Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
The sun is beautiful but it can also cause skin cancer.
The sun is beautiful but it can also cause skin cancer. Source: Sebastian Voortman

Let’s talk about something that affects everyone but is hardly discussed — Skin Cancer. One of the most diagnosed cancers, skin cancer is non-discriminative. It doesn’t matter your age, race or location if you expose yourself to UV rays you have a chance of getting skin cancer. Don’t take our word for it, the Skin Cancer Foundation has all of the facts to back us up, check out their website if you want specifics.

Now that you heard the bad news, let’s talk about the good news. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. With a few precautions, you can significantly decrease your chance of getting skin cancer.

Prevention is Key

Apply a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher everyday!
Apply a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher everyday! Source: Pixabay.com

While it’s pretty hard to avoid the sun (especially if you live in the sunshine state), there are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk of exposure to harmful UV sun rays.

  • Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. If you’re outdoors for an extended period of time, research suggests you wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher that is water-resistant.
  • Apply your sunscreen correctly. You need at least 1 ounce of sunscreen for your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. We suggest creams because sprays can apply unevenly.
  • Don’t forget to reapply. Every two hours or immediately after getting wet you must put on more sunscreen.
  • When outside, seek the shade especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun can do the most damage to your skin.
  • Don’t forget your lips, ears, and hands. These areas are exposed to the sun too and should get proper sunscreen coverage.
  • Examine your body head-to-toe at least once a month and get checked out by your doctor every year.

If You Can Spot It, You Can Stop It

Examine your body, head-to-toe every month
Examine your body, head-to-toe every month Designed by Freepik

The only way to 100% guarantee you do not get skin cancer is to lock yourself in a windowless room and never come out. Sometimes, even when you go above and beyond with prevention techniques, you still get skin cancer. The key to a successful treatment is early detection.

The best way to identify possible cancer is to look for it. By that, we mean practicing monthly head-to-toe self-exams. The Skin Cancer Foundation has a wealth of information on self-exams like warning signs of skin cancer, what to look for and even a step by step self-exam. If detected early, almost all skin cancer is curable.

If you’re more of a visual or auditory learner, we’ve got you covered. At Key West Aloe, we believe this topic is so important that we wanted to make sure everyone knows how to prevent and detect skin cancer.

Here’s a great video that explains everything in this blog post.

Here is a print-friendly infographic you can download and share with your friends, family and office.

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Together, we can help spread awareness and help save lives.

How are you going to show support for Skin Cancer Awareness Month? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more skin care tips & tricks.

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Spring Clean Your Skincare Routine

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Spring is here are we couldn’t be happier. While Florida experiences sunshine year-long (they don’t call us the Sunshine State for nothing), spring happens to be our favorite season because the days are long and the weather is just right for beach days. We’re ditching our winter clothes and pulling out our spring dresses and new swimsuits. While we’re at it, we’re also transitioning our skincare routine.

During the winter months, our skin is exposed to cold, dry weather resulting in dull, flaky skin. Spring is the perfect time to revamp your beauty routine to reveal smooth, radiant skin that’s been hidden by heavy moisturizers and scarfs all winter.

Don’t forget to pick up a new sunscreen. Photo: Key West Aloe

Here are 5 changes to make to your beauty routine this spring:

  1. Toss out Moisturizers/ Makeup with SPF that you bought last spring – SPF begins to become less effective after one year, so it’s important to update your skincare regime with new sun protection. Make sure you get a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or above to have the best protection.
  2. Purchase oil-free moisturizers – Heavier skincare products are great for the cold, winter months but during the warmer weather, you want oil-free products that won’t clog pores or just sweat off your face. Try our Day Moist Fragrance-Free for a daytime moisturizer that can also be used as a primer.
  3. Exfoliate all over – Remove dead skin cells built up from dry skin with a nice exfoliation. Use our Key Lime Salt Scrub for the body to give your skin a fresh, healthy glow. For the face, we suggest a chemical exfoliate that will gently remove dead skin cells to reveal smooth skin.
  4. Try out new products – Spring is a great time to have a fresh start! Focus on your skincare regime and try out new products that make you look and feel refreshed and cleansed. Try doing a weekly pamper night with a face mask to freshen up your skin or try our anti-aging hydrating mist Too Cool
  5. Hydrate – During the harsh, winter months, hot coffee and tea can be the only thing getting you through the day, but beware, caffeinated drinks can dry out your skin. Swap your hot drinks for a cool cup of water to keep your skin moisturized inside and out.

Looking for more skincare tips? Check out our Pinterest to see the latest skincare tricks and subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest on Key West Aloe. 

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Beach Bag Essentials

Photo by Salvador Martin Yeste on Unsplash

What’s the best part of living in Florida? Random Beach Days! Whenever we feel the need for some extra vitamin D, we grab our bag full of beach essentials and head down to our local spot. While our bag is always packed are ready to go by the door, we know it can be easy to forget the essentials, especially when you’re here on vacation.

We’ve put together our beach bag essentials list to make your vacation stress and sunburn free! 

The perfect beach bag.

Beach Bag – It all starts with the perfect beach bag. Your bag needs to be big enough to fit all of your essentials, but not too big that it becomes too heavy to carry. Your bag should be water, sand, and sun resistant too. Look for a durable material like nylon or canvas because those will withstand any situation. If you can, we also suggest getting a bag with an attached coin purse. The little zipper pocket is a great place to store your id, cell phone and keys. 

Sunscreen  – While sunscreen is something you should be applying every day, when you go to the beach you have to take extra care to protect your skin. Make sure your sunscreen is broad spectrum, has an SPF of 15 or above (we suggest SPF 30), and is water-resistant. Don’t forget an SPF in your lip balm — you won’t like sunburned lips. Pro tip: We set a timer on our phone to remind us to reapply, every 80 minutes if we’re swimming and every two hours if we’re not.

Hat, Sunglasses, Umbrella – Sunscreen isn’t enough to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. We always keep a floppy hat and sunglasses in our bag. These two items will give your face the extra protection it needs. A beach umbrella is also a must. While we love basking in the sun like the next person, but every now and then we crave a break from the powerful sun. An umbrella will give you a cool place to rest.

Reading Material – There are so many things to do at the beach. You can swim, play beach volleyball, and build sand castles. But just in case you get bored, we suggest bringing some reading material. Whether it’s your favorite book or your favorite glossy magazine, having something to read is a beach bag must! 

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Water & Snacks – We don’t know why, but a day at the beach takes a lot of energy. Even if you’re just sunbathing, a few hours in the sun can suck the energy right out of you. To fix this, we always keep a few water bottles and snacks in our bag. Our snacks of choice are Publix Subs, trail mix, and protein bars. If you have extra space if your car, we suggest putting your water and snacks in a cooler.

Towel & Baby Powder – We keep two towels in our bag. One for laying out on, the other to dry off with. We also keep baby power in our bag because it makes being sand free easy. When you’re almost ready to leave, sprinkle some baby powder on your skin. The powder will soak up any extra moisture left on your skin. After a few moments, wipe it away and voila! You’re now powder and sand free!

After Sun Products – Saltwater and the sun can really dry out your skin so it’s important to use an after sun product to refresh your skin. Our Save A Tan is the perfect solution. Not only will it restore moisture to your skin, it will also prevent peeling and preserve your tan.

Did we miss one of your beach bag essentials? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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A Roadmap to Your Best Skin + Giveaway!!

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We don’t know about you, but one of our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions is to work on our skin care routines. Like most people, we make a goal at the beginning of the year and slowly but surely we forget about our pledge.

This year will be different. This year, we are going to follow through and achieve our best skin yet!

Identify your skin type

If you’ve been using the same products forever and you’ve noticed they stopped working, you may be using the wrong products for your skin type. Like the rest of our body, our skin type will change over time. In fact, most people’s skin tends to switch from oily to dry as they age. This is due to many factors including the environment. Check out our post on skin types to determine if you have oily, combination, or dry skin.

Figure out the products that work best for your skin.

Once you’ve identified your skin type, the next step is to select the best products for your skin. If you have oily skin you may want to swap out your cream moisturizer for a gel one and if you have dry skin you may want to try products with Hyaluronic Acid. Of course, these are only guidelines. You must try out

Enter our Better Skin Giveaway to win a Daily Aloe Facial Essentials (value $90.50)

Create a realistic skin care routine you can stick to.

Below is a general roadmap we put together to help you figure out what products you should be using and when. Creating a realistic skin care routine will involve trial and error. It can take up to 3-8 weeks to seen proper results, do give your new routine sometime before switching it up.

Reach Your #SkinGoals with Key West Aloe's roadmap to your best skin.
Reach Your #SkinGoals with Key West Aloe’s roadmap to your best skin.

We hope you’ll join us on our skin care journey.

Share your 2018 skin resolutions in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks and don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win $90 in KWA Product!

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18 Healthy Habits to Start This New Year

It’s the beginning of the year and that can only mean one thing– it’s time to make your New Year’s Resolutions. We’ve compiled a list of 18 healthy habits for you to consider adding to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2018.

  1. Wash your face every day and never go to bed with makeup on.
  2. Commit to getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
  3. Never leave home without applying sunscreen. An SPF will help protect your skin (head to toe) from harmful UV rays.
  4. Start every morning with a tall glass of water and a lemon to rehydrate your body and jumpstart your metabolism.
  5. Speaking of metabolism, start working out regularly.
  6. Put your phone down and lose yourself in a book.
  7. Eat more fruits and vegetables and never skip breakfast.
  8. Sign up for an online class or learn a new skill.
  9. Take time for self-care.
  10. Stop picking at your skin.
  11. Cut out excess sugar and sweets from your diet.
  12. Use the right skin care products for your skin type.
  13. Try Meatless Mondays.
  14. Switch to satin sheets to help maintain skin & hair’s natural moisture level.
  15. Trim your hair every 4-6 weeks.
  16. Swap out coffee for green tea.
  17. Visit a dermatologist.
  18. Track your new healthy habit progress by keeping a journal!

These 18 habits may seem minor in the grand scheme of life, but when added together can result in a healthier YOU.

Tell us what your New Year’s Resolutions are for 2018 in the comments.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Exfoliation 101: The Best & Worst Times to Exfoliate

There are certain parts of our skin-care regimen that come pretty easy. We know when to cleanse and moisturize to focus on the intensive stuff at night before bed and focus on SPF during the day. But where does exfoliation fit? Should you exfoliate in the morning to start your day or at night before bed?  Many people want the specifics on the best time to use an exfoliant, so here’s our take on this matter.

The best and worst time to exfoliate is really dependent on you (sorry, we know, not much help!) But, if you wear makeup every day, exfoliating at night would help remove makeup particles from your skin and open up your pores to more of a cleansing. Yet, if your face is duller or if you have oilier skin, exfoliating in the morning would be best to provide your skin with a fresh glow to start your day.

So, there’s no better or worse time to exfoliate, it really just depends on your skin type and preference. You should concentrate on exfoliating once or twice a week on average. You can up the frequency,  just make sure you pay attention to how your skin reacts to the exfoliation so you do not irritate your skin.

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With face scrubs, you get more control on the exfoliation because you can vary the pressure you apply when applying the product. The best way to utilize a facial scrub is to make circular movements all over your face when you scrub.  Some days you might want to do harder pressure with less frequency of those little circular movements while other days you might want to focus on lighter pressure with more frequency.

If a physical exfoliation is too harsh for your skin, consider swapping it out for a chemical exfoliating product like our KWA Solution. Don’t let the chemical part intimidate you, a chemical exfoliate will gently remove dead skin cells with harmless chemicals like alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs). In fact, in most cases, chemical exfoliators are considered better for you skin especially if you are sensitive or acne-prone. If you do go the chemical route, you should only use that product at night and limit your exposure to UV rays by wearing an SPF during the day.

Whether you chose to exfoliate in the morning or night, with a physical or chemical exfoliant, it’s important to remember to always moisturize your face and utilize SPF during the day!

Need more fall advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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6 Tips to Transition Your Skin Care Routine into Fall & Winter

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Fall is here… have you changed your skin care routine yet? Like the seasons, your skin changes throughout the year and your routine should adjust with the changes. We put together a list of tips everyone needs to make the transition from Summer to Fall seamlessly.

Get your skin right this fall with these beauty tips!

Tip 1: Scrub away the summer

Photo: Key West Aloe

After a summer full of sun and outdoor activities, skin can appear dull and rough. Use our Coconut Salt Scrub all over your body to not only reveal smooth skin but also improve the absorption of other skin care products. For the face, we recommend a gentler product like our KWA Solution. The alpha and beta hydroxy acids in the product will gently exfoliate your skin as you sleep while adding an extra boost of much need hydration. Follow up both products with your favorite Key West Aloe Moisturizer!

Tip 2: Turn the water temperature down

Photo: Key West Aloe

As the weather cools, it can be tempting to end the day with a hot shower. Don’t. Fight the urge and turn the temperature down to a comfortable warm setting. Hot water showers can strip your skin of its natural oils leading to dry skin. Make sure to use a hydrating body wash in the shower to help replenish your skin’s natural moisture level and seal it all in with your favorite body lotion.

Tip 3: Get luscious locks

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Summer heat can put a toll on your hair leaving it dry and brittle. Refresh for fall with a pH-balancing, moisturizing shampoo and keratin enhanced strengthening conditioner. Our Aloe Vera enriched shampoos and conditioners will instantly hydrate the hair leaving it shiny and manageable. Similar to tip number 2, be aware of your water temperature. Start washing your hair with warm water to open the pores of the hair shaft and but instead of ending with a hot rinse, which can cause your hair to end up dry and brittle, end with a cold rinse to close up the pores and smooth the hair shaft.

Tip 4: Protection is key

Photo: Key West Aloe

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can skimp on your SPF. It’s important to always protect your skin from damaging sun rays. There are two types of damaging rays – UVA and UVB. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature aging and sunburns. Even indoors, you are exposed to UV rays. Decrease sun damage by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and above. Our Sunsorb SPF 50+ is great for both protection and moisturization.

Tip 5: Hydrate Inside & Out

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As it cools down, you sweat less and always seem less thirsty then the summer months. Don’t be fooled, during fall you need to keep up with your hydration, both inside and out. Start every morning with a tall glass of cold water (with a lemon if you’re fancy) instead of coffee or tea. This first sip of H2O will provide must need hydration and can even jumpstart your digestion and metabolism. Also, consider switching to a heavier moisturizer for both your face and body during the fall. The thicker lotion will moisturize the skin and protect you from the cooler temperatures.

Tip 6: Don’t Forget Your Lips

Photo: Key West Aloe

Fall is known for a lot of things. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, beautiful fall colors (not in Florida), cooler weather, and chapped lips. People don’t like to talk about it but when the season changes, many of us experience chapped lips! We have the perfect remedy. First, exfoliate your lips. You can buy a pre-made mix or you can make your own. We love these DIY recipes from Brit & Co. Then top it off with an SPF lip balm.

Every season we change what we eat and what we wear, it’s time to start updating our skin care routine too! Share your fall beauty tips below and maybe we can all learn something.

Need more fall skin care advice? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Follow Key West Aloe and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.

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Do You Need Sunscreen In The Fall?

Photo: Key West Aloe

Summer is gone and Fall is here. It’s time to pack your summer bathing suits and sandals and swap it out for sweaters and boots. We’ve already written a post about transitioning your skin care routine into Fall & Winter but you still may be wondering, do you need sunscreen in the Fall & Winter?

If you read our last blog post,  you already know the answer is YES!

Sun protection is not a seasonal thing that you bring out when your outside more. You should always wear sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UVA and UVB sun rays.

Here are other questions you may still have about sunscreen:

  • Do I need to wear sunscreen if I have an office job? YES
  • I have SPF Makeup, do I need any additional protection? YES
  • I don’t get sunburns, do I still need sunscreen? YES

Continue your education and get Sun Smart with Key West Aloe! Check out the full infographic below and let us know if you learned anything new.

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