Are Self-Tanners Safe?

Your days of slathering on coconut oil and baking in the sun to achieve the perfect tan are over. You know the risks of skin cancer and are diligent about using sunscreen, but you still long for a little color especially as you're getting ready for a spring break trip to the Caribbean. 

How can you safely achieve that sun-kissed glow?

There are a number of self-tanning products on the market available as lotions, creams, sprays and pills to help you achieve that golden tan without going out in the sun. But are they safe?

Self-tanning products most commonly contain the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive that binds to proteins in the top layer of the skin and causes it to darken. DHA can be manufactured synthetically, or it can be derived from natural substances, like beet sugar or cane sugar. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for topical use in 1977 and is the only such agent approved for use by the FDA.

There is no clear evidence that DHA is harmful if it is used as directed. DHA is approved for external use only and should not be inhaled, ingested or used on the lips or any surfaces covered by a mucus membrane. Do not use self tanners on children without checking with your pediatrician.

Concern about DHA arose when a study correlated use of highly concentrated amounts of DHA with production of free radicals, which can damage cells. However, commercial sunless tanning products typically contain between 3 and 5 percent DHA concentrations and are considered non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.

However, while DHA has been approved by the FDA for use in self-tanning lotions, it hasn’t been approved for use in spray tans -- whether they are at-home self-tanning sprays or sunless spray “tanning” booths at a salon. Primary concerns about self-tanning sprays relate to the risk of inhalation and ingestion of DHA, which is not recommended. When you get a spray tan, it can be difficult to prevent excess mist from making contact with your eyes, nose and mouth. Further research is needed to determine the risks — if any — of this type of exposure. In the meantime, protect your eyes, mouth and nose when spray tanning and avoid inhaling the product.

You may also see self-tanning products sold in the form of pills containing canthaxanthin, a color additive used in foods. These pills are NOT safe. According to the Mayo Clinic, when taken in large amounts, canthaxanthin can turn your skin orange or brown and cause hives, liver damage and impaired vision.

If you choose to use a self-tanner, make sure you still practice proper sun protection as well. Self-tanning does not offer any significant UV protection, so even if you're sporting a faux tan, be sure to still use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 when you’re out in the sun. 

March 15, 2017 by Blue Lizard Staff

Exercise Your Body, Mind …and Skin?




We all know that exercise is beneficial for your heart, your waistline and your general well being. But did you know that exercise can also have health benefits for your skin?

When your overall health is good, it is reflected in your skin, so watching your diet and exercising are both important.

Getting a healthy glow

When you exercise, your body’s blood circulation increases. This helps give you that

healthy glow as it boosts detoxification and cell renewal. Studies conducted at McMasters University in Canada found that skin cells of people who exercised were actually rebuilding and revitalizing themselves. A study of women between the age of 20 and 84, both active and sedentary, showed a marked difference in skin health between those who exercised and those who didn’t. In another study, when skin samples were examined under a microscope, the researchers found that both men and women over the age of 40 who exercised frequently had skin health similar to that of people in their 30s.

Less stress = clearer skin

Some skin afflictions, such as acne and eczema, can be exacerbated by stress; the sebaceous glands respond to stressful situations by producing oils that can irritate your skin causing pimples or rashes. If you suffer from these skin conditions and experience a lot of stress, try adding yoga and other stress-reducing exercises to your workout routine.

Skincare during exercise

Don’t work out with make up on, and be sure to thoroughly clean your skin after exercising to make sure it is free of toxins and oils. If an outdoor workout is more your style, make sure you use sunscreen to protect your skin – you want a healthy glow from exercise, not a red, raw sunburn! Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or above and apply it 15 minutes before you head outside. Water resistance is an important factor during a hot, sweaty workout, so be sure your sunscreen offers this protection. Be sure to follow the directions on your sunscreen’s label and reapply every two hours if you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time. If you are a swimmer, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen after you do your laps.

If you don’t currently have an exercise routine, there’s no better time to start than now. Walking is a great way to start if you’ve been sedentary for a while – even just starting with 10 minutes a day can make a difference and you can work up to longer walks as you become more fit. Your skin will thank you!






January 30, 2017 by Blue Lizard Staff

Caring for Winter Skin

Along with the cold days of winter comes dryer skin.  Turning the heat on indoors is the main reason for drying skin during the winter but for some people, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling -- some get skin so dry it results in flaking, cracking, even eczema (in which the skin becomes inflamed).

Winter skin requires a special skin care regimen to keep skin moisturized and healthy. Here are some winter skin care tips to follow to help you avoid dry, cracked skin this winter:

Moisturize more. You may have found a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer.  But as weather conditions change, so, too, should your skin care routine.  Find an “ointment” moisturizer that's oil-based, rather than water-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. Many lotions labeled as “night creams” are oil-based. But choose your oils with care because not all oils are appropriate for the face. Instead, look for “non-clogging” oils, like avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, or almond oil. You can also look for lotions containing “humectants,” a class of substances (including glycerin, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids) that attract moisture to your skin.

Don’t forget the sunscreen. Sunscreen is not just for summer. Winter sun, especially with snow glare, can damage your skin as well. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to your face and hands at least 15-30 minutes before heading outdoors. Be sure to reapply every two hours if you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time.

Give yourself a hand. The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands, which means it's harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear gloves when you go outside in winter and apply a body moisturizer rich in aloe or lanolin to your hands daily or before bedtime.

Go easy on the hand sanitizers. Applying hand sanitizer several times a day and washing hands more in winter to help prevent colds and flu can wreak havoc on the skin of your hands. Some hand sanitizers contain alcohol, which will cause dry, red, inflamed skin.  When you do wash, choose a soap-free cleanser and apply lotion to your hands immediately after drying. If you do use hand sanitizers, choose products that are alcohol-free.

Hook up the humidifier. Central heating systems blast hot dry air throughout your home and office. Humidifiers get more moisture into the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Place several small humidifiers throughout your home; they help disperse the moisture more evenly.

Ban super hot baths. Hot baths or showers do feel great when it’s freezing outside but the intense heat actually breaks down lipid barriers in the skin, which leads to a loss of moisture. Keep baths or showers to lukewarm water and stay in a shorter amount of time. Add oatmeal or baking soda to your bath water to help relieve dry, itchy skin.

Following these simple tips can help keep your skin supple when the temperature drops.

January 18, 2017 by Blue Lizard Staff

Tips for having a BLUE Christmas

A BLUE Christmas doesn’t have to mean a sad and lonely one like Elvis sings about in the iconic song. Instead, have a BLUE Christmas by incorporating a little Blue Lizard into your holidays!

Stocking stuffers. Filling stockings for family members is often the last thing on our holiday list and can be easily forgotten. Make it easy this year by stuffing stockings with Blue Lizard products! Our 3 oz. tubes and 5 oz. bottles are the perfect size to fit most stockings and your friends and family will love receiving a gift they can actually use!

Themed gift baskets. Is there someone on your gift list that loves the outdoors or spends a lot of time in warm climates? Put together a gift basket for them that incorporates things they can use including sunscreen. For example, for the outdoor enthusiast, you might fill a new backpack with a water bottle, a hat, a pedometer, hiking socks, power bars and several tubes of Blue Lizard Sport and Face. Or for someone that travels a lot to tropical locales, you could get a nice beach bag and stuff it with a pretty beach towel, swimsuit cover-up, sunglasses, paperback books, a hat and several bottles of Blue Lizard Sensitive or Sport and Blue Lizard Face. Be creative and incorporate a little Blue Lizard into most any gift basket theme!

Baby gifts. Do you have an expectant or new mom on your gift list? Give her Blue Lizard Baby, which is chemical-free, paraben-free and fragrance-free for tender baby skin.

Gift cards. Did you know you can buy Blue Lizard gift cards at These make great stocking stuffers, office party giveaways, teacher gifts and more. Gift cards are available in denominations of $10, $25, $50 and $100 so the recipient can chose which Blue Lizard formulation they want.

Put a little BLUE into your holidays by shopping online at and look for upcoming special promotions for the holidays by following us on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

December 08, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Why Sunscreen is a Smart End-of-the-Year Purchase

With winter in full swing and your mind on the holidays, sunscreen may be the last thing you are thinking about buying right now. But did you know that you can purchase sunscreen with your Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? This is why stocking up on sunscreen now is a smart decision.

Use it or lose it

Make sure those pretax contributions aren’t lost. Most FSA accounts require you to use your pretax funds before the end of the year or lose that money, although some plans have modified those rules. Some employers can offer employees a carryover of up to $500 of unused balances at the end of the plan year, or give them a two-and-a-half-month grace period in the next year to spend that money. Check with your provider or your company’s Human Resources department to see if your plan is among those offering this option.

Sun smart and wallet smart

If you do have to spend down your FSA account by Dec. 31, or forfeit the funds, you may be scrambling to figure out how to spend the money. There are several OTC products that you can purchase and get reimbursed by FSA and sunscreen is one of them. In order to be reimbursed by your FSA, sunscreen must be at least SPF 30 and broad-spectrum -- Blue Lizard meets both of those criteria. Be sure you know the guidelines required by your particular FSA plan in order to get reimbursed such as copies of all receipts and submitting forms.

Buy now, use later

Stock up on Blue Lizard now and have it ready to go for those upcoming ski trips or spring break getaways. Don’t forget you need sunscreen even during these cold winter months if you’ll be spending any time outdoors.  And remember, Blue Lizard products make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers!










November 28, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Feed Your Skin This Thanksgiving

As you busily prepare for your family’s Thanksgiving feast for next week, don’t forget to take time out to care for yourself. We often get so caught up in the holidays and all the shopping, meals, parties and obligations that we neglect our health. With all the rushing around, exhaustion will kick in and you’ll start to feel sluggish…and where does that show up first? Your skin! Your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside, and if you aren’t taking care of yourself – eating poorly, skipping meals, not getting enough sleep or forgetting to wash off makeup after a long day -- your skin will show it.

Even during stressful and busy times there are simple things you can do to take care of yourself and your skin. And the best part is, many of those yummy foods you enjoy at Thanksgiving are actually good for you and your skin!

Remember these simple tips this Turkey Day:

-Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day. With all social gatherings, it’s easy to over-indulge in alcohol, sweet drinks and too much caffeine, and not drink enough water. If you let yourself get dehydrated, your skin will show it – it’ll be drier and sallow, and any under-eye dark circles will become more noticeable. But this is an easy thing to prevent just by making sure you drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Keep a large refillable water bottle with you at work, out shopping and while preparing meals, and sip and refill throughout the day.

-Eat cranberries. Those red berries that make such pretty dishes and desserts this time of year are actually also really good for you and good for your skin. They are not only delicious but they are high in antioxidants, Vitamin C and fiber. Fresh cranberries are better than canned for getting the benefits of all these nutrients. So indulge in cranberry sauce, fresh cranberries and cranberry desserts!

-Eat pumpkin. Another popular holiday food that is also extremely healthy. Pumpkin is an all-natural enzyme. Enzymes help break down toxins and aid in digestion. Enjoy that pumpkin pie, just watch portion control and skip the whipped cream!

-Eat turkey. What’s Thanksgiving without turkey? Thankfully, it’s high in protein, which is great for your skin, giving it an all over glow. Counteract the sleepy effects of turkey by going for a brisk walk with your family after your big meal, which is also great for your skin and your body!

-Remember to moisturize. As the weather turns colder this time of year, it’s important to remember to moisturize your skin in the morning and before bed. And even though it’s tempting after a long, busy day and late holiday party, don’t ever got to bed without removing your makeup, otherwise you might just get a pimple (or two, or three…) for Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving!


November 16, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Tricks and Treats to Save You From Scary Halloween Skin

Whether you’re planning to dress up as Harley Quinn, a zombie or a witch, a big part of the costume will be the makeup. While creative makeup can really make a costume, it can also be harsh on your skin. To avoid scary post-Halloween breakouts, here are some tricks and treats that will help to minimize the damage from thick, oily Halloween makeup.

  • Don’t buy makeup at a Halloween store. Makeup kits mass marketed at big box stores and Halloween stores might be hypoallergenic, but not non-comedogenic, which means it can clog pores and cause breakouts. Instead, purchase professional or theatre makeup. While it may cost a little more, it will be less harsh on your skin and do less damage.
  •  Hydrate! Apply a creamier, heavier moisturizer the night and day before you apply the costume makeup. Excessive makeup will not dry out your skin if there’s a richly moisturized face underneath. Don’t forget when indulging in all of the sugary candy, alcohol and junk food at the Halloween party, to also drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  •  Cleanse thoroughly. No matter how tired you are after the big costume party, do not go to sleep with that heavy Halloween makeup still on your face! Take time to thoroughly wash off all the makeup – this may take several rinses. Use a thick creamy, oily makeup remover or a product specially designed for removing stage makeup. Don’t forget to remove eye makeup as well with a gentle, non-oily eye makeup remover. After all traces of makeup are gone, be sure to moisturize your skin to repair the damage from drying, thick makeup.

This Halloween, have fun and be creative with your makeup tricks, just remember to also treat your skin well afterward!


October 27, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Sunscreen shouldn't be your only defense against UV rays

Sunscreen is just one part of practicing good sun safety. One other important part is the clothing you wear when outdoors. However, all clothes are not created equal when it comes to sun protection. While most fabrics disrupt UV radiation to some degree, it’s important to understand the differences in order to make good clothing choices for when you’ll be outside for extended periods of time.

There are a several factors that determine how effective your clothes are in protecting you from sun damage. A tightly woven fabric such as cotton makes it difficult for UV rays to reach your skin; stretching the material can lower its protective properties. Unless you have fair skin that burns easily or you spend a lot of time outside, wearing ordinary clothing will provide you with adequate protection for the covered skin. But the color of that clothing does matter – darker colors are better for sun protection, while lighter shades, especially white, can still let in some UV rays even through clothing.

If you are at high risk for sunburn, or planning to spend a lot of time near the equator or in high elevations where the sun’s rays are strongest, you can purchase clothing that is designed specifically to act as a barrier to UV rays. These clothes, known as UPF or sun protective clothing, are created using dense, tightly woven fabric to minimize the amount of rays that can pass through. Their effectiveness also depends on the dyes used in the clothing; some types and concentrations deflect more rays than others. Pigment-dyed fabrics that include a resin have a high protection rating. Similar to the SPF rating on sunscreen, clothing has a UPF – Ultraviolet Protection Rating – that indicates how effectively it shields skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a rating of 50+, which means that only 1/50th (approximately 2 percent) of UV rays pass through the fabric and reach your skin.

Sun protective clothing is also an especially handy option for kids – specifically if you’ve got kids that balk at repeated applications of sunscreen. Swim shirts add a level of protection for a day at the beach or the pool. Kids also enjoy wearing fun hats and sunglasses – just don’t tell them it’s for their own safety!






October 19, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

How to Use Sunscreen with Makeup

Most women have regular skincare and daily makeup routines, but many may be leaving off one important piece - sunscreen.

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays must be a regular part of your daily routine. Can cosmetics and beauty products offer reliable protection, or is it possible to use sunscreen in combination with makeup?

Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD, says, "Makeup does not provide enough coverage. You need seven times the normal amount of foundation and 14 times the normal amount of powder to get the sun protection factor on the label. No one does this."

So the short answer is yes, you do need a separate sunscreen in addition to your makeup. The key is to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a rating of SPF 30, and apply it to your face and neck (don’t forget your ears too) before applying makeup. A sunscreen that is specially formulated for more delicate facial skin is best as it will not clog pores or cause breakouts.

After letting the sunscreen dry for 15 minutes, you can apply your regular makeup. You can choose a foundation or powder that includes a sunscreen for additional protection from the sun’s rays if you like. If the skin around your eyes is extra-sensitive, there are also eye creams available that contain sunscreen.

Don’t forget that your lips can also absorb and be damaged by UV rays. An opaque shade of lipstick can provide protection from the sun, but if you prefer a lighter, high-gloss look, choose a brand that contains SPF 15 or higher.

It’s also a good idea to reapply sunscreen at least once during the day, and as often as every two hours if you spend a lot of time outdoors. One way to do this is to use a translucent powder on top of the newly applied sunscreen. The powder will cut down on the shine and, being particulate, it will provide additional protection from the sun, as well as helping to keep your sunscreen and moisturizer in place.

Finally, your nighttime skincare routine is very important too. Take the time nightly to wash the sunscreen and makeup from your face with a gentle cleanser before you go to sleep. Your pores will thank you in the morning!






September 28, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Preventing and Minimizing Age Spots

As we age, our bodies go through lots of changes. One of the first places we showsigns of age is our skin, with the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and brown patches. These brown patches are commonly called age spots, liver spots or sun spots, and usually begin showing up during middle age. The number of age spots often depends on how much sun exposure you have had over your lifetime.

What are age spots?

Age spots are harmless, flat, brown spots on the skin caused by a concentration of melanin, the substance that gives skin and hair its color. Melanin is found in the skin, eyes, feathers and scales of all living creatures. As we age, the pigment gathers in the top layer of skin, causing spots to appear. Age spots--unlike freckles, which can lighten if not exposed to the sun --do not fade. The chief job of melanin is to provide a natural protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun, but it does not provide complete protection. Darker skinned people with higher melanin levels don’t burn as easily, but are still at risk for damage from dangerous UV rays.

Treatment options

Protecting yourself from exposure to UV rays is the best way to avoid or minimize these age spots. If you’re already seeing these spots on your skin and their appearance is distressing, there are a few treatments available that can successfully lighten the spots.

Bleaching creams are one treatment option, but require many applications over a few months. Over-the-counter creams are not as effective as prescription formulas, but the prescription creams may cause redness and peeling, and are usually more expensive. Chemical peels are another option. Talk with your dermatologist about effectiveness and recovery time. You can also choose laser resurfacing. During this procedure, the spots --along with wrinkles and lines-- are literally burned off. The recovery time is usually about a week, and requires multiple treatments. Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is a newer form of treatment that is favored by some because it does not damage the epidermis,  thus no recovery time.


Melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, can often look similar to, or mimic age spots. If you notice an age spot that is growing or has changed in appearance, such as in size or color, make an appointment with your doctor to have it checked right away.  Early detection is the key if the spot does turn out to be skin cancer and not just a harmless age spot.

Keys to prevention

Using an SPF 30, broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular, daily basis, especially on your face, is the best way to minimize the appearance of more age spots or if you are still young, to help prevent them. Age spots can also darken due to sun exposure, so using a sunscreen when outdoors can really keep the spots from getting darker.

September 13, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff
Shop Now