I am thrilled to share with you today’s Motivation Monday---Alicia is a high school friend and a professional triathlete. She is also co-founder (along with her triathlete husband) of a new sunscreen line called Endurance Shield.
Alicia and her husband Jarrod spend a lot of time in the sun and they realized that there wasn’t a sunscreen product on the market that truly met their needs as athletes who were passionate about sun protection but wanted a product with natural ingredients and one that could withstand their strenuous outdoor training.
Together, they developed a sunblock with great ingredients that was waterproof, sweat proof, moisturizing, safe for sensitive skin, non-comedogenic and that protected against UVA & UVB.
I asked Alicia to participate in Motivation Mondays to tell us more about her training regimen and her sunscreen line. Since summer is just around the corner, there is no better time than the present to talk about sun protection and the fact that melanoma is on the rise, especially in younger women.
Here is what Alicia had to say:
When we were friends in high school, I remember coming to one of your triathlons and being absolutely amazed at what you were doing out there (like seriously, blown away!) tell us about how you got started doing triathlons.
I grew up as one of four children and my brothers were super athletic. Three of us decided to do a triathlon when I was 12 in Clarington, Ontario. I crashed on the bike, but got back up and finished 4th. I fell in love with the sport and it progressed super quickly from there. I started racing professionally at 14 and was on my first worlds team at the age of 15. I've always been obsessed with the Olympics and being an Olympian and I really felt that triathlon was my ticket.
Tell us about your current career in triathlons
2011 represented a year of big changes and successes for me. Formally an athlete focused on ITU (International Triathlon Union) racing, I transitioned into olympic distance non draft triathlon. I lead the Lifetime Series and 51.50 series (the two biggest non draft Olympic distance circuits in the country) for much of the 2011 season. My 2012 season will be focused on qualifying for Hy Vee (largest prize money Olympic distance race in the world) and racing the Lifetime Series with a few domestic ITU events. Putting all the technical jargon aside the transition from ITU racing to Olympic Distance non draft meant that I let go of trying to make the Olympic team. It was difficult for me, but I was consistently falling short of the standards I needed to achieve to make the Olympic team and rewards weren't enough to keep me motivated. I'm much happier now and loving the sport more than ever.
As an athlete, you spend a lot of time in the sun and I understand that's what prompted you to create your skincare and sun care line--tell us what finally drove you to pursue this endeavor
I have super sensitive skin and both sides of my family comes from Wales so I really don't have skin made for the sun. I had a skin cancer screening at a wellness fair and I was shocked. I had done MAJOR damage to my skin in my teen years. I became more diligent about using sunscreen during the summer months but I hated wearing sunscreen. It made my skin feel chalky and I felt like my skin couldn't breathe. When we moved down to Florida my frustration with sunblock hit a boiling point and my husband and I began searching for a better sunblock. It had to be sweat proof, waterproof, moisturizing (what aren't ALL sunblocks moisturizing?!), non comedogenic, clean feeling/ non greasy, safe for sensitive skin and made from incredible ingredients. In the process of developing the sunscreen we decided to make it anti aging:)
How involved is your husband in the business?
He's as equally passionate about sunblock as I am. Jarrod was a beach life guard for 5 years in NJ and he definitely understands the importance of sunblock. Our job as professional triathletes requires us to be in the sun every day and it's hot so we can't just cover up with clothing. He wasn't wearing sunblock very often because he felt like most products were actually clogging his pores and preventing him from sweating. He sees our sunblock as a performance enhancer because it allows his pours to breathe while protecting his skin. His body doesn't have to work as hard to keep him cool or repair his skin that would be getting damaged without sun protection. He's the CEO of the company:) He has an incredible vision for what Endurance Shield can become and he's very passionate about our product and letting people know that sunblock doesn't have to suck:)
Tell us more about the products in the line---which ones are your favorites, what different skincare needs do they address?
Right now we offer 4 different products, our cornerstone product is definitely our sunblock but we wanted to create a few other products that are inspired by triathlon but are for the entire family. My favorite product is our sunblock because there is absolutely nothing like it on the market and it exactly addressed all the issues that I had with sunblock and does more than I ever thought a moisturizing sunblock could! Here's a little info on each of our products.
Sunblock- Our sunblock is for health conscious individuals who want a sunscreen that’s good for them, that will endure the elements, and has a short ingredient list so they can feel good about themselves and their loved ones. It will provide you with superior protection from both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. It combines the powerful protection of microionized zinc to block the full spectrum of rays up to 400 nm. Our product is waterproof, sweat proof and is a moisturizer as well, so it won’t dry out your skin. Plus it’s PABA free, making it safe for sensitive skin. Non-comedogenic means it won’t clog your pours! Antioxidants help combat free radical damage, which can cause premature aging. Moms, you can feel good about putting this on the little ones. Ladies, you can feel great about using this as a daily sunblock and moisturizer under your make up.
Lip Protectant- It's the perfect partner for our unblock. It's enriched with vitamins B5, C, and E and super moisturizers jojoba oil and squalane.
Chamois Crème- Our chamois crème blends Azulene, Echinacea, Calendula, and nature's own anti bacterial agent, Tea Tree Oil. This soothing blend calms pain, encourages healing and prevents friction. Our ingredient list is short and packed full of ingredients from nature that you can feel good about putting on your most delicate areas. Try our chamois crème on dry, cracked or chaffed skin. It’s a great healing lotion!
Muscle Relief and Repair cream- Endurance Shield Muscle Relief and Repair cream provides effective relief of bodily aches and pains and is beneficial in relieving tension in sore or achy muscles. It's fortified with botanicals to enrich and nourish the skin. The cream relieve symptoms relating to headaches, TMJ syndrome, sore muscles and stiff and aching joints. Use it yourself or bring it to your next massage or spa treatment - you'll be glad you did. We don't add anything that creates warming or cooling sensations, so enjoy relief without all the uncomfortable tingling, numbness and burning.
Tell us a little bit about your beauty routine---I can imagine as an athlete you stick to a simple routine---which products do you love?
My big issues that I face daily with my skin are the sun and environmental/ chlorine damage and I have dry sensitive skin. My sport requires me to be outside all the time and on top of that I'm in the pool daily (which is also outdoors). I have to moisturize and protect my skin like crazy and then detoxify or exfoliate to get rid of any damaged skin and toxins. I start my day by applying our sunblock generously all over my face and any other places that might be exposed to the sun. After each workout I shower to remove all products. I use a gentle cleanser (Prana- Cleanse) to clean my face and then reapply our sunblock before my next workout. This repeats itself 2-3 times in a day. At the end of the day I completely exfoliate my entire body (Clear Choice- Body Polish) with products that are detoxifying and incorporate natural ingredients (Prana- Purify). I moisturize my face with a facial moisturizer and then moisturize my entire body with our Muscle R&R. I also use our chamois crème as a healing lotion for any damaged skin like blisters or chaffing.
Summer is just around the corner and a lot of women hate to wear sunscreen---tell us why it's so important.
Ladies, I understand why you don't like to wear sunblock- it's sticky, chalky, greasy, causes breakouts, and forget about putting it under make up comfortably. However, no one can deny it's importance. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually, while 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in a lifetime. If a fatal disease is not enough to motivate you, up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun. Contrary to popular belief, 80 percent of a person's lifetime sun exposure is not acquired before age 18; only about 23% of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18. About every 20 years a person accumulates an additional 25% of accumulated exposure (based on a 78 year lifespan). You're never too young or too old to start slowing down the aging process and reducing the amount of accumulated sun exposure.
*** All of these facts were quoted from the Skin Cancer Foundation website.
What is different about Endurance Shield products?
Hands down our ingredients. My passion for good ingredients started with food, but I started looking at everything I was putting in or on my body. When I looked at what was in my sunblock I couldn't pronounce the ingredients, nor did I know what they were. We also wanted to make products that did more. Our sunblock isn't just a sunblock, it's also moisturizing, anti aging and safe for ALL skin types- even babies:) Our lip protectant has SPF 18 but it also contains some of natures best moisturizing ingredients. Our chamois crème provides a chafe free environment for sensitive skin, but it's also anti bacterial and contains ingredients that sooth pain and nourish damaged skin. Our Muscle R&R Cream not only soothes achy and tired muscles but also nourishes your skin. We wanted to make products that were multitasking and made from incredible ingredients.
What are some of your long term goals?
I hope to continue to race professionally as a triathlete for as long as my body and passion allows me to. My husband and I would love to start a family some day and if I can continue to race/ train while being a great mom I'd like to try and combine the two. I hope to have get a book published that I've been working on for the last 4 years. I hope Endurance Shield will be setting the standard for sun protection and skin care for the entire family. We hope to raise consumers standards for what sunblock and skincare should be.
Besides training, do you have any other workouts you like to do to stay in shape?
I do strength training in my home 2x a week. I use a BOSU ball, swiss ball, TRX and stretch cords to do my strength workout from the comfort of my living room. In my off season I like to do other sports like rock climbing, yoga, and cyclocross.
Who most inspires you?
I love it when I see friends/ family (even strangers!) toughing through a workout. When I see anyone putting in a great deal of effort into a workout it makes me want to first give them a huge high five and I think of their effort in my next workout. It's especially inspiring when that person is a loved one and you watch them change their standards for health. Seeing them set best times, or call you with the news of a new dress size or finishing something they never realized they could achieve makes me smile for weeks. Seeing health become a lifestyle is so inspiring and motivating to me.
Thank you Alicia for motivating us this Monday! You can check out Endurance Shield sunscreen products on the official website.
Before I go, I just want to say that Alicia sent me the sunscreen, lip balm and chamois crème to try out and they are all phenomenal. The sunscreen smells so amazing (so does the chamois crème!) You can truly tell it is packed full of natural, moisturizing ingredients and the sunscreen wears really well under makeup (which for me, is hugely important).
I highly recommend this sunscreen line and I encourage you to try it for yourself, especially if you have sensitive and acne-prone skin like I do and want to use a product with natural ingredients.