Sugar—the main ingredient in some of nature’s most tempting indulgences. When we consume it, our brain sends out pleasure sensors and signals the body, “I want more of that good stuff.” Most of us know too much sugar contributes to weight gain, tooth decay and other health conditions. So we resign ourselves to just one Snickers out of the Halloween bucket. However, despite our best intentions, many of us have a persistent “sweet tooth.” Now research suggests that sweet treats not only contribute to elevated blood sugar levels, those higher levels actually can cause pre-mature skin aging.
Foods with little-to-no nutritional benefits, like sugar-packed doughnuts, can actually damage the collagen and elastin that keep skin firm and youthful. The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Furthermore, board-certified Dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a world renowned healthy aging expert, advocates an anti-inflammatory diet. He asserts that clinical inflammation is the cause of aging and disease. One of the reasons inflammation occurs is from a rapid rise in blood sugar, which is why he recommends avoiding sugar and high-glycemic carbohydrates. Sugar not only increases body weight, it also triggers cellular inflammation in all organs, including the skin. This inflammation may lead to wrinkles, sagging and other signs of aging.
What are high-glycemic foods you may ask? Any carbohydrate has a certain level and is ranked on a scale from low to high. The lower the glycemic “index” the better, because high-glycemic carbs break down quickly during your body’s digestion process. This is a problem since this fast breakdown results in an immediate effect on blood sugar levels. High-glycemic culprits include pasta, white bread, white rice and potatoes, just to name a few.
Substitute bad sugars with sweet fruits like kiwi, peaches, pears, plums and cantaloupe. Turn to low glycemic index foods such as wholegrain breads and non starchy vegetables like spinach, asparagus, broccoli and cabbage. By incorporating fruits and vegetables, you’ll also be getting plenty of antioxidants to protect your skin and body.
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.
Manly men (and dermatologists) know that a good skin care routine can preserve youthfulness, reduce acne outbreaks and ingrown hairs, and promote general good health in addition to fighting skin cancer. Great looking skin will improve the way you look and feel and doesn’t require hours of grooming.
It’s been well documented that men take less interest in their skin health than women do. Consequently, as they age, men have more unprotected sun exposure and develop more skin cancers, including melanoma. That’s why it’s more important than ever for guys to be proactive and incorporate a daily skin care routine that includes sunscreen.
Men, follow these four simple steps for healthy glowing skin, no man make-up required.
1. Cleanse– You don’t have to wash your face with a harsh astringent. Harsh soaps strip off what’s called the acid mantle, a layer of oil that you’re supposed to have — it’s like protective cellophane. Plus, 7 percent of men are allergic to the artificial scents and chemicals in soaps. So use pH-balanced or gentle soap — soaps made with olive oil or peppermint or oatmeal.
2. Exfoliate– To keep your skin glowing try to exfoliate. Exfoliation sloughs off the dead skin cells, smoothes the skin’s texture, and promotes circulation. There are physical exfoliators (scrubs) which contain ingredients such as seaweed, ground apricot seeds, or some sort of granulation. Chemical exfoliators, typically a cream or in a cleanser, dissolve dead skin cells allowing your skin to breathe better. For the best results, exfoliate once to twice a week.
3. Moisturize– In the morning, a lot of men splash on alcohol-based astringents, colognes, and aftershaves. This is okay and gives you a nice, bracing sting, but there’s no health benefit, and they can dry your face out. Use a cream-based moisturizer that contains the most important ingredient in any unguent: sunblock. Then at night, smear on a moisturizer that contains antioxidants, which actually rejuvenate your skin while you sleep.
4. Protect – The best way to prevent signs of aging is to use a moisturizer with a sunscreen included or to use a sunscreen after you’ve applied your daily moisturizer. Using a sunscreen is one of the most important things you can do for your skin, as wrinkles and age spots are caused and worsened by sun exposure. For the maximum benefit, use a braod spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB.
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
Meet Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey. An Explorer for National Geographic, Dr. Lindsey is a native Hawaiian and the first Polynesian Explorer and female Fellow in the history of the National Geographic Society. She is an internationally recognized expert in the emergent field of cultural intelligence — and she chooses Coolibar for her sun protection needs.
“In late June I boarded a deep-sea voyaging canoe in Vanuatu to set sail for the Solomon Islands. The 16-member crew and I hoped to make the journey in under a week. But like Life, things don’t always go as planned. In this case, we lost our wind for almost three days and slowly slipped into Honiara Harbor after 10 days at sea.
It would be easy to romanticize a languid voyage across the South Pacific on a 74-foot double-hulled canoe. But the truth was that we bobbed like a cork on the ocean for days with few places to escape the sweltering heat and unrelenting blaze of the sun.
As an Explorer for the National Geographic, I’m often in remote regions of the world. Preparation for my travels can at times feel overwhelming. From malaria to sea sickness, food poisoning to snake bites… I do my best to cover my bases but it’s not easy. When it comes to UV protection, however, I no longer worry about how to prepare. Coolibar has made this part of my life a breeze…no pun intended.
Before I discovered Coolibar I spent an inordinate amount of time searching the internet for products that would provide the best possible sun protection. The fact that Coolibar also creates beautiful clothing is an added bonus.
My travel is extreme, I know. Yet, it affords me the opportunity to test-drive what’s on the market. And, believe me, I put a lot of products to the test! I need to know what works then I count on them completely. And because my travel is precise, I don’t have a spare ounce to pack anything but the best.
Coolibar’s long sleeve shirts, jackets, hat, and long pants proved indispensible.
My skin and I thank you for creating such amazing products!”
Michael Hubsmith is executive vice president with Coolibar, and had been actively developing sun protection products for over a decade. He recently sat down with SunAWARE for a feature in their new magazine Perfect Skin Protection to give his take on what he calls “the second generation” of sun protection products. Here is a snippet of our favorite pieces from the article below.
So, Michael, what do you mean when you say “second generation” sun protection products?
New products are being created around the world. Some are wonderfully simple and highly effective. A flap attached to a beach umbrella to provide full shade from the side or a glove with a sleeve to protect the left arm while driving, are two clear examples of innovative problem solving.
The most exciting new product I’ve seen recently was a low lawn chair with a kind of canopy over the top. This is exciting as it meets the need of so many parents and fans at their kids’ soccer games or swim meets. It’s also exciting as it shows just how far the thinking has come about sun protection products. I’ve heard friends complain about roasting in the sun during these kinds of events, and this chair helps solve the problem. Some of them even have flaps in front that help when facing west.
What are most important trends in sun protection clothes?
Most importantly, sun protection clothes have gone mainstream.
When made well, the protection offered is completely safe, consistent in its level of protection, not messy, and ultimately less expensive than relying on sunscreen for full body protection. Consumers are beginning to understand that.
It’s exciting that the general population understands that there is a specific clothing category for sun protective garments where ten years ago they did not. It is much more main stream now. This is a significant shift.
And you see the change everywhere. More people are wearing wide brimmed hats as opposed to baseball caps at sporting events, for example, I saw caddies at the PGA Championship wearing wide-brimmed hats (3”brims all around).
Kids are wearing rash guards (swim shirts) as fashion statements – like a pop cultural garment – just being cool – not really caring about sun protection, although someone else may be doing the caring for them. This is a great step forward.
And, again, most of the manufacturers in the sun protective clothing category are conscientious. They test their materials and you can rely upon their labels.
With all the new sun protection products on the market and all the new product claims being made, are there any that you would suggest consumers avoid?
Well, I’d say a small bikini style bathing suit made with protective fabric is not really what consumers should look for when thinking about sun protection. I also hesitate to recommend the products that claim you can add chemicals to your wash to make your clothes protective.
The biggest issue or mistake that people make is that they believe UV protection comes only by blocking UV rays. So the test they recommend is to hold a fabric up to light to see if any light passes through. This is absolutely the wrong test because UVR is invisible and does not pass through fabric the same way.
Fabrics that claim to be sun protective have been tested using laboratory equipment. Most combine blockers and diffusers to protect you from UV rays. So the chemicals added into laundry may block some, but the individual will never know what the UPF rating is because they can’t test it.
Blocking UVR is not like adding a water repellent. Without testing, you have no idea if it will work. So if a person is really looking for UPF clothing, or sun protective clothing, they should get it from a company that has guaranteed testing of the material and rated it accordingly, and not try to do it themselves.
Finding stylish protection can prove challenging. Additionally, many sun hats on the market today do not protect your neck, cheeks, nose, and mouth areas from the sun’s UV rays. Devra Wathen (pictured left) is the founder and CEO of Escaping the Sun In Style™, an innovative hat company based out of Hawaii. ETSIS hats offer a smart and sophisticated option for those looking for ultimate sun protection, while staying in style. We decided to find out more about Devra and her company that’s changing the way people view sun protection.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a born and bred Midwest girl who moved to Colorado to “find my fortune”. I enjoyed a great active, outdoorsy lifestyle there and eventually started a successful leasing company, which is how I met my husband Chuck, a real estate developer. After we got married, Chuck landed some projects in Honolulu, Hawaii and we jumped at the chance to move here (who wouldn’t!). The glorious sun and paradise were perfect. Needless to say, I spent my days drinking in the golden sunlight, driving back and forth in my convertible to work, being super outdoorsy, enjoying the fabulous beaches. We’ve been here since then. I am semi-retired but came out of it when I began my work in Sun Protection with ETSIS.
How long has ESTIS been in business? What inspired you to start this company?
ETSIS started three years ago, but has only started to really gain its legs this year. Being a sun protection company, it was born from my own personal need for better sun protection.
About 7 years ago, I started noticing bad spots on the left side of my face and arms. I went to my derm and he told me it was basal cell carcinoma, and after removing it, he told me that I needed to be more wary of the sun if I didn’t want to end up with more aging, spots, or worst of all, melanoma! My derm told me all my days of being in the car and lying out in the sun had caught up with me and I needed to be super diligent with protecting myself—especially the left side of my face and arms, with all the time spent in the car. A long quest to find the perfect sun hat that protected my face and neck, looked good and worked whether I was driving, walking the dog or just out at the beach turned up fruitless. So I just started pinning towels and napkins into the brim of my favorite Coolibar sun hat to protect against the sun.
Um, this did not sit well with my husband, who said I looked like a bag lady trolling around the neighborhood, and would I please utilize my fashion sense and figure something else out? A girl CANNOT just let that slide! So, I got to work and ETSIS was born after some trial and error. My girl friends loved it, one of them introduced me to a representative of the world’s largest hat manufacturer and the rest is history (so to speak)!
What’s different about ESTIS hats versus other sun hats?
Where do I start?
ETSIS hats are like your traditional and fashion forward UPF sun hats, with the twist that they can be worn five different ways. Our SunEscape Protection Panels are like luxuriously soft scarves that snap into the inner crown of each ETSIS Hat, allowing you to tie the hat four ways. If you want to protect yourself, wrap the panels around your face, back around your neck and tie in front…add a pair of fabulous sunglasses and you look like a 50s screen goddess! That’s called our Signature Wrap. You can also do an off the shoulder tie to keep your hands free for when you don’t need to wear your hat but don’t want to carry it. You can tie the panels behind your head in a cute knot to keep it from flying off your head in wind, too. Lastly, for our customers with medical conditions, you can pull the panels up and over your cheeks to cover your mouth and nose in a clinical wrap to protect you from airborne pollutants. If you don’t need the panels at all, snap them out of the hat, put them in your handbag and wear the hat as a basic sun hat.
The protection panels keep you warm in winter, but also wick away heat and moisture when it’s warm, so they can be worn year-round! And they’re rated UPF50+ so you get maximum UVA/UVB protection 365 days a year.
Basically, our hat takes a regular hat and transforms it into the ultimate accessory with sun protection built in! ETSIS hats are versatile, functional and fashion-forward options for all occasions and all types of activities. What sun hat can actually say that?
We’ve heard rumors that you’ve started working with SunAWARE. Is this true and if so how are you working together?
Yes, that’s true. SunAWARE approached me and asked me to write a feature article on the growing trend of sun protection, how it developed and where it’s going. I’m not sure if I can say more yet, but you’ll be the first to know when the project launches!
On a personal level, how do you style your ETSIS hat? Where do you wear it?
I personally wear the hat in our Signature Wrap style (shown in video below) the most. I love feeling glamorous like a 50s movie star. I usually wear it with a fantastic Coolibar UPF sun shirt or jacket, cute leggings and a cute little skirt, my signature bangles, and of course, a pair of fabulous sunglasses (gotta protect the eyes, too!).
I wear my hats EVERYWHERE. From running errands, going to the beach, walking the dog, going shopping. Anytime I go outside, I put on sun protection—I wear UPF clothing 365 days a year. Since our hats can be worn 5 different ways, I’m not trapped into only being able to wear my hat to some places, but I can wear it wherever I go. Except for black tie parties or fancy dinners – I like showing off my hairstyles for those.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Since the sun’s UV rays are responsible for 80% of our skin’s aging, ETSIS hats are truly an essential component of an anti-aging beauty routine. By protecting our skin, we can help prevent premature aging as well as skin cancer. Our hats are a stylish option for women who can’t always wear sunscreens, or for those who don’t want to have to reapply ever couple of hours.
And they’re soon available worldwide through Coolibar. Look for ETSIS next week at coolibar.com.
Coolibar is all for spending days in the sun, protected of course, and fall is the perfect time to get outdoors with your family and spend quality time together. We’ve compiled a list of “10 must do activities” this fall that will create lasting family memories and get your kids some fresh air.
10 Must Do Family Activities This Fall
1. Collect colorful leaves. Search your yard or neighborhood for the most colorful leaves and gather them in a bag. Here are a couple of crafty ideas from Disney Family Fun to use the leaves. 1) Make a sun catcher. Using a low setting, iron a leaf between two pieces of waxed paper with a sheet of plain paper on top. Hang in a sunny window. 2) Preserve a leaf. Bring a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part glycerin (available in most pharmacies) to a boil in a saucepan (adults only). Pour the solution into a heat-proof container. Drop in a few brightly-colored leaves and gently submerge with a wooden spoon. Keep the container in a cool, dark place until there is a slight change in the leaves’ tints. Then remove them and blot dry with a paper towel. Instead of turning brown and crumbly, the leaves will retain their brilliant hues.
2. Pine cone walk. Take a walk around your neighborhood and collect pine cones. Tell the kids to find the biggest pine cones or the ones that aren’t broken. Place the pine cones in a bowl or basket for a home fall decoration that will last through the holiday season. You can also buy non-toxic metallic paints from your local craft store to color the pine cones.
3. Play name that leaf. Have the kids collect unusual leaves. Grab a tree guidebook from your local library to bring along and identify the types of trees the leaves were taken from.
4. Have fun raking. Gather leaves into a huge pile and jump in! Remove twigs from the pile and make sure there are enough leaves before the kids dive in.
5. Stuff a scarecrow. Dig out an old shirt and overalls and stuff with hay or leaves until firm. Complete the scarecrow with a pumpkin head.
6. Venture to your local orchard or farm. Head off for a day of apple picking, pumpkin carving, hayrides, corn mazes and other fun activities. Many farms have a picnic area you can all gather for lunch as well. If you pick apples, come home and have the kids help you make some homemade apple crisp (adults cut apples, kids mix ingredients).
7. Search for state parks and plan for a hike or bike ride. Look out for wildlife and occasionally stop for family photos.
8. Picnic on the beach. The beach is breezy at this time, but isn’t crowded like in the summer. The ocean or lake becomes the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon. Pack books and sand toys for the kids.
9. Tour the town. Grab a tourist brochure and take in the local sites. Snap pictures, buy treats and meander through the neighborhood shops.
10. Create a new fall tradition. Get outdoors, enjoy the fall weather and make new memories – you belong in the sun!
Even though it’s fall, you still need to protect your family from nature’s elements such as the sun and insects. Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and wear sun protective clothing! Have fun.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a good time to remember the many people affected by the disease. Except for skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, but it can be successfully treated when found early. While no one has full control over whether he or she gets breast cancer, there are simple steps you can take to help reduce your risk.
1. Know your risk
Talk to your family to learn about your family health history. Then speak with your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer.
2. Get screened
Have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk. Ask your health care provider which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk.
3. Know what is normal for you
See your health care provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:lump, hard knot or thickening; swelling, warmth, redness or darkening; change in the size or shape of the breast; dimpling or puckering of the skin; itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple; pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast; nipple discharge that starts suddenly; or new pain in one spot that doesn’t go away.
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
Maintain a healthy weight and add exercise into your routine. Also, limit your alcohol intake.
Coolibar also wishes to remind you that as part of a healthy and aware lifestyle, to protect yourself from the sun and check your skin regularly for irregular moles using the ABCDE’s of melanoma from the American Academy of Dermatology. Prevention and early detection are key factors in reducing your risk of developing skin cancers.
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).