When you think of Lululemon, you may think of the brand’s slimming yoga pants, or maybe the cringe-worthy “some women’s bodies just don’t work for the pants” controversy that surfaced a few years back, but either way, the brand is notable one, as are its iconic red, quote-covered totes that can be spotted from a mile away, making the newest batch of news to surface around the athleisure brand even worse.
While you may not have stopped to read every single quote on these bags, some people do, and turns out, they’re not all about friendship, yoga or feeling centered. In the below Reddit post, user paynowork uploaded a photo of the bag with the caption, “Wait, what? Interesting message about sunscreen on my Lululemon bag.” In the photo, the following quote is in plain sight: “Sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse for you than sunshine. Get the right amount of sunshine.”
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As you can expect, frustrated comments filled the feed within minutes, but the distaste spans far past Reddit. When I asked Norwalk, CT, dermatologist Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, what she thought about the quote, she let me know that the Lululemon-bag message was “extremely disappointing as a dermatologist.”
“We KNOW that UV radiation from the sun causes skin cancer—period,” she states firmly, adding that the best evidence and data available shows that the use of sunscreen and protecting ourselves from the radiation helps prevent skin cancer, not cause it. As such, sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be applied daily—and reapplied every two or three hours if you’re out in the sun, sweating or swimming—to ensure maximum protection from these rays.
According to Teen Vogue, the company clarified the message by saying, “The manifesto design that goes on our bags is a collection of statements that are ever-evolving and intended to spark conversation that is relevant at the time. To clarify, the manifesto design on our webpage is the most up-to-date and has been used on our most recent release of manifesto print bags.”
But, Dr. Mraz Robinson still doesn’t take caring for your skin lightly, as no one should. “Given the the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) this type of ‘advice’ from Lululemon is ill advised at best, and is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.” Ironic for a brand that touts an up-to-date manifesto built around living your best and happiest life, no?
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