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

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

Decoding a Sunscreen Label

With so many different types and brands of sunscreens available on the market, it can be confusing to know which one is right for you. It’s important not to fall for fancy packaging and false claims pictured on products but instead to know how to read a sunscreen label and to know exactly what you are getting.

To make it easier for consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has simplified the rules for sunscreen labels. The primary guidelines concern Sun Protection Factor (SPF), broad spectrum coverage and water resistance. There is additional information on the labels to help you narrow your choice.

SPF

SPF is a measure of how long a person can stay in the sun before the skin starts to burn.  The FDA recommends that consumers look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. But keep in mind, no matter what the SPF, sunscreens start to lose effectiveness over time, so it’s important to reapply every two hours and after swimming or heavy sweating.  Also note that in sunscreens above SPF 50, the amount of additional sun protection is negligible.

Broad spectrum

It’s essential for your sunscreen to offer broad spectrum protection, which means that it offers effective protection against both UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays, the solar wavelengths proven to damage the skin. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB, and are the chief cause of wrinkles, sagging and other signs of aging. UVB rays damage the skin’s upper surface and are the main cause of sunburn. Both can cause skin cancer.

Water resistance

The FDA has forbidden companies from claiming their products are “waterproof” or that they provide “all-day protection” on any sunscreen packaging, since no sunscreen is fully water- or sweat-proof. The terms “water-resistant” and “sweat-resistant” indicate whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes when you are swimming or sweating.

Expiration date: Always check the bottle for an expiration date. Do not use a sunscreen after the expiration date as products can lose effectiveness over time.

Active ingredients: The FDA requires all products to list their active ingredients on the back of the bottle along with their concentrations. There are two main types of active sunscreen ingredients: chemical and physical. Chemical ingredients such as avobenzone and benzophenone, work by absorbing UV, reducing its penetration into the skin, whereas physical ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, stay on top of the skin and deflect UV rays. Many sunscreens available today combine chemical and physical ingredients.

Other considerations:

A few other things to look for on sunscreen labels will depend on your personal needs and preferences. For instance, some products are made for sensitive skin and are PABA-free, paraben-free and/or fragrance-free. Some products may be listed as non-comedogenic or oil-free, meaning they won’t cause breakouts, which can be especially important for sunscreen for the face. Those with nut or gluten allergies may want to find a product that does not contain any of these allergens.

 

 

 

 

 

July 22, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Could You Have Skin Allergies?

Allergens are everywhere. They can be disguised as innocent little plants – like poison ivy – or sweet smelling perfumes. They can be airborne and land on your eyelids. They can come in the form of cigarette smoke or chemical sprays. They can be seasonal with the arrival of pollen or they can be hidden in your home, mattress or carpet as dust mites. All of these things can trigger an allergic response that causes sneezing, eye watering, stuffiness and more.

Skin allergies are sneaky, too. Anything that comes in contact with your skin can trigger a skin reaction that results in a red, itchy rash or even hives. It takes at least 10 days to become sensitive to something that you’ve been in contact with. That can make it very difficult to isolate the cause of the rash. Sometimes it can take years of contact before you have a reaction. After you develop askin sensitivity, though, you could react within just a few minutes of contact. Some causes of skin allergies include nickel, makeup, lotions, fragrances, shampoos, cleaning products, medications, plants and latex.

To determine what you are allergic to, many allergists or dermatologists use the TRUE test. It consists of a set of small patches that the doctor attaches to your back. Each one has a sample of a possible allergen. After wearing the patches for two days, the doctor will check for reactions. Your doctor may want to do further testing using substances that are unique to you and your work or home environment. If you have a problem with nickel, you can use a dimethylglyoxime to test objects in your life for their nickel content. When you have a skin reaction to an irritant, it is usually a form of contact dermatitis.

When you have a skin reaction, it’s important not to scratch because the afflicted area can become infected. There are several creams and lotions, such as hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion,which you can use to help with the itching. Home remedies, such as oatmeal baths and cold compresses, can also bring relief. Preventing an attack is the best plan of action, however. Do your best to figure out what is causing your allergic reactions and remove it from your environment.

 

April 27, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Nutrition to Support Healthy Skin

Did you know that your diet can affect your skin? Foods that keep your body healthy can also keep your skin healthy. It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet that includes protein, simple and complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Eating junk food like candy, baked goods and sodas can cause breakouts and so can too much caffeine. Too much fatty protein can cause dull, puffy skin and dark under-eye circles, while too many salty foods can cause puffy skin and aggravate breakouts.

Five A Day

Enjoy five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables everyday to fuel your body with all the nutrients it needs. Fruits and veggies contain antioxidants (see below) and vitamins that promote healthy, glowing skin. For example, Vitamin A is found in citrus fruits, melons, leafy greens, eggs and dairy products. Topically, it can be used for treating wrinkles and brown spots.

Hydration

Keep your skin well hydrated by drinking lots of water every day. Water keeps skin moist, which helps make fine line lines and wrinkles less noticeable. On a cellular level, good hydration helps cells take in nutrients and get rid of toxins. It also helps with blood flow, giving you a healthy glow. Limit caffeine and alcohol as these can be dehydrating and dry out your skin.

Oils

The use of good oils in cooking helps lubricate your skin from the inside out. Extra-virgin olive oil and cold- or expeller-pressed oils add flavor to your food, as well. You can also apply it directly to your skin -- olive oil even makes a great lip gloss!

Antioxidants

Free radicals are groups of unpaired atoms that run around your body wreaking havoc by trying to steal electrons from other molecules. This causes all kinds of cellular damage, breaks down collagen and causes skin to age. Antioxidants fight the free radicals in your body. Keeping your body supplied with antioxidants helps keep your skin youthful.

Incorporate essential antioxidants into your diet with these foods:

  • Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin found in vegetable oils, nuts, olives, seeds, spinach, asparagus, olives and leafy greens.
  • Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in citrus fruits, green peppers, cabbage and other fruits and vegetables. Try making a berry mask from strawberries; they contain more Vitamin C than oranges.
  • Pumpkin is full of Vitamin A, C and E as well as carotenoids, wrinkle-fighting plant pigments.
  • Coenzyme Q10, another antioxidant, also helps create energy. Salmon, tuna, poultry, organ meats and whole grains are good sources of CoQ10. It is also found as an ingredient in skincare products that help reduce wrinkles.
  • Drink green tea. It can stop inflammation and help slow DNA damage. Because of tannins, green tea is a great astringent and will take the sting out of a sunburn. Simply chill damp tea bags in the refrigerator and apply to sunburned areas.

Developing healthy eating habits will have a positive effect on your skin as well as your waistline!

 

April 22, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Is This Rash Serious?

If you have a red, scaly rash that itches like crazy, you probably have a form of contact dermatitis. When your skin comes in contact with something it doesn’t like – poison ivy, for example – it becomes inflamed, sometimes to the point of blistering. If the inflammation continues over time, your skin can even become cracked and scaly.

There are several different types of dermatitis including contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis

The most common type of dermatitis is contact dermatitis, which can be caused by an allergic reaction or skin damage from an irritant. Common causes include fabrics, household cleaning products, cosmetics, workplace chemicals, metals and plants. Because contact dermatitis is caused by an irritant, the first step in treatment is to wash the affected area thoroughly. Wet dressings may help reduce itching and drying, and anti-itch creams may help relieve the symptoms. Be careful though -- some over-the-counter drugs can actually increase the symptoms. If the rash is caused by inflammation, you may need a corticosteroid cream. Identifying the cause of the irritation is vital; the dermatitis will continue to reoccur as long as you come in contact with the irritant.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis shows up on the skin of infants as itchy, dry, scaly patches of skin, usually the cheeks and head. As children get older, it moves to the creases of elbows and knees. Atopic dermatitis, though incurable, can be managed by avoiding case-specific environmental triggers and things that dry your skin, i.e. chlorinated swimming pools, fragrances in lotions and soaps, or rough materials such as wool. Stress can also make atopic dermatitis worse, as can sudden temperature changes. Oatmeal baths can help reduce the aggravating itch that accompanies dermatitis.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Dandruff and cradle cap in infants are examples of seborrheic dermatitis, caused by the overproduction of oil by the sebaceous glands. Dandruff shows up as white flakes of dry skin on the scalp while babies three months and younger often get cradle cap: crusty yellow or brown scales on their scalp. It usually goes away before they're a year old, although it can come back when they reach puberty. Sometimes, seborrheic dermatitis will clear up by itself. More often, it's a lifelong issue that clears and flares. It can last for years at a time, but you can control it with good skin care and specially formulated shampoos for dandruff.

Although it is itchy and uncomfortable, in most cases, dermatitis is not serious. However, if you begin to have difficulty breathing or swallowing, your heart rate speeds up and you notice swelling at the site of the irritation, you may be having a severe allergic reaction to something. In this instance, get medical help immediately.

April 12, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Skincare for Men

Healthy skin is something we should all strive for, no matter what our gender. Many women have a regular skincare regimen, but a lot of men are woefully negligent in this area. Just a few simple changes to your daily routine can immensely improve the health of your skin.

Avoid razor burn

Men do have one problem, however, that is gender specific: ingrown hairs resulting from shaving. As you shave, the blade cuts the whisker at an angle that is so sharp the course hair can actually pierce the skin as it curls in on itself. It can become inflamed, and in some cases, infected. To minimize razor burn, try these suggestions:

  •  Use a single blade razor. Your shave might not be as close as it has been, but the longer whiskers will be less likely to cause a problem.
  • Shave in the shower – it minimizes the likelihood of razor burn.
  • Find a gentleman’s scent you like and use it at least once, preferably twice, per day, morning and night.
  • Shave in the direction of your hair. Again, the shave won’t be quite as close, but it minimizes the danger of razor bumps that could result in infections.

Other skincare necessities are shared by men and women alike. Dry skin can be a big problem, especially in the winter if you spend a lot of time in a low humidity environment. Make sure you keep hydrated and use a humidifier in your home, if you can.

Protect your skin

One of the most important skincare concerns for men – especially younger men – is protecting their skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Sun damage can take years to develop into skin cancer and a lot of young people feel invincible, making sunscreen the last thing on their minds.

Sunscreen should be your number one skincare product. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30, and use it whenever you spend time outside. Another idea to save time and money is to use a sunscreen product especially designed for the face that does double duty – for example, Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Face moisturizes as it protects as it contains a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen and several vitamins and minerals that moisturize and keep skin healthy.

With a minimal amount of extra care, your skin can look and feel good – and stay that way!

 

March 29, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

How to Use Sunscreen with Makeup

 

We all want to present our best face to the world. Many women have their favorite skincare and makeup routines that they swear by, but the most important thing is  to start with healthy skin and strive to keep it that way.

Unless you live in a cave and never go outside, protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun must be part of your daily routine. Do 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," she says. "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 other than your makeup. The key is to choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with a rating of SPF 15 or higher, and apply it to your face and neck (don’t forget your ears too) before applying makeup. 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 is SPF 15 or higher.

It’s a good idea to reapply sunscreen at least once during the day - 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 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!

 

March 21, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Understanding Rosacea

 

Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects approximately 14 million Americans. Its symptoms are usually patchy redness and inflammation, especially on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. It often starts between the ages of 30 and 50 and affects more women than men. Because symptoms start slowly, rosacea may be at first mistaken for sunburn.

What causes Rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is still unknown. The basic process seems to involve dilation of the small blood vessels of the face. Currently, it is believed that rosacea patients have a genetically mediated reduction in the ability to dampen facial inflammation that is incited by environmental factors such a sunburn, demodecosis (Demodexfolliculorumin the hair follicles), flushing and certain medications. Rosacea tends to affect the "blush" areas of the face and is more common in people who flush easily. Additionally, a variety of triggers are known to cause rosacea to flare. Emotional factors (stress, fear, anxiety, embarrassment, etc.) may trigger blushing and aggravate rosacea. A flare-up can be caused by changes in the weather, like strong winds, or a change in the humidity. Sun exposure and sun-damaged skin is associated with rosacea. Exercise, alcohol consumption and spicy food are other well-known triggers that may aggravate rosacea.

Rosacea risk factors include fair skin, English, Irish or Scottish heredity, easy blushing, and having other family members with rosacea (called "positive family history"). Rosacea can affect both men and women, although it’s more common in women. It is also more common in those ages 30 to 50 and during menopause.

Signs and symptoms

Rosacea symptoms tend to come and go. The skin may be clear for weeks, months or years and then erupt again. Rosacea tends to evolve in stages and typically causes inflammation of the skin of the face, particularly the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin.

When rosacea first develops, it may appear, then disappear, and then reappear. However, the skin may fail to return to its normal color, and the enlarged blood vessels and pimples arrive in time. Rosacea rarely resolves spontaneously.

Rosacea generally lasts for years, and if untreated, it tends to gradually worsen. 

Treatment

While rosacea cannot be cured, it can usually be controlled with proper, regular treatments.

Available medical treatments include antibacterial washes, topical creams, oral antibiotics, lasers, pulsed-light therapies, photodynamic therapy, and isotretinoin.

Popular methods of treatment include topical medications applied by the patient once or twice a day. Topical antibiotic medication such as metronidazole applied one to two times a day after cleansing may significantly improve rosacea. Azelaic acid is another effective treatment. Both metronidazole and azelaic acid work to control the redness and bumps in rosacea.

Some patients elect combination therapies and notice an improvement by alternating metronidazole and azelaic acid: using one in the morning and one at night. Other patients find oral antibiotics or laser therapies help more severe cases of rosacea.

Sun protection

Sun exposure is a well-known flare for many rosacea sufferers. Sun protection using a wide-brimmed hat and physical sunscreens (those with zinc or titanium) are generally encouraged. Because rosacea tends to occur in mostly fair-skinned adults, the use of an appropriate daily sunscreen lotion and overall sun avoidance is recommended. 

 

January 14, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff
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