Safe Summer Fun in the Sun
Summer is here and the outdoors beckons. While getting a moderate amount of sunshine daily is essential for good health, the welcome break in cloud cover brings with it a need for responsible sun protection. With so many different types of sunscreens available, it can be a bit overwhelming choosing a product which is effective in protecting from the sun's rays as well as safe for the body. A published study by the Environmental Working Group revealed that more than 75% of the 2,000 sunscreens they reviewed contained toxic chemicals. Aside from increasing risk of cancer, dangers from these compounds absorbing into the blood may include disruption of hormones, increasing free radicals in sunlight, and skin allergies and irritation.
The best sunscreens available today are made without chemical UV absorbers such as oxybenzone, are non-nano technology ensuring no absorption into the skin/bloodstream, are reef safe (avoiding marine-toxic chemicals which may devastate coral reefs and marine life), and protect skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Mineral-based sunscreens have proven to form a safe layer of protection from both UVB (skin burning) and UVA (aging and cancer-causing) rays. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sit on the skin's surface and scatter, reflect, and absorb UV rays. Zinc oxide is adept at blocking both UVB and UVA rays, while titanium dioxide blocks mainly UVB rays and to some extent UVA rays. These minerals are absolutely safe for the skin and body and offer complete sun protection as well as the above criteria.
Evergreen carries natural and effective mineral sunscreen products from several companies such as Keys, Mychelle, and Devita. Devita's Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 is a staff favorite, formulated for facial skin with non-nano zinc oxide, organic aloe vera gel, and hyaluronic acid. This extremely light yet moisturizing cream is not oily or greasy, is vegan, and paraben and GMO free. Devita also makes a sunscreen for the body. Solar Body Moisturizer is a heavier formula suitable for sensitive skin. This is an SPF of 32.
Along with good sun protection, the summer months bring a need for safe and effective insect repellents. The best (safe/effective) products here utilize natural essential oils as their repellent ingredients. Citronella oil is justifiably famous for its insect repellent qualities, but to some extent, every essential oil has insect repelling properties. Some of the best include cedarwood (Grandma's cedar closet), geranium, and of course citronella. Eugene's own Quantum Health manufactures one of the best natural insect repellents around. Buzz Away Extreme is DEET-free, contains only the essential oils listed above in a vegetable oil base, and provides up to 4 hours of protection from biting critters. This formula repels not only mosquitoes, but also black flies and ticks.
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