Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide: The Ultimate in Physical Blockers

 

Remember the white noses that lifeguards sported in the 1960s and 1970s? The white cream was usually a zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide-based sunscreen. It protected their noses by creating a physical barrier between their skin and the sun’s rays. Such physical blocking of the sun’s UV rays is an effective way to protect yourself from skin damage caused by the sun. The downfall was that the cream was a thick, greasy paste that caste a white sheen on the skin and no one really liked using it.

That’s not the case anymore. Through years of research, scientists at Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen have created a high-grade formula that is non-greasy and invisible when applied to the skin. All Blue Lizard products contain this formulation of zinc oxide.

Zinc oxide is available in several grades — Blue Lizard Sunscreen uses the very high-grade zinc oxide, which is preferred for pharmaceutical dermatology products. It is the only one of its kind recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Category I skin protectant. Because of its high quality, it is classified as USP (pharmaceutical) grade, a higher rating than cosmetic-grade zinc oxide. And, Blue Lizard’s zinc oxide is also recognized as a diaper rash treatment by the FDA.

Titanium dioxide is another physical blocking agent that is used in Blue Lizard products for sensitive skin and babies. It has a high refractive index, which enhances its stability and ability to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays. 

The sun produces two kinds of rays that are harmful to the skin — UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide protect your skin from both types of UV rays and together provide effective broad-spectrum protection. For people with sensitive skin, absorption of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can sometimes cause irritation. But with Blue Lizard, the particle sizes of both minerals are too large to penetrate the skin, so Blue Lizard products are safe to use for even the most sensitive skin.

Another important feature in a sunscreen is its ability to be stable over time in the sun. Some sunscreens require solvents or photo stabilizers to circumvent this problem. Blue Lizard’s formulation does not.

Blue Lizard was originally created in Australia, which has the highest sunscreen standards in the world. It is the sunscreen that is most recommended by dermatologists, pediatricians and pharmacists nationwide.

 

 

Protecting Little Faces:

Using Sunscreen on Infants and Children

 

Slathering on the sunscreen for lazy days at the pool or beach are warm-weather rituals for many families. But if you're tempted to let your child play outdoors for even a few minutes without the proper sun protection, you’re taking an unhealthy risk. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation sustaining five or more sunburns in youth increases lifetime risk for melanoma by 80 percent.

baby’s skin is especially delicate and burns more easily. Their sensitive skin contains less melanin, the pigment that gives our hair and eyes their color and offers some sun protection.

Follow these simple tips all year round to help protect you child from the sun’s harmful rays.

 Infants Under 6 Months

  • The use of sunscreen in infants younger than 6 months old is an often-debated topic. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and The Skin Cancer Foundation recommend using sunscreen only on children older than 6 months; the American Academy of Pediatrics, on the other hand, states that using sunscreen on infants younger than 6 months of age is safe. Because of these conflicting recommendations, you should always check with your pediatrician before using sunscreen on babies under 6 months old.
  • Seek shade whenever possible under a tree, umbrella or stroller canopy. Dress your baby in long sleeves and pants in a light fabric and always use a hat. There are also UV sunglasses made just for babies now that will protect those little eyes.

 Children Older than 6 Months

  •  Sunscreen can be applied to all areas of the body, but be especially careful when applying sunscreen to a child’s face as you don’t want to get it in their eyes and cause stinging. Don’t forget the scalp, ears and neck.
  • Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, as it will screen out both ultraviolet A (UVA) and B (UVB) rays.
  • Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, although SPF 30 is the most recommended by dermatologists. Anything over SPF 30 is no longer recommended by dermatologists as the extra protection is negligible and the additional chemicals may cause skin reactions in some kids.
  • Make sure to use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet and hands. Rub it in well.
  • Older children should learn to apply sunscreen themselves, and make it a routine habit.
  • If you chose to use a spray sunscreen, never spray the product directly on a child’s face. Spray in your hands first then apply to the child’s face. Since the safety of spray sunscreens is debatable and the FDA has issued concerns with inhaling their fumes, lotions are recommended by dermatologists for children for safer and more effective application.
  • Sunscreen needs time to absorb into the skin, so apply sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Anytime your child goes outdoors they need to wear sunscreen, not just when they are at the beach or the pool. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen before your child goes to school in the morning so they are covered during recess. All schools have different rules for bringing and applying sunscreen at school. Some, for example, require a doctor’s prescription, so be sure you know your school’s rules.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming, sweating or drying off with a towel. Even sunscreens that are water-resistant still need to be reapplied at least every two hours.

 Keep in mind that sunscreen should be used for sun protection, not as a reason to stay in the sun longer. Adults should also model what we want our children to do and wear sunscreen as well.  You’ll not only set a good example, but you’ll reduce your risk of skin cancer, sun damage and skin aging.

 

June 06, 2017 by Blue Lizard Staff

The ABC' s of Skin Cancer

Detecting skin cancer early is the key to successful treatment.

“Self-examinations and yearly skin checks with dermatologist are very effective ways to monitor for skin cancer and serve as preventive measures,” says Dr. Bruce Glassman, a dermatologist in Alexandria, Va.

You can check your own skin for signs of skin cancer by following the ABCDE rule.

  • Asymmetry — Normal moles or freckles are completely symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through a normal spot, you would have two symmetrical halves. In cases of skin cancer, spots will not look the same on both sides.
  •  Border — A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges.
  •  Color —A mole that is more than one color is suspicious and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Normal spots are usually one color. This can include lightening or darkening of the mole.
  •  Diameter — If a mole is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be examined by a doctor. This is includes areas that do not have any other abnormalities (color, border, asymmetry).
  •  Evolving – When a mole changes in size, shape or color, or begins to bleed or scab, you need to have it checked by a doctor as soon as possible as these can be warning signs of skin cancer.

According to Dr. Glassman, if you follow the suggestions as to what to look for above, you should be able to prevent most skin cancers from becoming major problems.

“The skin should be self examined regularly for signals for skin cancer,” says Dr. Glassman. “As noted above, any changes should bring you in to the dermatologist. We are here to help. In at-risk patients, we recommend bi-annual and or annual skin exams.”

 

 

May 01, 2017 by Blue Lizard Staff

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?

 

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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 bluelizard.net? 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 bluelizard.net 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
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