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2014: The Year to Make it Happen

Coolibar makes it happen in 2014

At the turn of the New Year, did you vow that 2014 would be the year that your dreams and goals would become reality? Perhaps your wish list included a travel destination, a positive health habit, a new adventure or an endeavor you’ve always dreamed about. You’ve likely also heard that once you start, it takes 21 days to break or form a new habit.

So here we are, 21-plus days into 2014. How’s it going?

If you answered: “Weellll…” then take heart. Research now shows that achieving a longer-term goal will require more than that first 21-day cycle. Instead, it takes, on average, from 66 to more than 200 days to “Make It Happen.”

If you find this discouraging, take heart again. To turn a dream into reality, it helps to keep in mind these three steps:

1) Define the Why. Figure out why the goal is important to you. Why is it important to achieve the dream? Who will it impact? Why do you want to make this impact? Figuring out why your resolution is important will encourage you to make it happen!

2) Take Action. Remember the adage that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? Reassess your goals and plan as you move forward with each step on your journey. Does your goal still ring true? Does it still satisfy the “Why?” Does it still make sense as planned, or do you need to make an adjustment?  Take another step, and re-commit to the work required.

3) Visualize Your Success. Draw on the experience of previously successful models. There are good examples all around us: people that have turned a dream into reality. See “the win” in your mind’s eye.

The new year is underway. Take the time this year to commit to your dreams, health, and goals – to program a new you. Speaking of new, you can start showing off your athletic and sun safe prowess now by signing up to be a 2014 Coolibar sponsored athlete. Share your favorite sport, your inspiration and your goals as you achieve them – and wear the latest Coolibar gear! Deadline for applications is Sunday, January 26.

While you’re at it, check out what the new you can wear from our new collection of sun protective clothing for spring. Coolibar wishes you the courage, health and happiness to Make It Happen in 2014!

 

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Expert Rx Videos

Treating Dry Winter Skin

With record low temps across the US this week, it’s the perfect time to discuss caring for dry winter skin. Cold weather, dry air and low humidity can cause problems for your normal skincare routine. It’s important to take extra care of your skin this time of year so we’ve compiled a few tips to make it easier.

Coolibar medical advisor Dr. Jaime Davis of Uptown Dermatology in Minneapolis knows the effects cold, dry air can have on skin. She recommends turning down the heat on your shower and using a fragrance free ointment or cream during the winter, instead of a lotion. Davis also suggests keeping the moisturizer in the shower, to seal in moisture. “Keep it right in the shower and sort of squeegee off the excess water, but put your moisturizer on immediately after you turn the shower water off.” This technique will help retain moisture in your skin.

WebMD had some more helpful hints to help keep skin moisturized and healthy.

  • Always wash your face before bed. Cleansing at night is important.
  • Use a soap free cleanser, they are made of milder ingredients and will prevent dry skin.
  • Skip scrubbing your skin. Believe it or not, scrubbing can irritate your skin, making it even worse!
  • Pat yourself dry. Rubbing can cause abrasion to your skin.
  • Moisturize daily. Moisturize 2-3 times a day to prevent dry skin.

Winter, the dry skin season, is tough on your skin but taking better care of yourself will make it a little more manageable. Goodbye dry, itchy skin!

Read more Coolibar tips on treating dry skin. Shop Coolibar Moisturizers.

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Expert Rx

Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays are here. I know this because of the influx of cookies, candy and deluxe gourmet gift baskets from Harry & David that arrive daily at the Coolibar office. Most of the year, I can contain my sweet tooth, but I have a difficult time during the very special holiday season. And the office is just the start, there’s still 2 weeks of cheesy appetizers, creamy eggnog and cranberry cocktails to contend with.

So, I thought it would be helpful for all of us to have a few tips to help maintain our weight over the holiday. I looked to WebMD for holiday survival suggestions and they came through with a great list. I realize it’s long, but there are a lot of really great ideas here.

  • Keep up your regular physical activity and make sure to get in a good workout on the day of the party or event. NO excuses!
  • Be super-diligent on non-party days by sticking closely to your eating plan.
  • Eat a small, nutritious snack before leaving for the party. This helps to take the edge off of your appetite and gives you willpower to resist hors d’oeuvres, saving your calories for the meal.
  • Offer to bring a healthy dish, one you know you can enjoy without lots of extra calories.
  • Ladies, carry a clutch handbag that will keep one hand occupied, reducing the urge to nibble.
  • Ladies and gents, wear a comfortable yet tight outfit that will not allow you to overindulge.
  • Watch your alcohol calories — they add up fast. Alternate alcoholic beverages with non-calorie beverages such as sparkling water.
  • Look over all the food offerings before you decide what you are going to eat. If there are foods that you love but know are decadently rich, just sample a tasting portion.
  • Use a smaller plate (the dessert plate is good). This tip can help you reduce the total amount you eat as long as you don’t go back for seconds.
  • Eat slowly and savor every bite.
  • Don’t linger around the food table! Move to another location that is less tempting.
  • Always sit down while you eat.
  • Portion control and moderation are the keys to success.

Happy holidays from Coolibar and remember to eat responsibly. And if you blow your diet, don’t beat yourself up, just get right back on track, so you can start off the New Year looking and feeling great.

Got a sweet tooth? Check out this Quiz: Do You Know How to Do Dessert Damage Control?

– Jennifer Annett
Coolibar Blog Contributor

Portion control and moderation are key.

 

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Expert Rx

Getting Proactive about Breast Cancer Prevention

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Remembering this famous quote by Benjamin Franklin is a great way to head into October, which is officially National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Except for skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, but it can be successfully treated when found early. While this month is dedicated to raising funds for lifesaving research, it’s also furthering awareness so more women (and men) can detect breast cancer early on, and even better, lead a healthy, preventative lifestyle .

Know your risk. Being a woman, the older you get, the more your risk increases. Genetics also play a role as about 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary according to the American Cancer Society. The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. You can learn more about your risk by speaking with your family about medical histories along with your physician. Genetic testing is also an option, but should carefully be considered.

Have a professional exam. If you’re at average risk, the Susan G. Komen Foundation urges women to have a professional screening every three years starting at age twenty, and every year starting at age 40. Routine professional exams are crucial in detecting breast cancers in early stages. Talking with your healthcare team will also help determine when you should be seen.

Listen to your body, perform a self-check. While the signs may differ for every woman, if something new appears: lump, swelling, warmth, redness, dimpling, chronic pain or anything out of the ordinary, see your doctor immediately. Get to know what’s normal for you.

Create good habits. Leading a healthy lifestyle is the most natural way to reduce cancer risk. The Mayo Clinic suggests limiting alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day, and refraining from smoking. Also, work to stay within your target weight through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and exercise. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.

Avoid or limit exposure to chemical and environmental factors. Avoid exposure to radiation such as medical imaging and environmental pollution like gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust. Limit sun exposure and avoiding tanning beds, as both can lead to skin cancer. If you’ve had either melanoma, or breast cancer, you’re at increased risk to developing the other according to a study cited by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Check your skin regularly for abnormal moles/spots. Wearing sun protective clothing, hats, sunscreen and sunglasses will also reduce your risk.

Get your pink on, share this message and help raise awareness!

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Expert Rx SunAWARE

Caring for psoriasis in the summer

If you’re one of the 7.5 million Americans living with psoriasis—the most common autoimmune disease in the country—summer can be a blessing and a challenge. Psoriasis often improves with warm weather, but many people with psoriasis are also self-conscious about showing their skin.

While symptoms of psoriasis may improve due to extra sunlight and increased humidity, it’s important to make sure psoriasis doesn’t flare. Here are some tips from the National Psoriasis Foundation to help keep your skin healthy.

Limited sun exposure

Sunlight can be beneficial for psoriasis. As with any treatment regimen, be sure to talk with your doctor as they can recommend the appropriate amount of sunlight. They can also caution you about how the sunlight may affect your current psoriasis treatments. Some medications may be inactivated by sunlight, while others may make you more susceptible to sunburns and side effects.

In addition to skin cancer risk, sunburn can worsen existing psoriasis or cause new plaques, known as the Koebner effect. Avoid overexposure and wear sunscreen on areas without psoriasis. Experts suggest starting with just a few minutes of sun at a time and gradually increasing exposure if your skin tolerates it. Look for water and sweat-resistant, fragrance-free sunscreens and wear sun-protective clothing when outdoors for longer periods of time. Read more about sunlight and psoriasis.

Beware of bug bites

Bug bites and poison oak/ivy can also trigger psoriasis. To protect from bug bites, cuts and scrapes that could worsen psoriasis, apply an insect repellent with little or no DEET. Covering up can help, too. Loose, cotton clothing is best to avoid skin irritation from sweating or itchy fibers.

Swimming

For many psoriasis patients, salt water and swimming pools can soften skin and plaques. Chlorine can dry out skin, so be sure to shower immediately after swimming with chlorine-removing shampoos and soaps. Apply moisturizer to damp skin to lock in moisture, and try thick creams and ointments, which are more hydrating than lotions. Be careful with hot water and long soaks in hot tubs as they can increase itching and irritation.

Get more information on managing psoriasis in the summer at www.psoriasis.org. Have specific questions? Contact a health educator at education@psoriasis.org.

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.

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Expert Rx

Dermatologic skin care for your 20s, 30s…60s and beyond

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis, M.D., F.A.A.D. of Uptown Dermatology in Minneapolis talks dermatologic care for your skin at every age.

Skin cancer is a concern across all ages and is being seen more and more in younger people, especially among those who have ever used tanning beds.

Excessive ultraviolet light exposure, natural or artificial, not only increases skin cancer risk, but also prematurely ages the skin. It does so by breaking down the skin’s collagen and elastin causing wrinkling.

Ultraviolet light also stimulates pigment production (tanning), which is the skin’s way of trying to protect its deeper layers from the damaging effects of UV rays (burning). This pigment can often be blotchy and irregular.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see that many skin conditions typically thought of as “age related” are actually “sun damage” related. And while sun damage typically increases with age, giving some truth to the idea that blotchy, wrinkled skin is ‘old’ skin, sun protected skin will stay younger looking even into old age. Proof; take a peek at the sun protected skin of the buttocks and compare this to the face or forearms. The skin is the same age, but has had vastly different sun exposure. Hence the sun exposed skin seems “aged” in comparison.

Now let’s look at some conditions that can affect your skin over the years. Be sure to visit a Board Certified Dermatologist if you have concerns about any of the following;

20s – 30s 

Melasma: This blotchy brown spots on upper lip, cheeks, and forehead is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy” due to hormonal influences on pigment production. This can happen during pregnancy or while on birth control pills. Sun protection is an essential part of treatment which can also include skin lightening agents such as topical hydroquinone and retinoid creams. For stubborn melasma, laser treatments can be helpful in addition to topical medications.

Acne Rosacea: Best known as “adult acne” this can involve breakouts and facial flushing in response to triggers such as sun exposure, overheating, spicy foods, red wine, and stress. Daily sun protection helps minimize redness as does recognizing and minimizing triggers. Your doctor has several treatment options if these initial steps are not enough to stop the breakouts and flushing.

40s – 50s

Fine lines & Wrinkles: Ultraviolet light slowly breaks down collagen and elastin fibers and reduces the skin’s elasticity. Sun protection is key to preventing this, but use of topical vitamin C, peptides and retinoids can be helpful. Resurfacing treatments such as chemical peels or fractional laser peels are also effective.

Expression Lines: Over the years expression lines can become etched into the skin by the repeated movements of facial muscles. These are easily remedied by injecting small amounts of purified botulinum toxin protein to soften the pull of the muscles. Chronic sun damage tends to exaggerate these expression lines due to the loss of the sun damaged skin’s elasticity.

Man with sun damage to one half of his face due to his occupation as a driver. It shows how the sun damage ages the skin, not just age!

60s – 70s 

Brown Spots: Freckles & spotty discoloration of the skin are caused by long term sun exposure. These are sometimes called ‘liver spots’ due to their brown color. Sunscreen is the best prevention, but treatments similar to those mentioned for Melasma can be very helpful.

Dryness: The hormonal changes during and after menopause can result in reduced facial oil production and dryness of the skin. Cream based moisturizers rather than lotions are most helpful.

Facial Volume Loss: Over time, the apples of the cheeks can lose their roundness, especially in slender women. The sunken facial appearance can be corrected with injections of volumizing fillers, such as Sculptra or Radiesse. These fillers stimulate collagen production under the skin restoring a natural fullness.

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.

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade Expert Rx

Are gel manicures Safe?

Going to the nail salon seems like a harmless act; however, dermatologists are concerned that the newest nail trend, gel manicures, and the UV machines used during the process may contribute to skin cancer and hand aging.

The process of a gel manicure includes placing your hands in a machine that emits UVA for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. UVA rays are proven to contribute to skin aging and skin cancer. According to a segment that aired this morning on the Today Show, most customers receive a gel manicure twice a month on average. In the short-term gel manicures prevent nails from splitting and look great. In the long run, dermatologists say regular customers may be looking at aged hands and possible skin cancers down the road unless customers take skin protection measures.

Here are a few precautions you can take before heading to the salon to protect your hands and skin as much as possible:

Coolibar UPF 50+ Fingerless Gloves block 98% of UVA and UVB rays

1. Wear UV protective gloves:  Wearing UPF 50+ fingerless gloves can protect your hands from over-exposure to UV light.  Regular cotton gloves may still allow UV to reach the skin. If you opt to make your own fingerless gloves without UV protective material, use sunscreen underneath.

2. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed fingertips: Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Have the nail artist apply sunscreen to your hands instead of lotion. Bring along a tube of sunscreen that contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Both ingredients provide physical UV protection that blocks UV instantly, unlike chemical sunscreens that are absorbed by the skin and can take up to 30 minutes to protect.

3. Routinely check skin for changes around and under your nail beds: Skin cancer is preventable in many cases, and when caught early, it is highly treatable. If you spot something unusual, seek advice from a dermatologist.

Watch “Nail safety: Do’s and don’ts of gel manicures”.

Shop for Coolibar Fingerless Gloves

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Expert Rx What's Hot

“Vampire face-lift”: an eerie Hollywood anti-aging trend

After the Academy Awards Sunday evening, local Minneapolis ABC news aired a segment on the “vampire facelift” as certificates for this new Hollywood anti-aging treatment were provided to all Oscar attendees. From the eerie yet romanticized nickname, one might picture their skin looking as flawless as Kristen Stewart (pictured left), who plays vampire Bella in Breaking Dawn – Part 2.

The procedure isn’t surgical, but rather, a patient’s blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge so platelet rich plasma separates and rises to the top.  Then, it’s mixed with filler and injected into the patient’s face.

Doctors performing the procedure hope to stimulate new collagen production. With age, collagen production slows and cell structures weaken, thus skin gets thinner, is easier to damage and skin sags and wrinkles.

The procedure takes half an hour, but downtime lasts up to four days. Some patients opting for the “vampire face-lift” prefer the idea of using their own blood rather than a neurotoxin or synthetic filler.

Introduced in 2009, this system, called Selphyl, is used by approximately 350 physicians and clinics nationwide according to the manufacturer Aesthetic Factors. However, some doctors are hesitant to offer the procedure. Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Jess Prischmann said, “I just don’t think that it’s been time tested,” during her interview with local Minneapolis ABC station. She does not offer the “vampire face-lift” to her patients.

Dr. Phil Haeck, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said in The New York Times, “There are no scientific studies [on the effectiveness], only personal attestations.”  The “vampire face-lift” ranges from about $800 to $2,400 hundred dollars, depending on the patient’s needs and the physician providing the procedure.

If this procedure sounds scary to you, consider the safe anti-aging option – sun protection!   

How do you feel about this anti-aging trend? Let us know on Facebook.

Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kristen_Stewart_7,_2012.jpg

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Expert Rx

Sugar and Food Addiction: How to Stop Caving to the Craving

Limiting sugar intake is no simple task. Giving it up all together seems like mission impossible. Last month we revealed why refined sugar is harmful to our skin and body in the blog post “The Not-So-Sweet Truth: Sugar & pre-mature skin aging”. Now, Dr. Pamela Peeke, an internationally recognized expert, physician, and scientist of nutrition and fitness and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Hunger Fix: The Three Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction” will tell you how to “trick” your brain into seeing that yogurt and blueberries is far more rewarding than a family size candy bar.

“For years I have listened to men and women who have experienced what they describe as a real addiction to refined (white) sugar in foods they eat— pastries, candies, desserts,” says Dr. Peeke.  “They have found that ingesting even one serving will lead to a binge.”

Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

While sugar “addiction” may never fully subside, Dr. Peeke has some suggestions to help minimize cravings. “Not all sugars are the same,” says Dr. Peeke. “The worst ones are refined, processed sugars and they’re usually white – table sugar, white rice, white pasta, white bread… You can never have just one serving of this stuff. Your brain has attached such reward to having a sweet something, that you’ll always over eat it. Instead, avoid it.”

While it may be too hard to cut our sugars all-together, you can substitute refined sugars with natural sugars. “Natural sugars (or healthy carbs) are primarily derived from plants, have lots of satisfying fiber (that’ll fill you up the right way and keep you regular), and include whole grains, veggies, fruits and beans,” says Dr. Peeke… “If you feel you have an addictive situation, I would steer clear of refined sugars and substitute with healthy natural sugars instead. It will take you about a week or so to make the taste switch and a month to really effect a longer term change. Reward yourself not with a moment of fake bliss after devouring refined sugar, but with new energy, a leaner body and a satisfaction greater than any lump of sugar can ever provide you.

More on “The Hunger Fix: The Three Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction” www.drpeeke.com

Take the Food Addiction Quiz: http://www.drpeeke.com/PopQuiz.htm . The Hunger Fix lays out a science-based three-stage plan that shows how to break addiction to False Fixes and replace them with healthier rewards. Fun fitness activities, customized meal plans, and delicious, satisfying recipes are designed to trigger the specific neurochemical cascade that stimulates your body’s reward system, reclaims your hijacked brain, and supports your lifelong recovery. Energizing Healthy Fixes such as meditating, having sex, writing your own blog, or going for a walk on the beach— even laughing—quickly replace the junk food, couch time, and other self-destructive habits that can leave you unhappy and overweight.

Photo credit: Eric Gibson

Resources:
http://forums.webmd.com/3/diet-exchange/forum/716
http://www.empowher.com/healthy-eating/content/truth-about-food-addiction-dr-pam-peeke-and-michelle-king-robson
http://blogs.webmd.com/pamela-peeke-md/2009/08/sugar-addiction.html

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Expert Rx Parenting

Dr. George on eczema: a common childhood condition

Dr. Manju George - Pediatric Dermatology West Palm Beach

We asked Coolibar medical advisor Pediatric Dermatologist Dr. Manju Elizabeth George MD, FAAD of Pediatric Dermatology of the Palm Beaches to share some information with us on childhood eczema.  Her response is below.

“When we think about baby’s skin, most of us envision soft, smooth skin unaffected by the sun, chemicals and other harmful substances. New parents often come to me in a panic, because their child’s skin is covered in a strange rash or bumps. It’s important to be aware that there are a handful of very common pediatric skin conditions that can be easily treated.”

“One such skin condition is called atopic dermatitis (AD), which is more commonly referred to as eczema (pronounced “EK-zema). In fact, AD affects nearly 10% of all infants and children. Literature and data have taught us the eczema is skin barrier defect. The exact cause is not known, but AD results from a combination of family heredity and a variety of conditions in everyday life that triggers the red, itchy rash.”

typical mild eczema

“Atopic dermatitis can be challenging to treat and education is of upmost importance. I always take the time to make sure I am educating parents on good skin care. Children with eczema are shown to sleep less and miss more school. This condition does not just affect children but the parents as well.”

“If you are worried your child may have eczema there are a few signs to look for.”

  • Time of Onset – it usually occurs within baby’s 1st year up to age 5 and tends to reappear
  • Itching – AD is very itchy, much of the skin damage comes from uncontrollable scratching
  • Rash Location – in babies, it usually starts on the face, elbows and knees. It may spread to involve all areas of the body. Later in childhood the rash is typically found in the elbow and knee folds but can appear on hands, feet scalp or bend the hears.

“Treatment for AD includes emollients such as petrolatum based products or creams. Lotions are not rich enough and often have a net drying effect on AD skin. Topical steroids, called corticosteroids, are cortisone like medications used in creams or ointments prescribed by your doctor. These medications can be very helpful and can calm the inflamed skin. They come in a variety of potencies and must be used with caution and supervision as there are some side effects associated with them, including thinning of the skin.”

“Since many of the products and prescriptions used in atopic dermatitis patients can cause photosensitivity, the use of sun protection for children with atopic dermatitis is recommended. If you are concerned that your child has eczema or some other skin condition, make an appointment to see your dermatologist or health care professional. They can help assess the problem, put your mind at ease and get your little one on their way to healthy skin.”

Manju Elizabeth George MD, FAAD
Triple Board certified in Pediatrics, Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology
Pediatric Dermatology of the Palm Beaches

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.

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