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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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New Products Sunscreens and Lotions

Sunscreen Talk: CoTZ and Total Block Explained

Two of our favorite sunscreens at Coolibar, CōTZ and Total Block, provide excellent UVA and UVB protection; however, there are some differences you should know about. We invited Justin Dannecker of Fallene to answer some of the most common questions we get from customers regarding these sunscreens.

Please provide a brief background of the company, your mission, and what you’re working on these days.
Fallene, Ltd. was founded by board certified plastic surgeon and dermatological chemist Dr. Harry Fallick. He had the idea to formulate a product with superior protection for individuals with photosensitive skin. Thus Total Block was created. Continuing along the path of photo-protection innovation came Fallene’s latest sun protective product–CōTZ. CōTZ sunscreen offers maximum protection for individuals that may have sensitive skin and are concerned with chemicals found in many sunscreens. For example, CōTZ Balanced Mineral Complex™ is free of oils, fragrances, preservatives, parabens, PABA, gluten, phthalates, does not irritate or sting and is gentle enough for all skin types.

What is the difference between your CōTZ brand and Total Block brand?
Total Block contains 5 sunscreen filters (2 physical and 3 chemical) for a very protective barrier against UV radiation and even into the visible light spectrum. These products are for someone who needs the ultra high protection.

CōTZ contains only physical sunscreen filters: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These products are for people who have sensitive skin and are concerned with chemical sunscreen filters. Both lines contain the #1 and #2 rated sunscreen ingredients: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Can you explain why your packaging looks different this year? What is new on the label that we should know about?
The packaging changes were mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The two main features on the packaging that changed were that water-resistance of a product must be given a time frame of effectiveness, either 40 or 80 minutes. The second was that all sunscreens must pass a “broad spectrum” test in order to claim broad spectrum protection on their packaging and also be above an SPF 15. These changes were done so that it would be clearer to consumers what they were purchasing and how it would function as a sun protective product.

Do you have any sunscreen that won’t sting or burn sensitive facial skin?
The most popular product that we offer for sensitive facial skin is the CōTZ Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40. This product is 100% free of: oils, fragrances, chemical sunscreen filters and parabens. It is also very gentle and goes on smooth as to not irritate. Additionally it is non-comedogenic, so it is great for acne prone skin as well since it will not clog pores.

For the active ingredients, you have a sunscreen with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and then one with just zinc oxide. Why is this?
Zinc oxide has been used for centuries as a healing ingredient in many products so it is considered to be very gentle. It also happens to be the #1 UV filter. We have utilized only this ingredient in our pediatric and sensitive skin products to offer the ultimate in gentle protection for those with the most sensitive skin.

Is there a way to reduce the white residue some zinc based sunscreens leave behind?
Our sunscreens are formulated with micronized zinc oxide, which does not leave a white residue on your skin.

Are your products safe to use on babies/toddlers?
The best product to use on children is our CōTZ Pediatric product, which contains no chemical filters, oils, fragrances, parabens or PABA. This is a great product for children above the age of 6 months.

Why is there tint in some of your sunscreen such as CōTZ Plus SPF 58?
We add iron oxide to some of our products for several reasons. It allows the product to match most skin tones by adding a slight tint. It also acts as another sunscreen filter since iron oxide is another mineral just like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Which is better, spray sunscreens or cream sunscreens?
Spray sunscreens all contain chemical filters and are not entirely effective since you might be using it in a windy environment and not get the appropriate amount of the product on your skin to protect you. Since they also all contain chemical sunscreen filters, they are not ideal for individuals with sensitive skin.

Is there anything else you want to tell us about your products/brand?
At Fallene we are committed to developing the next generation of sunscreen and skincare products to meet the needs of our customers. Keep your eyes out for new products on the horizon!

If you have any further questions about Total Block and CōTZ sunscreen, send us a message on the Coolibar Facebook Page.

Shop CōTZ and Total Block Sunscreen at www.coolibar.com.

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Sunscreens and Lotions

Total Block and Cotz Sunscreen FAQ

Fallene Products

Coolibar asked sunscreen expert Kirk Minster from Fallene, Ltd., the maker of Total Block and Cotz Sunblock products, to host a Q & A session on the Coolibar Facebook page. With over six years of experience at Fallene, Kirk had plenty of valuable sunscreen information to pass on. Here is a brief recap of the session.

I have had skin cancer surgery on my nose and have been trying hard to use sunscreen every day. One problem that I have is taking sunscreen wherever I go, to reapply every two hours. I would love to have an option of single application containers (or towels, if that could be possible) that I could pop in my pocket or purse and not have to worry about it leaking and getting on everything. Does anything like this exist?

Convenience is always an issue with sunscreen, but unfortunately, anything that is either a spray or a moist towel is going to have chemical sunscreen filters only, no titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, the two ingredients that will give you the best broad spectrum photo stable protection. That said, for your nose I would use LipCotz SPF 45. This is in a small portable tube that will fit in your purse or your pocket. It is not only great for your lips, but it can be applied to your nose and ears as well. Finally, all of the Cotz products are in tubes with secure twist tops so the risk of any opening and ruining a purse is next to zero.

How do your products rate on the skin deep cosmetic safety data base?

All of the ingredients are FDA approved and have been in use for decades. As the Cotz line has evolved, we have taken great pains to limit the number of ingredients while providing products that give the best broad spectrum ( both UVA and UVB light) best photo-stable (this means the product does not break down when exposed to sun light, a common problem with chemical sunscreen filters) possible.

Fallene’s products are not safe because I am telling you they are, though I am giving you this assurance. They are safe because years of study into the active and inactive ingredients by competent, well respected scientists have determined they are safe for use on the skin.

Here you will find the report the TGA released in 2009 regarding nano TiO2 and ZO http://www.tga.gov.au/safety/alerts-medicine-sunscreens-051202.htm#nano

I think you will find the TGA report compelling. With hope the FDA will release a monograph for the UVA spectrum of light in 2011 so that consumers will have some way to gage the effectiveness of their sunscreen against the deeper penetrating UVA light.

Most sunscreen burns my face, so I have to use fragrance free sensitive skin types on my arms & chest but cannot find a brand that does not burn sensitive facial skin. Any tips?

Try the Cotz SPF 35 Zinc only, we made it for you and all those with very sensitive skin. Also, the Face Cotz SPF 40 is great for sensitive skin and is very silky to the touch, so it will feel light and smooth on the surface of your face.

For the active ingredients, you have a sunscreen with both Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, and then one with just Zinc Oxide. Why is this?

Part of the answer reflects Fallene’s evolution as a sunscreen company, part of the reason resides in the intended function. Total Block 65 and Total Block 60 are older products. Total Block 60 is a makeup cover-up. Total Block 65 is a sunscreen that is designed to be non-comedogenic. Non-comedogenic simply means it will not cause the user to break out with blemishes. Over a decade ago when both TB 60 and TB 65 were formulated, the best way to get a non-comedogenic sunscreen with superior protection and a focus on high SPF was to use both chemical and physical actives.

As Fallene, Ltd. evolved, more recent product, in particular the Cotz SPF 35 20% zinc reflects a less is more approach. With only 20% zinc as an active, it exposes the user to as few potentially irritating ingredients as possible, still gives adequate protection from UVB with an SPF 35 (Experts suggest SPF 30 is enough, anything more is probably more than you need) plus great protection from UVA as well.

Is there a way to reduce the white residue some zinc based sunscreens leave behind? It can be especially bad when I’m running outside and I start to sweat.

I suggest the FaceCotz SPF 45 for you in combination with the Cotz SPF 35 20% zinc. Use the Face Cotz on your face as you might have guessed and the Cotz 20% zinc everywhere you have exposed skin. You will find both free of that white residue and both are water resistant. The FaceCotz is very water resistant so will give excellent sweat resistant protection for your face.

Are your products safe to use on babies/toddlers?

For children 6 months and older, I recommend the Cotz products. In particular, the Cotz 20% Zinc only.

Do your sunscreens contain nano-particles? If so, is this a concern?

The titanium and zinc in our products is technically micronized. I know much has been made of nano particle/ nano technology in the past few years. This year, for the first time, the subject was researched by dermatologists so that they could make recommendations to other dermatologists. What this report said is what numerous previous studies concluded, micronized titanium and zinc are safe for use in functional cosmetics.

The Environmental Working Group is a good source of information on this topic.

Chemical sunscreen absorbers by definition absorb into the skin. Physical protection, titanium and zinc, rest on the surface of the skin. Studies by the European Union, the FDA, and the Australian Regulatory agency called the TGA, all show that micronized titanium and zinc will not absorb through the outer layers of skin, into deeper layers of skin.

Take a look at this link: http://www.tga.gov.au/safety/alerts-medicine-sunscreens-051202.htm#nano

This is an excerpt from the TGA website; the TGA is the Australian equivalent of our FDA and has rigorously studied nano particles in sunscreen. Here is what they have to say: In early 2009, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) conducted an updated review of the scientific literature in relation to the use of nanoparticulate zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in sunscreens (see below).

The TGA review concluded that:

-The potential for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens to cause adverse effects depends primarily upon the ability of the nanoparticles to reach viable skin cells; and

-To date, the current weight of evidence suggests that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles do not reach viable skin cells; rather, they remain on the surface of the skin and in the outer layer of the skin that is composed of non-viable cells.

For the full TGA report on the safety of Titanium and Zinc, please use this link: http://www.tga.gov.au/safety/alerts-medicine-sunscreens-051202.htm#nano. The report confirms that all research thus far shows these ingredients to be safe and the best protection from the sun.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is well respected. They have paid such close attention to this topic because Australia is the perennial front runner in cases of skin cancer per capita. They want to know what works to help prevent skin cancer but are also concerned with safety. The link above will take you to the full report on nano particle titanium and zinc that can be downloaded as a PDF.

Why is there tint in some of your sunscreen? I found this out after purchasing and using it in Hawaii.

The tint is the iron oxide that we use in Cotz SPF 58. Iron Oxide is as common ingredient in makeup that has been used as a color agent for decades. In Cotz SPF58, the Iron Oxide acts to offset the whitening effect of the Titanium and Zinc. Although it is not an FDA approved active sunscreen ingredient, studies show that the small iron particles also act as good protection high up in the UVA range of light, near the visible light range. Cotz 20% Zinc SPF 35 which has no tint.

What are the most effective sunscreen components/things to look for in a sunscreen?

Look for two key ingredients, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These FDA recognized active sunscreen ingredients are the best broad spectrum and photo-stable (will not break down when exposed to light) so will provide the best protection.

Do your products use chemical sunscreen filters or only physical?

The entire Cotz line with four different products in all is physical protection only, no chemical sunscreens. The older Total Block products, around for more than a decade now, combine chemical and physical FDA approved active sunscreen ingredients.

What is the difference between your Cotz brand and Total Block brand?

Cotz is chemical sunscreen filter free using just titanium dioxide, and or zinc oxide for sun protection.

The Total Block products combine physical block, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide with chemical sunscreen filters.

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Shop for Cotz and Total Block sunscreens at Coolibar.

Remember full sun protection includes a sun hat, UV clothing, sunglasses and broad-spectrum sunscreen.

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Apply Sunscreen Events Sunscreens and Lotions

Fallene Brings Their Sun Protection Expertise to Facebook

Don’t Fry Day, the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend,  is the perfect day to pack up your sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and sun protection clothes so you’ll be prepared for a sunny holiday weekend. So how do you choose the best sunscreens and sun protection options for you and your family? Join Coolibar for a special Facebook event on Thursday, May 19, 2011 that will help kick-off your summer sun protection plan.

Starting at 1:30pm CST (11:30am PST, 2:30pm EST) on the Coolibar Facebook Wall, we’ll have Sunscreen Expert Kirk Minster from Fallene, the producer of Cotz and Total Block Sunscreen, available to help you make conscious decisions about the sun protection you use. All sunscreen and sun protection questions are welcome!

If you’re on Facebook, go to the event page and click the “Attending” Button at the top to RSVP today! We’ll give a Coolibar UPF 50+ Hat to one person from our Attending List the day of the event. Ask your own questions during the live Q & A session and you could also win sunscreen! We hope to see you there (if even for a few minutes)! 

 

Fallene Products

About Fallene

Fallene, Ltd. produces the most complete full spectrum sun protection available. These products are used not only by medically photo-sensitive individuals, but by those who are concerned about maintaining their skin’s healthy appearance and promoting the integrity of their immune system.

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