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Treating Dry Winter Skin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Apply Sunscreen SunAWARE Sunscreens and Lotions

EWG Sunscreen Ratings

Have you heard of the Environmental Working Group (EWG)? The mission of the EWG is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. One of the EWG’s specialties is providing useful resources to consumers such as information on the safety and effectiveness of sunscreen ingredients. Coolibar sunscreens are top-rated by the EWG for broad-spectrum protection with fewer hazardous ingredients.

The EWG says, “the best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt. No chemicals to absorb through the skin, no questions about whether they work. But when you can’t get away from exposing your skin to the sun, use broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection with fewer hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin…All EWG top-rated products contain either zinc or titanium minerals to help cut UVA exposures for sunscreen users.”

EWG’s 6th annual analysis of sunscreens includes safety and effectiveness ratings for 1,800 SPF products (that’s 100 more than last year)! Their ratings are based on an in-house compilation of standard industry, government and academic data sources and models that the EWG has constructed over the past seven years, and on a thorough review of the technical literature for sunscreen. Read more on EWG’s sunscreen rating methodology.

We’ve taken the time to list Coolibar sunscreens that are considered to be safer broad-spectrum options by the EWG, so you can easily find the perfect sunscreen.

EWG Top-Rated Coolibar Sunscreens (listed alphabetically)

All Terrain

All Terrain Aquasport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30 (Score: 2)

All Terrain KidSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30 (Score: 2)

All Terrain TerraSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30 (Score: 2)

 

Badger

Badger Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Badger Sunscreen Face Stick, Unscented, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Badger Sunscreen, Lightly Scented Lavender, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Badger Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Badger Sunscreen Lip Balm, Unscented, SPF 15 (Score: 2)

 

Blue Lizard

Blue Lizard Australian Suncreen, Face, SPF 30+ (Score: 2)

 

Cotz

Fallene Cotz 20% Zinc Oxide Vanishing Formula Pure Mineral Sun Protection, SPF 35 (Score: 2)

Fallene Cotz Face Water Resistant Sun Protection, SPF 40 (Score: 2)

Fallene Cotz LipCotz, Ultra High Sun Protection, SPF 45 (Score: 2)

 

Raw Elements USA

Raw Elements USA Eco Formula, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Raw Elements USA Eco Stick, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

 

Solbar

Solbar Shield Sunscreen, SPF 40 (Score: 2)

 

Vanicream

Vanicream Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 35 (Score: 2)

 

Search for a specific sunscreen on the EWG website.

Download the FREE EWG Sunscreen Rating App for iPhone® on iTunes®.

Shop all sunscreens at Coolibar.com.

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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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Apply Sunscreen Sunscreens and Lotions

Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin

Vanicream Sensitive Skin Set

If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably particularly careful about the products you put on your skin, including sunscreen. Since sunscreen is a necessity whenever under the sun, it’s important to find a reliable one that works well with your skin type. Vanicream skin care, formulated by Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. (PSI) in Minnesota, is a special skin care line created for those with extremely sensitive skin.  When Conrad Thompson and Ed Mansfield, the founders of the company, were working as pharmacists at the Mayo Clinic in the early 70s, several dermatologists suggested they start a company that could provide over-the-counter skin care for people with sensitive skin. Thus in 1975, PSI (and Vanicream) were created! Since the beginning, their company has formed a line of products that avoid chemicals that dermatologists considered undesirable and sensitizing to the skin, such as fragrance, masking fragrance, dyes, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing preservatives. Now you know why Vanicream is one (of several) of Coolibar’s favorite sunscreen providers!

Commonly asked questions about Vanicream and Sunscreen answered by sunscreen expert, Brian Leary, Director of Marketing at PSI (Vanicream).

Founders Ed and Conrad Then and NowWhat skin types does Vanicream work best on? 

Vanicream Sunscreens are suitable for any skin type, but they are specially formulated for sensitive skin. 

What’s a good sunscreen for sensitive skin or acne prone skin?

All of the Vanicream Sunscreens are good for sensitive skin.  They are developed with an emphasis on physical sunscreen ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  The Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 35 Sport is oil free making it ideal for acne prone skin.

How does Vanicream sunscreen hold up in water or against sweat? 

We recommend the Vanicream Sunscreen Sport SPF 35 for outdoor activities such as swimming and running. 

What should you look for in a safe sunscreen? 

You want to look for sunscreens that emphasize the physical blockers, but you also want to pay attention to the inactive ingredients.  If you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid fragrances, or certain preservatives such as parabens or formaldehyde releasers. 

What is the difference between a physical sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen? Is Vanicream Sunscreen physical or chemical?

Physical sunscreens such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sit on the skin and reflect UV rays.  Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays.   Both offer protection.  

Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30, SPF 60 and SPF 30 Lip Protectant contain only zinc and/or titanium making them physical sunscreens.  Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 35 Sport contains zinc oxide and octinoxate, so it is a combination physical/chemical sunscreen.

What is a safe age to start using sunscreen on children? Is Vanicream safe for babies and young children? 

FDA does not recommend sunscreen use on infants under 6 months of age.  Vanicream Sunscreens are very safe for children older than 6 months. 

How do SPF ratings work?  

An SPF rating is the ratio of the time of ultraviolet radiation exposure necessary to produce minimally detectable erythema (sunburn) in sunscreen protected skin to that time required to produce erythema in unprotected skin.  So if your skin would burn in 5 minutes without sunscreen, an SPF 15 sunscreen should give you 15 times that protection or 75 minutes.  

What is the best SPF to give you proper sun protection?

An SPF 30 will block about 96% of the suns UVB rays.  But this is only if you apply enough to the skin.  For this reason, some dermatologists will recommend higher SPF sunscreens, knowing that their patients may not apply enough.  It is important to remember that SPF only applies to protection for UVB rays.  For proper sun protection you need to choose sunscreens that protect from both UVB and UVA rays.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays? Does Vanicream block both?

UVB rays are the shorter rays that can cause sunburn.  UVA rays are longer rays and are thought to penetrate deeper into the skin and cause premature aging and possible skin cancer.  All Vanicream Sunscreens protect from both UVB and UVA rays.

Does Vanicream leave behind a white residue like some sunscreens do?

You may notice a little white residue upon application, but this disappears quickly on most skin tones.

What about the issue of nano particles in physical sunscreens. Should we be concerned? Does Vanicream contain nano particles? 

While Vanicream Sunscreens contain micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the particles are not considered nano.  That being said, the most recent studies on this issue have found that nano sized zinc and titanium do not penetrate the skin’s layers and therefore do not get into the bloodstream.

With so many products on the market it’s hard to choose.  What is the differentiating factor for Vanicream products, both sunscreens and moisturizers?

Vanicream Sunscreens are going to provide UVB/UVA protection and not expose the user to unnecessary irritants that could be problematic for people with sensitive skin.  They are non-comedogenic and safe to use every day.

Shop Vanicream Skin Care
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