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Expert Rx Sunscreens and Lotions

Considering self tanning? What you need to know.

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.

Self tanners do not provide any protection from the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Remember to apply and reapply as directed. If you’re spending the day outdoors, opt for sun protective clothing, sun hats and UV sunglasses as well.

If you decide to try self tanning, follow these tips from American Academy of Dermatology for proper application:

1. Exfoliate. Using an exfoliating product or wash cloth will help remove dead skin cells. Spend a little more time exfoliating where your skin is thickest — elbows, knees and ankles.

2. Dry your skin. Drying your skin before you apply a self-tanner helps it go on evenly.

3. Apply in sections. Apply the self-tanner in sections (such as the arms, then legs, followed by the torso). Massage the self-tanner into your skin in a circular motion.

4. Wash your hands after each section. You will avoid orange-colored palms by washing your hands with soap and water after you finish applying the self-tanner to each section of your body.

5. Blend at your wrists and ankles. For a natural look, you need to lightly extend the tanner from your wrists to your hands and from your ankles to your feet.

6. Dilute over your joints. Lightly rub with a damp towel or apply a thin layer of lotion on top of the self-tanner.

7. Give your skin time to dry. Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed. For the next three hours, it is best to wear loose clothing and try to avoid sweating.

8. Apply sunscreen every day.

The safest color is still “natural” skin color. If tanning is a must, take all facts into consideration and remember the safer route – self tanners, not UV tanners (A.K.A. tanning beds).

Resources:

1. National Toxicology Program: DHA
2. SCF: Ask the Experts: Are Self Tanners Safe?
3. FDA: Tanning Pill
4. FDA: Tanning Injection Warning Letter
5. Huffington Post: Did Tanning Injections Lead to Bolton Woman’s Death?
6. ABC.com: Are ‘Spray-On’ Tans Safe? Experts Raise Questions as Industry Puts Out Warnings
7. AAD: How to apply self-tanner

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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Apply Sunscreen SunAWARE Sunscreens and Lotions

Pampering Your Skin on Airplanes

Way up high in the sky your skin goes to battle with re-circulated dry air and an extra dose of sunlight. These elements leave skin near lifeless by the time you land. Never fear! We have suggestions to save your skin (all 3.4 oz or less of course).

Airplanes have low-humidity. Drinking water and avoiding alcoholic beverages can help retain moisture, but it only goes so far.  Additionally, daytime flyers are exposed to UVA – aging rays (all glass will filter UVB (burning) rays). An airplane’s proximity to the sun intensifies UVA exposure. The American Optometric Association estimates a 4% increase in UV radiation with every 1000 feet of elevation, and most commercial aircrafts fly between 30,000 to 40,000 feet above ground. Holly extra UVA!

Step off the plane looking and feeling great by keeping these simple tips and products in mind:

SUNSCREEN

Your number one skin saver should be sunscreen. Not only are most sunscreens moisturizing, but they’ll help prevent skin from absorbing aging rays!

Our favorite moisturizing sunscreens:

Cotz Face SPF 40, 1.5 oz. (matte finish) – $20

Blue Lizard SPF 30+ Face, 3 oz. – $10

Badger Unscented SPF 34, 2.9 oz. – $16

 

SUNGLASSES

If UVA reaches your skin, it reaches your eyes too. Look for shades that block 100% of UVA and UVB or are rated UV400. Sunglasses may help keep your eyes moist too!

Coolibar UV Sunglasses – $49 to $119

 

LIP PROTECTION

Your lips have some of the thinnest skin on your body. Because lips do not contain oil glands, they tend to dry out easily and become chapped. Additionally, the sun only causes chapped lips to worsen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher.

Our favorite SPF lip balms:

Vanicream Lip Protectant SPF 30, 0.35 oz. – $5

CoTZ Lips SPF 45, 0.14 oz. – $7

 

LOTION OR HYDRATING MIST

Spritzing will help your skin stay moist temporarily, but it’s not a necessity. Future Derm beauty blogger Nicki Zevola and guest blogger Jana Levin have two varying opinions on when to use hydrating mist. 1) Before take-off lightly spray the mist on your face and apply sunscreen over top; or 2) when arriving at your final destination remove all makeup and sunscreen, give your skin a spritz and then reapply sunscreen.

Our favorite hydrating products:

Blue Lizard Sorbolene Cream, 2 oz. – $14

Galen Labs Hydrosols (travel size 5 pack) – $16.99

Colorescience Pro Achromatherapy Gem Spritzers, 4 oz. (you’ll have to use this one before or after travel) – $10 to $35

Soothing Travels!

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Wellness Warriors

Five Olympic Athletes Take the Gold for Sun Safety

Not all athletes, including Olympic athletes, are into tanning, even though a Google image search of the word “athlete” displays an overwhelming number of tanned muscle men and women. Being fit and looking great doesn’t mean you need tan skin. In fact, you’re likely to develop sun spots and wrinkles if you do tan. To dispel the tan athlete typecast, we went out in search of Olympic athletes spreading the word about using sun protection for a healthy sunny life. In our opinion, these five women get the Gold for their sun protection efforts.

Kerri Walsh (Photo credit Jasonschock, Wikipedia)

Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball (USA)

At age 34, Walsh has taken home two gold medals for beach volleyball. Being a native of California she also knows the importance of using sunscreen when playing on the beach. Quoted in Fitness Magazine online, she says, “My mom had skin cancer on her chin, so I know that sun protection is important.”

Christine Rampone in yellow (Photo credit Brittany Carlson, Wikipedia)

Christine Rampone, Soccer (USA)

When two-time Olympic Gold medalist Rampone, 37, is on the soccer field she may be focused on the game, but she always uses sun protection before heading out on the field. “I apply sunscreen about an hour before practice, and I get one with as high a SPF as I can find- at least 35, usually a 50,” she says on the Skin Cancer Foundation website. As captain of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team she leads by example for her team as well as the youth she coaches in her spare time.

Natalie Coughlin (Photo credit JD Lasica, Flickr)

Natalie Couglin, Swimmer (USA)

As a swimmer and 11-time Olympic medalist, at age 29 Couglin is wise beyond her years to use sweat- and water-resistant sunscreen in the water and encourage others to do so. During her interview with Marie Claire, she says “I’ve been in the sun my whole life, and fortunately, I’ve been obsessed with wearing sunscreen since I was a kid.” Couglin uses the Vertra Face Stick with SPF 38 is her choice as her water-resistant sunscreen go-to.

Victoria Pendleton (Photo credit johnthescone, Wikipedia)

Victoria Pendleton, Track Cyclist (U.K.)

Pendleton, 31, is a nine-time world champion and was an Olympic gold medalist in individual sprint at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. She uses sunscreen on her face and body, and her complexion shows it! “My go-to sunscreen for my face is Elemis Liquid Layer SPF 30. For my body, I like to use a sunscreen from Soleil Organique,” she says in Marie Claire.

Gisela Dulko (Photo credit Pascalre, Wikipedia)

Gisela Dulko, Tennis (Argentina)

Dulko, 27, is a former women’s doubles world No. 1 and has won 17 doubles titles. Playing tennis outdoor for a living she’s exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. She keeps her skin naturally beautiful by wearing sunscreen. “I don’t wear any makeup when I play matches, only sunscreen—Avène SPF 30 for face and body,” says Dulko in Marie Claire.

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Expert Rx

Eat These for a Truly Healthy Tan – UV Free

While overall health is impacted by diet, skin is significantly affected by everything put into the body as well. With summer nearing, you are probably already searching for solutions to help your skin look its best. If you’re the household chef, take a second look at your grocery list before heading off to the super market. To keep your skin looking healthy and naturally glowing throughout the summer without soaking up damaging ultraviolet rays, fill yourself with food and nutrients your skin, and body, will love.

Eating nutrient rich fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene gives skin a healthy golden glow, according to a study done at the University of Nottingham. The same study also showed that people found this diet produced skin tone to be more attractive than a tan obtained from UV rays, which can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoids, which are highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow), fat-soluble compounds naturally present in many fruits, grains, oils, and vegetables. It is also an antioxidant that helps reduce damaging compounds produced by daily stress. Beta carotene is not only good for immune system and reproductive health, but it’s the key to healthy glowing skin.

Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey is a huge advocate of eating fruits and vegetables to keep skin looking great. According to Dr. Bailey, not only are fresh fruits and veggies good for a glowing appearance, but by eating these more than dairy, carbohydrates and junk food, other skin problems such as acne can improve as well. Dr. Bailey also recommends purchasing fresh and organic when able because fresh and organically grown produce contains more nutrients. “Eating your fruits and veggies really fresh is key, because beta carotene is fragile and gets lost when the fruits or veggies are processed or stored,” writes Dr. Bailey in her blog post Skip The Tan & Eat Your Veggies For Beautiful Skin Color. Dr. Bailey suggests eating beta carotene foods with a little fat or oil to absorb the beta carotene better.

According to Dr. Bailey, foods high in beta-carotene include:

Yellow/orange vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash

Dark green and/or leafy vegetables: kale, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, turnips and their green leaves, beet leaves, mustard and dandelion greens, watercress, cilantro, chicory, endive, escarole

Yellow/orange fruits: apricots, cantaloupes, papayas, mangoes, nectarines, peaches

Also: summer squash, asparagus, peas, sour cherries, prune plums

So instead of tanning at the beach or salon this spring, head to the farmers market or your local foods co-op, and add an abundance of colorful produce to your meals. Create the bulk of your dishes with fresh beta-carotene rich ingredients, and your skin with have a health glow throughout the summer.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliemaynor/2539111053/

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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Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

Models Advocate for Sun Protection? Oh Yes!

When recently browsing the web for a new story idea, I came across this site called ModelKarma, a website for aspiring models, pro models and modeling industry professionals started by the famous Thomas Zeumer, supermodel launcher. While clicking through some of their pages that provide advice for models, I was hoping to find plenty about protecting skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. While somewhat disappointed by the small amount of information on this subject, I was relieved to see one post reminding models to protect their assets, meaning their looks or skin from ultraviolet radiation. 

I think many of us know that over-exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer down the road. However, the cosmetic damage the sun does to skin can also be significant. As you age, your skin will start to show spots and wrinkles even more so if you haven’t been properly protecting yourself from the sun. The writer of the article on ModelKarma dramatizes it even more by saying, “Basically, [the sun] makes you look fried well before your years, thus killing your career before you are done!”  

The article goes into detail about protecting yourself from damaging rays by using sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. It reiterates the Skin Cancer Foundation’s advice on how to properly use sunscreen to get the best result as well. While I agree that sunscreen is essential when choosing sun protection, the article failed to mention sun hats and sun protective clothing. It’s our hope at Coolibar that in the future sun protective clothing and hats will be talked about equal to sunscreen, as they’re an unbeatable match for keeping skin healthy and young looking. 

I wish to add the other ways to “protect your assets” to their list, including wearing a hat with a three inch brim or greater that has a tight weave and a high UPF rating. Not only can you find hats that are glamorous in themselves, but they’ll protect your eyes, ears, nose and sometime even neck depending on the brim size. Also, wear sun protective clothing, especially when outdoors for extended periods of time. Remember, most summer clothing allows UV to penetrate right through the garment, so you’ll have to apply sunscreen underneath if you’re not wearing UPF clothing. 

All of us at Coolibar are glad to see professionals in the modeling industry discussing the need for sun protection. Every time we see a new Marc Jacobs skin cancer prevention shirt or a fashion editor talking about the pale skin trend, we know we’ll start seeing a shift in the way many of us protect ourselves from the sun. 

Amanda Oberg 

Coolibar Blog Editor 

Marc Jacobs Protect The Skin You're In Shirt

Read the ModelKarma article: Protect Your Assets 

Feature photo credit: Jose-Goulao

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SunAWARE

Snowboarders and Skiers Take Cover

TRUE or FALSE – you’re more likely to sunburn in a snowy landscape than a grassy plain. Think about it. Ultraviolet rays from the sun reflect off of shiny surfaces such as sand, water and SNOW! When walking into any ski resort chalet you’ll notice bright red faces of snowboarders and skiers fresh off the hill. Now the only question is, are the rosy cheeks and nose from windburn or sunburn?

Snowboarders and skiers have to protect themselves from more than frostbite. UV radiation exposure increases 8 to 10 percent every 1,000 feet above sea level, so if you’re snowboarding down the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado, you could be starting your descent at almost 13,000 feet above sea level. By 13,000 feet, UV radiation exposure increases 104 to 130 percent! Then add the fact that snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, and you’ve got UV coming from all directions. The combination of increased elevation and UV rays reflected by the snow puts skiers and snowboarders at an increased risk of sun damage, which can lead to premature aging and skin cancer later in life.

While wearing sunscreen on the snowy slopes can offer sun protection, snow and wind can reduce its effectiveness. Avoid sunburn (and perhaps even windburn) this winter and take some advice from the Skin Cancer Foundation.

  • Cover your head – it will protect your scalp and help keep you warm.
  • Wear items like ski masks, which will leave very little skin exposed to the wind and sun.
  • Sunglasses or goggles that offer 99 percent or greater UV protection and have wraparound or large frames will protect your eyes, eyelids and the sensitive skin around your eyes, which are common sites for skin cancers and sun-induced aging.
  • If possible, ski early in the morning and later on in the day, before 10 AM and after 4 PM. This decreases the amount of time spent outdoors in the most intense sunlight and it may also help you avoid long lines.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Apply 30 minutes before hitting the slopes. Using a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients like lanolin or glycerin can soothe skin while protecting. Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly to all exposed skin – at least a teaspoon to the face. Reapply every two hours, and immediately after heavy sweating.
  • Always wear a lip balm with an SPF 15 or higher – lips are very sensitive.

Wishing you a sucessful and SunAWARE season on the slopes!

Coolibar employee Amanda and her boyfriend Josh snowboarding in the Black Hills
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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

2011 Coolibar Gift Guide for Life Outdoors

QUESTION: Do you need to find a gift for …

a. A family member who spends a lot of time outside?

b. A girlfriend who obsesses over her skin and owns oodles of cosmetics?

c. A parent with small children?

d. A friend who lives to garden, bike, hike, climb, fish, run, walk, camp, swim, surf, golf, farm, surf, sail, travel and participate in a never ending list of outdoor activities?

If you answered YES to any of the above then we strongly suggest you proceed reading!

While the holiday season may not have you thinking about sunny beaches and or long afternoons on the golf course, we’ll bet everyone on your list would love a gift that’s associated with that carefree feeling. Sun protection is a gift everyone needs (and we’re convinced would want if they knew about it). Wide brim hats and sun protective clothes are not only practical for easy sun coverage, but over the years, these items have been recognized by both fashion editors and outdoor athletic communities for their style and performance. So, maybe not everyone on your list knows about sun protective clothing. Well, here’s your chance to show the one’s you love how smart and thoughtful you are.  Sun protective clothing is not only easy, comfortable and a health conscious move, but there are a range of styles and features so fashionistas and fitness enthusiasts alike can take on the outdoors in their own style.

If you don’t know where to start for a someone who’s new to UPF clothing, here’s our ideas:

Our Customer’s Favorite Coolibar Basics
Click on the first image to browse our gift ideas.

[nggallery id=25]

Find the perfect Coolibar piece for that special person on your list.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

www.coolibar.com

Santa Letter Photo Credit: katerha

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Parenting What's Hot

A Skin Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

Did you know the expression ‘you are what you eat’ is true to a certain extent? While it’s well known that your overall health can be impacted by diet, your outward appearance, skin in particular, is greatly affected by everything you put into your body as well. With Thanksgiving dinner being less than a week away, you are probably already cooking up ideas for your family’s menu. If you’re hosting this year’s Thanksgiving feast, take a second look at your grocery list before heading off to the super market. If you want to keep your skin looking healthy and naturally glowing throughout the holidays, fill yourself with food and nutrients your skin, and body, will love.

Evidence from a study at the University of Nottingham that was released last year shows eating nutrient rich fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene gives skin a healthy golden glow. The study also showed people found this healthy glow to be more attractive than a tan obtained from UV rays, which can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoids, which are highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow), fat-soluble compounds naturally present in many fruits, grains, oils, and vegetables. It is also an antioxidant that helps reduce damaging compounds produced by daily stress. Beta carotene is not only good for immune system and reproductive health, but it’s the key to healthy glowing skin.

Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a board certified dermatologist with a private dermatology practice in Sonoma County, is a huge advocate of eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables to keep skin looking great. According to Dr. Bailey, not only are fresh fruits and veggies good for a glowing appearance, but by eating these more than dairy, carbohydrates and junk food, other skin problems such as acne can improve as well. Dr. Bailey also recommends purchasing fresh and organic when able because fresh and organically grown produce contains more nutrients. “Eating your fruits and veggies really fresh is key, because beta carotene is fragile and gets lost when the fruits or veggies are processed or stored,” writes Dr. Bailey in her blog post Skip The Tan & Eat Your Veggies For Beautiful Skin Color. Dr. Bailey suggests eating beta carotene foods with a little fat or oil to absorb the beta carotene better.

According to Dr. Bailey, foods high in Beta Carotene include:

Yellow/orange vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash

Dark green and/or leafy vegetables: kale, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, turnips and their green leaves, beet leaves, mustard and dandelion greens, watercress, cilantro, chicory, endive, escarole

Yellow/orange fruits: apricots, cantaloupes, papayas, mangoes, nectarines, peaches

Also: summer squash, asparagus, peas, sour cherries, prune plums

To add a little healthy ‘color’ to your Thanksgiving meal, try some new healthy recipes that are spin-offs of classic holiday dishes. Create most of the recipe with fresh ingredients that will make your skin radiant. While it may not be realistic to forgo some of your favorite less than healthy dishes, try substituting or adding a few of these fresh options and eating smaller portions of processed foods.

Skin Healthy Dishes:

Acorn squash with apples

Maple roasted sweet potatoes

Quinoa salad with roasted sweet potatoes, kale, dried cranberries and red onion

Orzo super salad

Salad greens with pears, fennel and walnuts

Sweet carrots

Skin Healthy Deserts:

Almond and cherry upside-down cake

Healthy pumpkin pie (also see recipe for fresh pumpkin puree)

If you give any of these a try be sure to let us know how it was.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo credit: Californiacondor

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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What's Hot

Love or Hate Twilight, but LOVE the Pale Skin It’s Flaunting

Whether you’re a fan of the Twilight series or not, in the next few weeks you’ll be hearing plenty about it as the fourth movie, Breaking Dawn Part 1, makes its way to theaters. I always enjoy the hype around this series, not only because I’m a “Twihard”, but because it makes me feel like I’m part of a movement that’s making pale skin more desirable, seeing that I have a naturally light skin tone.

Since the premier of the movie Twilight in 2008, beauty insiders have been crediting Twilight movie stars Kristen Stewart (pictured above), who plays Bella Swan, and Robert Pattinson, who plays vampire Edward Cullen, for bringing fair skin back in-style. Both stars show off their pale skin when in character and off the set. I wouldn’t go so far as to say these movie stars are the reason naturally pale skin tones seem to be more acceptable, but their stunning natural beauty and fair skin has definitely caught attention.

As more people take the stance that pale skin is “in” and tanning is “out”, my excitement grows for many reasons. Tanning is the skin’s natural defense against further damage from UV radiation. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, darker skin does offer more protection than light skin against sunburn and skin cancer. However, that applies only to people with naturally darker skin. The fact is that tans and sunburns attack the skin’s DNA, in turn producing genetic defects that may lead to skin cancer. Also, repeat unprotected UV exposure can cause premature skin aging associated with sun damage. Despite these warnings, much of the U.S. population continues to tan.

In a study published in the journal Archives of Dermatology, almost 36 percent of women and 12.2 percent of the men aged 18-24 surveyed tanned indoors. If skin cancer and wrinkles aren’t enough to keep teens and young adults away from the bronzing beds, why not use pop culture figures like the young Twilight actor and actress as role models to keep promoting fair skin tones as ideal. After all, Coco Chanel, an influential French fashion designer of the 20th century and cultural icon was credited for starting the tanning trend. It would only make sense to use current cultural icons to help change public perceptions of pale skin as being perceived as sickly, to fair skin being sexy and healthy!  Of course, this is only my two-cents.

‘Leave a reply’ below, or comment on the Coolibar Facebook page and let me know if you’re all for the pale skin trend.

Amanda Oberg
Coolibar Blog Contributor

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Expert Rx

Take These Steps to Treat Dry Itchy Skin

Dry itchy skin may be a sign that you need an improved moisturizing routine. Keep skin looking smooth, moisturized and itch-free during the winter months by practicing these simple steps from Jaime Davis, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and trusted Coolibar medical advisor.

1) Evaluate the soap you use. Use cleansers such as Dove, Cetaphil or Vanicream that won’t dry out the skin. Any soap can say moisturizing, so look for labels that say “for sensitive skin” or “non-drying”.

2) Humidify the home. Moisture evaporates out of the skin and dry air pulls out even more.  A humidifier with help prevent moisture from leaving the skin.

3) Use a cream rather than a lotion. Cream is thicker than lotion. In fact, it’s so thick you can stand a spoon in it. Lotion is runny and fine to use in summer, but in the winter cream holds-in moisture better. Apply cream right out of shower all over when skin is still wet. Then gently pat dry with a towel.

4) Reapply moisturizer after washing hands. It’s the same concept as lathering-on cream after showering. Apply it while the hands are damp and pat dry to retain moisture.  

In severe cases of painful dry skin, medical attention from a dermatologist may be required. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition where the skin goes from dry to inflamed, cracked, red and peeling. If you have eczema, you can try an over-the-counter 1% Hydrocortisone cream, an anti-inflammatory, in addition to your moisturizer. This is a good start for general eczema. You can find creams with aloe or without, but keep in mind simple is better.  Try using the over-the-counter cream twice a day for a week. If it doesn’t work, seek a dermatologist. For severe cases, especially cracked and weepy skin, visit a dermatologist sooner rather than later to get treatment recommendations.

Another skin condition called Psoriasis produces dry, scaly, inflamed areas on the skin such as the elbows and knees. While this condition is not caused by winter dryness, it can become worse during dry months. Using a moisturizer and/or cortisone might be helpful, but if all else fails, a dermatologist can emit UV light medically in doses. UV is an anti-inflammatory, so it calms itchy red skin. The UV is dosed carefully so patients get the therapeutic benefits without side-effects. Using a tanning bed for treatment is not recommended as they contain a different wave length of light that’s not therapeutic and can cause skin damage.

These dry skin conditions happen everywhere, not just in cold regions.  Use proper moisturizing agents and seek medical attention if conditions persist.

Browse moisturizing creams carried by Coolibar.

Resources: Dr. Jaime Davis, Uptown Dermatology & Skin Spa, KSTP Interview Dry Skin & UV

Photo credit: Phrawr

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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