Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you adopt that philosophy, it’s a given that year-round sun protection is a necessity for long-term beautiful skin. But slathering every inch of your body with SPF can be a time-consuming, greasy mess. In addition, it’s an expensive habit that is not convenient, and even the best sunscreens do not offer 100% protection all day long–especially when exposed to perspiration and water.
In honor of May being Melanoma Awareness Month, I am so excited to share with you my favorite sun-protection tip: Solumbra clothing.
The Solumbra clothing line offers 100% UV protection in a lightweight fabrication that protects your skin all day long, without the worry of repeated applications of sunscreen. For those of you who are smart enough to protect your skin–and your children’s skin–it’s a must.
Invented by Sun Precautions President Shaun Hughes after his personal bout with malignant melanoma, Solumbra is where medical science and technology meet fashion, equalling perfect pieces for outdoor workouts, time beside the pool or on the beach, and even everyday life.
“Solumbra fabrics were patented almost 20 years ago for their novel use of fabric construction, dyeing and finishing that offer superior UV photoprotection,” Shaun said. “The fabrics do not rely on a coating or treatment that can wear off, rub off, or wash out,” he added. “The sun protection is built into the fibers and the weaving construction.”
Additionally, Solumbra fabrics go through simulated full-days of UV exposure and a rigorous 500 durability cycle test of launderings. (The industry standard, as a quick aside, is only 40 durability cycles.)
Recommended by doctors and used by professional athletes, Solumbra has the highest sun protection and durability measurements on the market according to Time Magazine.
Shaun said, “Our products protect real people, not laboratory sensors, so we need to demonstrate that Solumbra provides 100+ SPF protection.” Other companies, Shaun told me, usually only claim 50+ SPF, at maximum.
“We conduct both human (in vivo) and laboratory instrument (in vitro) testing,” Shaun explained. “Most companies only do in vitro testing. I think human testing is critical to determine photo protection and to carry out on-going quality control testing.”
In easy wearable styles and feather-light fabrics, Solumbra is the perfect answer to sweltering summer months when the sun’s damaging rays are at their peak. A typical long-sleeved Solumbra shirt weighs only 70% of the weight of a short-sleeved cotton shirt. And when you consider that a typical t-shirt only offers an SPF of a mere 7, Solumbra is clearly the intelligent choice.
If you’re sun-sensitive, or if protecting your skin is a priority, you simply must request a Sun Precautions catalog and order at least a few key pieces. Here are some of my favorite items.
Your answer to sun protection for the littlest ones, this scuba-inspired swimsuit for toddlers fits like a glove and offers full-body coverage–in Solumbra’s unique, four-way stretch fabric–without impeding movement. It’s the sensible option for sensitive baby skin. No chemicals in this smart swimsuit!
This shirt has it all. An athletic top with side stretch panels for a contoured fit, it can take you easily from yoga class to the farmer’s market without missing a beat. A hidden zippered pocket is ideal for stashing essentials, and a full-zip front closure means quick on-and-off. Underarm and back yoke ventilation ensure that you’ll keep your cool, and a longer back hem comes in handy when you stretch so you can maintain modesty at the same time. Perfection!
It may be hard to believe, but the unisex shirt below is perfect for the most vigorous workouts in the most intense heat. With a unique ventilation system, it actually cools you down while you work up a sweat. Said marathon runner Bill Andrews, “I competed in the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley where the daytime temperature never dipped under 120 degrees. Running in Solumbra,” he said, “was an eye-opening experience. I expected it to protect me from sunburn–which it did–but I never expected it to cool me. The underarm vents circulated air around my body so that I was actually cooler running than standing still. As a result, I didn’t want to stop running, and kept going until I reached the finish line. Solumbra’s a winner, hands down.”
“Our products are both comfortable and sun protective,” Shaun said. “That’s why serious ultra marathoners choose to buy our clothing and wear it during the grueling Badwater Ultramarathon,” he added.
The women’s version of the unisex Ultra Athlete Shirt, this top is for those who are serious about their sport and their skin.
“When I wear Solumbra it’s like I’m running in the shade,” according to runner Connie Dockendorf.
Said Shaun, “The fabrics are engineered to be both sun protective while wicking moisture–a vital characteristic on hot summer days. We minimize the amount of UV that can sneak through between the threads and we elevate the fabric away from the skin to promote moisture wicking…We put a wicking finish on our Solumbra fabric to help keep you more comfortable.”
Connie stated, “During the Badwater Ultramarathon I ran in the suit, and at night one of my crew members washed it in a cooler. By sunrise my suit was completely dry, and I put it back on to run in the searing heat.”
The quick dry-time makes Solumbra excellent for travel. In fact, Solumbra clothing was deemed one of the world’s most important travel innovations by Travel & Leisure Magazine. This shirt is a pivotal piece in my summer wardrobe, and a staple in my suitcase!
The flattering tunic below makes a great beach cover up or the perfect hippiechick top over leggings or capri pants. With notched bell sleeves and feminine embroidery, it’s a great example of style meeting substance. Super lightweight with a flirtatious asymmetrical hemline, it’s also an ideal piece for travel because, like all Solumbra pieces, it weighs nothing and packs like a dream.
Because sun damage is cumulative, every bit of protection makes a huge difference in the aging process. I keep this broad-brimmed hat folded up in my bag. When it comes to sun protection, preparedness is key, and this hat has come in handy more times than I can remember. Super light and crushable, it’s the best beauty investment I’ve ever made.
Hi guys, you absolutely must subscribe to my friend Jillian’s brand-new video blog! As you know, Jillian owns Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa, a fab spa in New York City, and she’s performed nearly 10,000 facials during her illustrious career. Jillian really knows skin…a consultation with her costs big bucks, and she and her accomplished staff deliver their trademark glow to the rich and the famous.
Imagine talking to Jillian about all your skin concerns…well now you can! Subscribe to her video blog and you can watch as she answers the most common skin care questions with the knowledge of a master. Her first video, above, deals with the serious issue of pigmentation. Jillian breaks it all down in language that’s easy to understand.
She has lots of cool topics in store for us, so subscribe and learn!
Hi guys, I’m rallying everyone I know to help support an important cause. It’s for my friend Britta Aragon, pictured above, safe cosmetics expert, makeup artist, and author of the blog Cinco Vidas. Britta’s blog is dedicated to providing valuable information for cancer sufferers, and her skin care products, CV Skinlabs, are safe and natural solutions for the educated consumer, beloved by top makeup artists, beauty editors and doctors alike.
If you’ve ever lost a loved one to cancer, or if you’ve seen the horrible aftermath of cancer treatments that can leave the skin dry, fragile and unbearably itchy, you will want to participate in this important campaign.
Britta’s goal is to deliver a sampling of all CV Skinlabs products to every hospital in the nation so those who need it most will have access to them, and she also wants to start a marketing campaign to get CV Skinlabs into cancer centers nationwide, where sensitive skin conditions are common.
Pretty & Smart
Britta discovered her passion for safe skin care while helping her father during his eight-year battle with cancer. After experimenting with high-end creams that only exacerbated his condition, making him further inflamed, Britta was inspired to create products for truly sensitive and chemo-damaged skin. “Sometimes in tragedy we find our life’s purpose,” she stated.
Author of When Cancer Hits, Britta herself was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease at the age of 16 and founded the Cinco Vidas blog in 2008, dedicating her work to her father’s legacy. Both the blog and the book provide innumerable precious resources on everything from wigs and skin care, to alternative therapies and tips on how to reduce and prevent hair loss. You can even learn where to find oncology aestheticians, organic spas and all kinds of other valuable specialists in your area.
How You Can Help
Remember that every penny counts in a campaign like this, and the fundraising ends tonight at 11:59 Pacific time, so click this link to read more and make your donation now. Even as little as 10 bucks makes a big difference, and you can receive Britta’s award-winning products to try for your loved ones or yourself depending on how much you donate. Her products are great for sensitive, overworked or sunburned skin, too. After all, you don’t have to have cancer to love intelligent, non-toxic skin products. That’s pretty smart.
I am so bummed out that I can’t make it to The Makeup Show in New York City this year, May 5–6. I’ll be missing Dick Page’s keynote speech, which is the highlight of the two-day event!
Of course the show will also feature 20 seminars, 14 hands-on workshops, and more than 75 beauty brands, like Make Up For Ever, Eugenia Weston’s Senna Cosmetics, Crown Brush, Nars, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Stila, Smashbox…etc…! I’m absolutely crushed that I’m going to miss it.
If you can’t make it to the show, you can at least check out this great interview I did with Dick when he came to Nordstrom in San Francisco, California last September. You don’t know makeup if you don’t know Dick.
Wow! Selena Gomez was perfection at Sunday night’s MTV Movie Awards, wearing a gold Julien MacDonald beaded minidress and a chunky French braid. We love Selena’s fashion sensibilities, of course, but the real show-stopper was her dramatic hairdo, courtesy of hairstylist Riawna Capri of West Hollywood’s Nine Zero One Salon, the über-chic salon that caters to the hippest in Hollywood.
And if you think this style looks spectacular from the front, just look at it from the back!
We are quite taken with this romance-meets-rocker hairstyle, which no doubt is a result of bunches of bobby pins and a headful of extensions…not that it makes it any less fabulous! Check out our tribute to the twisted trend of braids, here on Beauty Shall Save the World.
1. Exfoliate at least once or twice a week. “Your skin, being the largest bodily organ, goes through a lot to protect you internally and externally,” Jillian said. “We are constantly shedding dead skin cells that sit on the surface and dull our complexion. The skin can look gray, sallow and dull. A simple solution is to exfoliate once or twice a week–depending on your skin type–to reveal fresh, healthy skin.” By helping the proliferation process, you are keeping your skin vibrant, youthful and energized. The right exfoliation balance will ensure your skin’s beauty.
2. Eliminate excessive amount of sugar, dairy, salt, alcohol and caffeine. Anything in excess can throw off your balance in life, love, work, family, and even your skin. Keep a mental or written diary of what is going on in your life down to everything you are consuming. If you have concerns about your diet, consult a clinical dietician who can help ween you off certain triggers that may be causing your skin to react.
3. Do not touch and pick at your face. Want zits? Go ahead and touch your face! You bring bacteria to the surface when you pick or touch which will spread and cause unnecessary acne especially around your mouth. In the morning, after you apply your skincare and makeup, don’t touch your face until you are ready to take it off and prepare for bed.
Don’t pick at your face either. It is difficult to restrain from this nasty habit, but it is doable. You have to WANT to stop this habit. Scarring, discoloration and acne are all results of picking your skin. Give it a try, and after three months of keeping your paws away from your face, you will see a visible difference in your skin.
4. Drink lots of water. Water is hydrating and helps to flush toxins from the body. If you don’t like the taste of straight water, Jillian recommends adding Pure Inventions to it. Pure Inventions is a liquid water enhancer that comes in delicious flavors that will make water taste refreshing and yummy.
5. Eat the colors of the rainbow. By including in your diet a variety of bright fruits and vegetables you are ensuring better nutrition. “My mother always says just put out a bowl of fruit or veggies and the kids will eat it,” said Jillian. “It is true, if you cut up lots of colorful food, it is nearly impossible for you and your family not to eat it. We call cucumbers, “cucumber cookies” and if my son is playing, I’ll hand him a yellow pepper. It’s not forced, it’s natural and if you adapt that mentality into your diet, you are more likely to grab a cherry than a cookie if it is there waiting for you.”
6. Be your own skincare detective. “A journal of your skin functions can be a very good indicator of why your skin is behaving badly,” Jillian said. “If you write it down, it may come to you why you are have a flaky nose, or acne, or fine lines going across your forehead. When you sit down and think about it, that trouble-shooting will pay off,” she added. You can figure out why your skin may be unbalanced by simply reflecting on your daily habits.
7. Wear sunscreen every day. Even when you are walking around in cloudy weather, or making a quick dash to the market, your skin is exposed to UVA and UVB damaging rays. This weakens your elasticity causing wrinkles and fine lines, discoloration, age spots and redness. The sun is producing free radicals that damage your skin. It’s much harder to reverse the damage than it is to prevent it. Wearing an SPF of 30 or higher every day will slow down the aging process.
8. Know your hormonal cycle. This is one of the biggest culprits of skin behaving badly. If you know your cycle you can plan for certain activities that may or may not impact your skin’s health. For example, don’t plan a facial a few days before your cycle or ovulation. Your skin is overly sensitive and producing more oil than it normally does. Wait until you’re a few days into your period or afterwards because your skin tends to be less sensitive. Same goes for your ovulation. You’re apt to get cystic acne during this time so don’t pick. You can use a spot treatment or mask to help purge your skin of impurities.
9. Sleep well. Start a positive bedtime ritual for quality sleep. Light a candle or read a good book before you drift off. Avoid sleeping with the television on. Take care of and nurture yourself. Make the bedroom into a pleasurable haven where you can relax. Get into a sleep habit. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. A rhythmic ritual such as this is good for your skin. Become a back sleeper. Stomach sleeping presses your face into the pillow, causing fine lines and creases.
10. Make happiness. “Sometimes it is difficult to carve out time to just be happy,” Jillian said. “We have so much going on in our busy lives–family, friends, work, school and other responsibilities that take us away from taking care of ourselves.” Jillian advises finding something to look forward to, that only involves you. It doesn’t have to be complicated…it can be a movie, a pedicure, a massage, a good book or a play. Minimizing stress in your life will eliminate some of the mental clutter and ultimately benefit your skin’s overall health and aging process.
Hi guys, I’ve already introduced you to my gorgeous friend Jillian Wright, above, a master aesthetician with perfect alabaster skin, in my article on facials. Jillian owns Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa, a fabulous spa in New York that caters to the rich, the famous, and those in-the-know. Although you can book appointments for waxing, eyelash extensions and permanent makeup (and so much more), Jillian’s personal passion is helping her clients, among whom include Ivana and Ivanka Trump, achieve beautiful radiant skin.
An initial facial and consultation with Jillian–which lasts two hours!–costs $395, and follow-ups are $350! Her knowledge is precious, and her time is money; that’s why we are so fortunate that Jillian, who has performed nearly 10,000 facials in her illustrious career, took the time to share with us her greatest tips in skin care. Pay attention, you are bound to learn something!
The Six Skin Sins
A tan may look great in the short term, but the sun takes a terrible toll on your skin. Not only does the sun cause hyperpigmentation (discoloration), fine lines and wrinkles, Jillian said, “it also causes your skin to lose its elasticity. So if you are wondering why all of a sudden you see enlarged pores, it may be due to unprotected sun exposure at some point in your life.” Jillian recommends sunscreen every day–even in the winter and overcast days. A good rule of thumb: if it’s bright enough to read a newspaper, wear sunscreen. “And try to wear a hat when you are in direct sunlight,” she added.
Aside from the obvious dangers of cigarettes, smoking is one of the top skin sins. “Not only are you inhaling carcinogens that cause cancer,” Jillian stated, “the trail of primary and secondary smoke travels up your T-zone making it more clogged with blackheads.”
“A blackhead is rancid oil that has oxidized and is sitting in your skin getting larger and stinkier the longer you leave it there,” she said, “Oh, and let’s not forget the fine lines on your upper lip that surround your mouth…they’re caused by the act of smoking and its consequences.”
In addition, Jillian advises home-cooked meals made with healthy whole foods. “When you eat processed foods, fast food, take out, etc…you have no control over the ingredients. You have absolutely no idea what you are putting in your body that may affect your skin,” she said. “Eating whole foods that are prepared and cooked at home is a better choice,” she stated. “Also, if you are acne prone, there are certain triggers like sugar, dairy, and fast food that may be exacerbating the issue.” Jillian recommends checking with a good clinical nutritionist for a consultation.
Environmental stressors and emotional stressors can cause your skin to behave badly according to Jillian. “You can have increased inflammation, breakouts and just look tired. Where you live greatly affects the functionality of your skin so keep that in mind when you move somewhere new,” she said. “Keep a skincare journal to document the changes that occur in your lifestyle. Same with emotional stressors. Do you have a paper due? Are you preparing for a major presentation? Are you traveling? Not sleeping? Sad? These factors all have a hand at dysfunctional skin.”
It is not enough to wash your face once or twice a week, let alone once a day. You should be washing your face twice a day every day with the appropriate cleanser–one that doesn’t strip your skin or leave behind grime. Using the right cleanser will insure a beautiful canvas for the rest of your products to work on. You should also have a targeted day and night serum and moisturizer. Day and night should be different.
“During the day, you need ingredients that will protect your skin from free radical damage and degradation,” Jillian said. “At night, you need products that will rejuvenate and replenish the skin during its sleeping hours.”
Exfoliating should happen up to three times a week depending on skin type according to Jillian.
Another form of sloth is lack of activity. Exercise is amazing for so many reasons, but regarding your skin, it gets blood flowing which brings oxygen to your organs and your skin. Oxygen gives your skin the freshness it needs to stay healthy and youthful.
This is when your skin and body replenish and rejuvenate. It’s so important for your skin to have that time to rest and recover and rebuild healthy skin cells.
A good night’s sleep is crucial for the body to function properly and for your skin to look its best. Not getting enough shut-eye throws your internal balance off and may instigate fat and sugar cravings. When the body lacks sufficient amounts of sleep, cortisol levels rise, which can cause insulin sensitivities. Another reason to sleep in!
Stay tuned for Jillian’s Top Skin Commandments–she will divulge more fabulous tips for a glowing complexion! Thanks, Jillian, we can’t wait!