. Crutchfield, along with other skin cancer prevention organizations, hope that ethnic groups will soon pick-up the message and start protecting themselves from the sun.
Cancer care in Tanzania is a great challenge to both the government and the citizens due to limited resources and facilities. Tanzania is increasingly facing a dual problem of communicable and chronic illnesses such as cancer. Those with albinism in Tanzania are especially suffering from skin cancer due to their sun sensitivity. The Tanzania Albino Society believes the total number of those with albinism in their region could be more than 150,000.
The East African Medical Assistance Foundation (EAMAF) has been assisting Tanzania with cancer care through Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) for many years, mainly training Radiologists who are now placed all over the country in public and private health facilities. Secondly they have help equip KCMC with diagnostic equipments and facilities. Despite contributions thus far, helping people with Skin Cancer prevention, especially for those with albinism, is paramount.
Global Health Ministries in Fridley, MN who arranges the safe arrival of the EAMAF supply containers in Africa provided a route to get approximately 800 Coolibar sun protective items into this area to assist with skin cancer prevention efforts. This effort was imperative to many as UVA and UVB rays contribute to skin aging, cataracts and skin cancer.
We at Coolibar wished to share the cheerful photos of when the donated product arrived! Also, a special thanks to our Coolibar colleague Ben Socwell for introducing Coolibar to these life changing organizations!
Photo album of presentation of Coolibar clothing and hat to Albino National Leadership and Member of Parliament in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania: