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Only Skin Deep

Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types® (FIRST) member Cynthia carries a message so full of hope, it transcends the label of ichthyosis—offering inspiration to anyone who is challenged with a physical difference. Ichthyosis is a family of genetic mutations of the skin characterized by dry, scaling skin that may be thickened or very thin, and most forms of the disorder are rare. Each year, more than 16,000 babies are born with some form of ichthyosis and it affects people of all ages, races, and gender. Cynthia’s belief: relationships, compassion, and her laugh are among the many things that define her. Not her skin. Read Cynthia’s story.

One of the challenges in learning to live with skin that is affected by lamellar ichthyosis has been to develop an understanding that I am not innately a flawed person. Because ichthyosis is so visible, it can feel like a brand of some deeper disorder. But it is not. It is simply a disorder of the skin and probably only a failure of an enzyme or two.

When I was born in 1950, lamellar ichthyosis was poorly understood. I endured many painful experiences. I was hospitalized for a month of treatment trials as an infant. I had all my hair cut off as a third grader to try a treatment on a nearly bare scalp. As a grade-schooler, I was kicked out of a public swimming pool while taking lessons with my neighborhood friends. As a teenager, a hair dresser with whom I had an appointment refused to cut my hair once she saw my scalp.

Nearly everywhere I went people asked “What’s wrong with you? What happened to you? Were you burned?” I remember well the sense of embarrassment and shame that I was different. I assumed that the something wrong with me was way more than skin deep.

Thankfully I was also around people who knew that there was much more to me and to life than my skin. My family, nuclear and extended, my teachers, and others loved me for the normal, complete person that I was and helped me put ichthyosis in its proper place in my life. My healing continued as I got married, had wonderful children, worked in and out of our home, pursued my hobbies and developed a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

It was God who showed me it’s never too late to have your dreams come true when He brought me my first horse at age 52, satisfying a lifelong longing for a horse of my own. My husband and I cherish our relationships with each other, our sons and their beloveds, our friends, our horse and cats, and other animals we come in contact with. We enjoy physical activity and being out in nature. I also love to sing and to paint in watercolor.

I understand the courage it takes for anyone with a visible difference to leave the house and participate fully in life, and I admire them. A person is interesting when they engage wholeheartedly in activities and relationships that they value. Having a skin condition is irrelevant to most of that.

Recently I was talking with a surgeon a couple days before he was going to operate on my spine. I wanted to alert him to the condition of the skin on my back so he wouldn’t be surprised at the time of the surgery. I was pleased that without thinking too much I said, “The skin on my back is affected with lamellar ichthyosis. You won’t have to do anything special with it during surgery.” To me that’s different than saying “I have ichthyosis,” or “I was born with ichthyosis” or some other way of saying “I’m ashamed of my skin.”

So, it was a triumph, when without a sense of shame, I put ichthyosis in its place, as a condition of my skin. My sense of myself as a valuable person was intact. My interests, my relationships, my compassion, my laugh are among the many things that define me. My skin does not.

-Cynthia

The Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types, Inc.® (FIRST) is invited as a guest blogger and does not endorse or serve as a product representative for Coolibar.

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Inside Coolibar Sunscreens and Lotions

Don’t be fooled by sunscreen labels any longer!

This April Fools, we’re not fooling around – at least about sunscreen. Almost two years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their new sunscreen labeling requirements (first announced June 14, 2011), we’re now seeing both small and large sunscreen vendors roll-out new labeling, packaging, and in some cases, improved products. These changes will allow consumers to better understand a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVA and UVB sun damage, skin cancer and skin aging.

Our friends at the American Academy of Dermatology did an excellent job of outlining many of these changes:

Skin cancer prevention versus sunburn protection

On the label, you’ll see whether a sunscreen can:

– Help prevent skin cancer and sunburn.

– Only help prevent sunburn.

That’s thanks to new FDA testing requirements. For a label to claim that a sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it will have to pass two tests.

1. The first test is the broad-spectrum test. This test shows whether a sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Both rays can cause skin cancer.

2. The second test is the sun protection factor (SPF) test. This test shows how well a sunscreen protects you from sunburn. Like today, you’ll see the SPF as a number, such as SPF 30. All sunscreen must offer some SPF. The minimum is SPF 2.

New warning: For a sunscreen to carry the claim that it can prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it must offer both: 1) broad-spectrum coverage and 2) an SPF of 15 or higher. If the sunscreen does not offer both, the label will have to carry this warning:

“This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”

Water resistance

The FDA will ban companies from claiming that a sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweat proof.” This is simply not possible.

You’ll now see the term “water resistant.” To make this claim, the product must pass another test. This test shows how long a sunscreen keeps its SPF when a person goes in the water or sweats. The label also must state how long the water resistance lasts, either 40 or 80 minutes.

New warning: If a sunscreen is not water resistant, the label must carry a warning. This warning will tell you to use a water-resistant sunscreen if you are likely to sweat or be in water.

Makeup and moisturizers

You’ll see the new claims on makeup and moisturizers, too — provided the product undergoes and passes the FDA tests.

Vanicream SPF 50+No ratings above SPF 50+

A proposed rule, if enforced, will limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to “50 +” because there is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50.

All Coolibar sunscreen brands will be making changes to their packaging to be in compliance with new FDA guidelines.  For example, Vanicream SPF 60 will be replaced by Vanicream SPF 50+. If you have any specific questions about your favorite sunscreen brand sold on http://www.coolibar.com/, ‘Leave a reply’ below or comment at http://www.facebook.com/coolibar

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Coolibar Shopping Spree

Bloggers, are you ready to start Getting Gorgeous? We are and we’re thrilled to be a part of Getting Gorgeous 2013!

Because you’re in the know, the Tanning is Out concept is probably not new to you, but here’s why we incessantly talk about it. Sun protection is important for healthy & radiant skin because excessive UV light exposure, natural or artificial, not only increases skin cancer risk, but also prematurely ages skin. Need a visual? Check out this pin. Your best defense is to cover-up and #PracticeSafeSun.

Your Coolibar Gift UPF 50+ Beach Sun Hat

Our Getting Gorgeous UPF 50+ gift to you is the Beach Sun Hat, yours free and included in your goodie bag. This best selling sun hat has a reinforced 7” brim for superior face and neck coverage and is crushable for travel.

You say you want more UPF 50+ coverage from Coolibar? You got it!

WIN a $500 Coolibar Shopping Spree! Here’s how:

1. Like us on Facebook, Facebook.com/Coolibar

2. Follow us on Twitter, @Coolibar.

3. Snap a photo of yourself being SunAWARE with Coolibar – in your hat, at our Getting Gorgeous Booth, perhaps pose with Elvis…

4. Share your photo, tag @Coolibar and use hashtag #GettingGorgeous. Tell your friends and followers about Getting Gorgous and Coolibar Sun Protection You Wear.

That’s it. Our winner will be drawn at random on Tuesday, April 30th.

Can’t wait to Get Gorgeous with you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Winner will be drawn at random on April 30, 2013. Entries accepted until 4/30/13 noon CST. No purchase necessary. To enter you must be an attendee of the Getting Gorgeous 2013 blogger event. Prize is non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. Cannot be used toward third-party merchandise such as sun shelters and sunglasses. One entry per person. Rules subject to change at the discretion of Coolibar, Inc.

 

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SunAWARE

Perfect Skin Protection – Vol. 2, No. 1

The latest issue of Perfect Skin Protection from SunAWARE just hit the Apple Newsstand this week. And if you haven’t yet read through this publication, you should. It’s FREE and chock full of the latest advice on skin protection from leading dermatologists, health & beauty experts, educators and skin cancer survivors. Plus, this issue features an article by Coolibar’s very own, President John Barrow.

“These articles, especially the special section, demonstrate that skin protection, far from being a personal or cosmetic issue, is a global concern, affecting the health and well-being of individuals and families in different countries around the world,” said Mary Mills Barrow, executive director of SunAWARE International Foundation.

“We urge our readers to take advantage of the advice offered by our experts and incorporate it into their daily routines, for themselves and for their families,” she added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available on the Apple Newsstand in the Health Category or by clicking here: http://bit.ly/SRrvV0.

Enjoy and share!

Be SunAWARE. Be safe.

 

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Coolibar Athletes Sunscreens and Lotions

Vanicream: a soothing solution for winter dry skin

Winter’s dry air can leave skin feeling sore, itchy and uncomfortable — especially if you don’t have a skin care routine that works with your specific skin type. Coolibar Athlete Kristie Cranford has struggled with finding a lotion for the dry winter months, and with sensitive skin, she has tried numerous skin care products! Before spending another cent on a new lotion this winter, she remembered the Vanicream she received from Coolibar.

“I take my words back, all of them,” says Kristie.

“When I became a Coolibar athlete we were able to try some items from the skin care line.  I chose Vanicream, a moisturizing skin cream.

I have sensitive skin and I live in the desert. It is hot and dry.  I have lotion in my house, in my car, in my desk at work, in my purse, pretty much everywhere.  You could say I have a lotion problem. 

I was excited to try something new.  As I pulled it out of the box, was excited. I put some on.  I wrinkled my nose. It was thick, sticky.  It didn’t smell pretty, it had no odor at all to be honest.  I was not impressed.  I tossed it under my bathroom sink.

Fast forward to a very cold, dry and windy Las Vegas winter.  My hands hurt.  They were dry, cracking.  My back was so dry I could not sleep at night it itched so much.  My son, who inherited sensitive skin from me, had the same problem with his back.  I tried everything in my house.  Nothing was working.  I have suffered through every dry winter. I have yet to find a lotion that has helped. Then I remembered…

I went underneath my bathroom sink and pulled out the Vanicream.  Unlike other lotions when I put it on, my hands did not sting…it soothed.  Instantly I felt relief.  It absorbed quickly.  I put some on my son’s back, I put some on mine.  The itch went away.

Have you ever put on lotion to discover you are now trapped in the room because you cannot turn the doorknob because your hands are so slippery?  It doesn’t happen with Vanicream.  It absorbs quickly leaving the skin silky soft.

It is odorless, completely.  Not like some lotions that claim to be odorless but they have a medicinal smell.  It truly is odorless. 

So I take my words back, all of them.  Vanicream soothed my dry, cracking skin in the first application.  It is easy to spread and is quickly absorbed leaving skin soft and smooth.  It is odorless so if you choose to wear a fragrance it does not compete. 

I have new words for Vanicream:  I love it.”

Browse Vanicream options.

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SunAWARE

Skin Benefits from Exercise Too

Exercising benefits your heart, lungs and mental health – fairly common knowledge these days. But did you know exercise benefits your skin too, and can even help your skin stay younger looking longer?

Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including to your skin. According to dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, in a WebMD article, she cites, “Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells.” Since exercise improves circulation, it makes it easier to cleanse skin from the inside-out, keeping skin healthy and vibrant looking!

If you exercise outdoors, be aware that the sun can have reverse effects on skin. You don’t want to spoil all the hard work you put into looking and feeling great! UV exposure from the sun can damage and age skin that’s not well protected. Following tips from SunAWARE, a non-profit helping prevent and detect skin cancers, will help you avoid sunburn and get the maximum benefits exercise provides.

SunAWARE

A – Avoid unprotected UV exposure and avoid peak sun hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).

W – Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, tights/pants, and wide-brimmed hat and UV sunglasses. This may seem warm, but numerous companies, including Coolibar, are manufacturing lightweight, moisture wicking UPF materials. Sun protective clothing actually keeps you cooler since your skin is not in direct contact with the sun.

A – Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin. Reapply after sweating, swimming or as recommended on the label. Athletes: look for a sport sunscreen that’s oil-free.

R – Routinely examine your skin for changes. Seek a dermatologist if you notice anything suspicious.

E – Educate on the need to be SunAWARE.

Exercising may exacerbate existing skin problems such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. However, the benefits far outweigh the possible skin side-effects from exercise. Additionally, by working with your dermatologist, you’ll likely find solutions to battle your skin issues while getting all benefits exercise has to offer.

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SunAWARE

3 Personal New Year’s Resolutions to Stay Skin Cancer Free in 2013

When thinking about your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions, consider making a conscious effort to prevent skin cancer in 2013. Yes, skin cancer is preventable in many cases. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually (Skin Cancer Foundation).

Prevention starts with education, and knowing exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVA – aging, and UVB – burning rays) from the sun and tanning beds contributes to your risk of developing skin cancer. The good news is an individual can take simple steps to ensure a lifetime of healthy skin and still enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer.

3 Simple New Years Resolutions for Healthy Skin in 2013:

1. Use Sun Protection (Photo: Raw Elements SPF 30 Sunscreen)

1. Incorporate sun protection into your daily routine.

Use sun protection every day of the year. Even if you are indoors, windows allow UVA rays to penetrate the glass (glass blocks UVB rays). Start by incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on your face and all exposed skin. If you wear makeup, apply a face sunscreen underneath your foundation even if your foundation has SPF, as most people don’t use a thick enough application to provide adequate sun protection. (Click here for dermatologist recommended face sunscreens.) If you’ll be outdoors for an extended period of time, wear a wide brim hat, UV400 sunglasses and UPF 50+ sun protective clothing. If you cannot wear sun protective clothing, apply sunscreen underneath your T-shirt since most regular clothing offers less than SPF 30 protection. Not only will this keep your skin healthy, but as added incentive, you’ll look younger longer since UV rays significantly contribute to visible signs of aging.

2. Perform a self skin exam

2. Perform a self-skin exam every month and track your mole changes.

You know your body best, so you’ll likely be the first to notice changes in the skin. Also, when caught early, skin cancer is easily treatable in most cases. This is why performing a self-skin exam is important. Print this body map from the Skin Cancer Foundation and then look for the following:

1. A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.

2. A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that: changes color, increases in size or thickness, changes in texture, is irregular in outline, is bigger than 6mm or 1/4”, the size of a pencil eraser, appears after age 21.

3. A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed.

4. An open sore that does not heal within three weeks.

If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately.

If you’re more of an smart phone app aficionado, technology is making performing a self-skin exam an exceedingly simple task. Check out smart phone apps on the Coolibar Pinterest page.

3. Get a full-body skin cancer screening (Photo: Charles Crutchfield III, M.D., M.B.B., F.A.A.D.)

3. Make time for a full-body skin cancer screening with a board-certified dermatologist once per year.

While you should check your skin every month, a board-certified dermatologist that works with skin every day may notice changes that you didn’t. Schedule an annual skin cancer screening to ensure your skin is healthy as can be!

The American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday (5/6/2013). Dermatology offices often provide free skin cancer screenings. Find a free skin cancer screening on the AAD website or by calling your local dermatology office. Mark your calendars now!

Have a great 2013 and keep your skin healthy!

– Coolibar, Sun Protection You Wear

DisclaimerThe 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.

What are your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions? Join the conversation on the Coolibar Pinterest page!

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Wellness Warriors

Cancer Be Glammed

Canncer Be Glammed

The words cancer and glamour are rarely used in the same sentence…that is until now. We love the work that Cancer Be Glammed is doing to help women recover from cancer with confidence, self-esteem and style. Lisa Lurie, the company’s co-founder, shares her inspiration for starting this organization. And if you are looking for some good holiday gift ideas for the survivor in your life, Lisa’s team has some excellent suggestions. They even have a personal concierge.

Cancer and Glam are two words that most women don’t associate together.  As a cancer survivor and co-founder of Cancer Be Glammed, I am determined to change that.

Cancer Be Glammed was born from the frustration I felt during my own battle with breast cancer. Following my diagnosis, I underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Like most women who are quickly thrown onto the cancer rollercoaster, I was totally unprepared for the side effects of surgery and treatment.  Side effects that included permanent physical changes, hair loss, weight issues, and skin made ultra-sensitive to the sun.

It was soul destroying for me to look into the mirror. I could barely recognize the tired, bloated woman in the sweatpants, baggy top, and bandana– staring back.

Head scarf from CBG

When I recovered, I co-founded, Cancer Be Glammed.  Our goal–to prepare women for the side effects of surgery and treatment, and to provide them with easy access to fashionable products and style solutions to help them maintain their self-esteem and lifestyle.

On our website, www.CancerBeGlammed.com, women can shop for practical yet stylish products like beautiful headscarves and wraps, skin care that pampers and heals treatment sensitive skin, and great sun protective hats, clothing, and accessories.

In addition, we feature ideal gifts like journals, eReaders, soothing teas, and more that a woman going through treatment will use and appreciate.  Our Personal Concierge can help a woman choose items for herself or make gift recommendations to family members or friends.

Through our blog, Facebook, Twitter and other media, we are bringing together a community of women sharing their own advice on how to “Recover In Style.”  Cancer treatment is so hard, looking and feeling better — shouldn’t be.

Lisa Lurie

Lisa Lurie co-founder Cancer Be Glammed

 

 

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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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Coolibar Holiday Gift Guide

Destination holiday — living healthy and giving healthy. At Coolibar we have a gift-worthy idea — sunwear to go everywhere and do anything! We have sun protective clothing, sun hats, UV swimwear, sun shelters, UPF 50+ umbrellas and skin care perfect for women, men and children, all items for those who love spending time under the sun! Take a look and share our gift guides with your family and friends to drop the hint.

Shop Coolibar.com. Search Coolibar.com for your gifts by name.

Questions? Call 1.800.926.6509

Enter our contest to win a Coolibar UPF 50+ Titanium Beach Umbrella and Sand Anchor (a $100 value)! Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift. Visit our contest page for details.

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