Or is it?
I know many people who are trying to eat better. Either by eating thoughtfully, eating less dairy, plant-based or choosing more whole foods. Often times there is a backlash, or some sort of misunderstaning from those who aren’t eating in a differnent way, from those who eat the typical American diet.
Comments fly fast about new diets filled with vegetables, meatless meals, or no dairy, “I could never do that,” they may say. I also hear, “you have an extreme diet!” A while back I saw the documentary Forks Over Knives and it reminded me what extreme really is.
Forks Over Knives shares, the not new, but often ignored, idea that our body is a system. When your artery is clogged it is a symptom of a problem that is connected to your entire body, not just your artery. Coronary artery bypass, gastric bypass, liposuction and other life threatening surgeries are often the first defense against getting healthy again and solving problems that try to fix the whole body.
Maybe it’s time we start to rethink what the term “extreme” really means.
Nanoparticles. Even if you haven’t heard of them you have most likely used them, actually you might be using them right now. In cosmetics it improves the texture and helps provide a more vibrant color. In sunscreens it makes your product formula smooth, less viscous, and practically transparent once it hits your skin. We ask for it, and technology gives it to use. Better, smoother, unnoticeable—but what is the price for this perfect product?
Nanoparticles are part of the science of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology, you may want to know, is the manipulation of matter at the nanometer size (the teenyest, tiniest, microscopic level). These nanomaterials, found in your everyday products, are described as ultra fine particles. Look all you want, but you won’t find “nanomaterials” or “nanoparticles” listed on the ingredient list of your mineral makeup or sunscreen. Although since 1999 the FDA has allowed these particles to be used. In 20 years it is estimated that it will be a $1 trillion dollar industry. In the US there is no current regulations regarding labeling nanoparticles in our products.
Should we be concerned?
We don’t know yet, but there are studies showing that maybe we should be.
A study done by Marisa D Newman MD found, “There are legitimate and verified toxicity concerns with regard to TiO2 (titanium dioxide) and ZNO (zinc oxide) nanosized particles in sunscreens…” She summarizes that they are “unable to conclude with certainty that nanosized particles are safe to use in sunscreens.”
Does this matter, if we don’t know yet?
Let me ask:
What is the effect of nanoparticles in the sun? We don’t know yet.
What is the effect of nanoparticles on broken skin, on skin with eczema, or on sunburned skin? We don’t yet yet.
What is the effect of inhaling/slathering on nanoparticles over one’s lifetime? We don’t know yet.
Why are nanoparticles so prevalent in our sunscreen and cosmetic products when they have only been around for 14 years and research studies cannot conclude it is safe? I don’t know yet.
With nanoparticles secretly lurking in any many of our sunscreens and cosmetics (lip products, mineral makeup, eye shadows, blushes, bronzers) the question is up to you now: should you be concerned?
Check out these articles to help you make your decision:
Ecouterre: Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles
Friends of the Earth: Nano-ingredints in Sunscreen
(Side note: Samvid Sunscreen does not contain nanomaterials.)
I received a lot of feedback from my first vegan food list for Salem, so I decided it was time to update it and include all of your great suggestions too. Here are the places you will find me eating when I have given up on cooking.
Please feel free to keep adding to the list, I love trying new places!
This is my favorite restaurant for a date night in downtown Salem. They have a new menu every night and if you call ahead to make reservations the chef will make sure there is a vegan option on the menu for you. Broken Bread makes you feel comfortable asking about vegan options and they are very accommodating to any needs you might have. Side note, the bread is not vegan and they don’t have any vegan desserts, but the food the local, fresh and satisfying.
Huge burritos here! If you have never been, you can choose your burritos or salad items on Lancaster Drive in North Salem. If you get the vegan one (without cheese) guacamole is included for no extra charge. Also, make sure you choose the black beans NOT the pinto ones, they are cooked with meat.
Ask about their vegan options. They have vegan dough, so basically you can include whatever veggies toppings they have and add some tomato sauce! It is a bit expensive, as with any pizza place that tries to accommodate vegans, but when you want some pizza here is a place you can find it.
This is nourishing and satisfying place to eat. It is a Nepalese restaurant located on the corner of Ferry and Church. It’s not what you typically think when you think curry, so even if you aren’t a curry fan I recommend you give it a chance. The food is fresh, full of spices and delicious. Here you will go down the line and choose from rice/quinoa options, veggies, topping, sauces, and etc. It is a healthy choice with good-sized portions and I have always had happy and friendly service from them.
If you ever get a chance to speak with the owner it is an enlightening experience. He discusses how food should nourish and sustain the body while making you feel light and energetic. He is very passionate about the food he makes and you will understand why when you eat here and feel good afterwards.
LifeSource grocery store is another one of my favorite places for vegan foods. It is located on Commercial Street in South Salem. They have flavorful choices served in a buffet/deli style. They have a cold and a hot bar with the option to eat there or grab it to go. It is a bit expensive, but it should be expected because they provide high quality and always rotating food options.
This restaurant has an enormous menu. The average price of an entree is about $12 or $13. I haven’t dined at this restaurant too much, but they do have good “global selections.” I don’t eat here much because a lot of there food is covered in sauce or lacks fresh vegetables. They do have lots of choices, but I wouldn’t say it is a high quality food option for plant based eaters.
Muchas now carries a vegan burrito (depending on the location you visit). They have locations off of the Parkway, South Salem, West Salem and on Capitol Street. They fill it with beans, rice, pico de gallo, and guacamole instead of cheese. This is a good option if you are in a hurry and need something for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Here you can get a veggie pita, falafel or black bean pita, all delicious and filling. You can even make it a salad if your prefer.
This is a funky restaurant located in downtown Salem and on Commercial Street. Their vegan choices are a little different at each location, the Commercial Street location definitely has more choices. I would describe Venti’s as extremely flavorful and just plain amazing options (for Salem of course). I highly recommend their yellow curry, vegan nachos (ask for extra “cheese”) or a vegan pizza. The downtown location has simpier options that include rice, veggies, curry and the black bean burger.
Venti’s is also known for carrying tons of local beers. Their location on Commercial Street is actually a tap house, which makes it extra fun.
During the school year I highly recommend Goudy Commons (Rachael Ray from the Food Network actually went here on her $40 a day show). Goudy is affordable, but is also very high quality. They aim for healthy and local foods with a variety of different options such as pizza, burritos, quinoa salads, hemp burgers, soups, and more.
Vegan, gluten free, soy free and vegetarian options are clearly marked here. Even if Goudy doesn’t show it on their menu there is always something vegan to eat. They also do a dinner that is buffet style, yum!
The Cat Cavern at Willamette is also an option, it is the same Goudy food, but less variety.
Desserts and Drinks
Many coffee shops offer soy alternatives, but this downtown cafe takes it a step further and offers hemp milk too (try vanilla hemp in your coffee, you won’t regret it). If you have a sweet tooth they also carry vegan and gluten free cookies. Currently, other snack options include vegan and gluten free oatmeal, veggies with hummus, or chips and salsa.
This place is another one of my favorite coffee shops, they offer a variety of milk alternatives for coffee lovers including hemp and almond milk.
Kelsey Quinn is the girl to call if you need some delicious homemade vegan cupcakes, cakes, scones or pretty much anything that is sweet and yummy. She does special orders, and she comes highly recommended by me. Seriously, she is the girl I always call for chocolate and vanilla birthday cupcakes when I can’t find them anywhere else in Salem. I am just waiting for her to start bringing her goodies into local coffee shops…hint…hint…
Any vegan food places you know of?
If I missed any places feel free to add to my list. I love having more options!
Let beauty inspire and flow like water by clicking here.
There is a spectrum of choices to make in life.
It is easy to live within the muted colors of the spectrum and become stuck believing there is only one right way to live, but there is so much color to live in.
You don’t have to buy two cars, a house, or have two kids, go to public school, believe in god, eat McDonalds, think the thoughts that have already been thought, join a gym, drink coffee, have a credit card…you don’t have to follow anyone’s example.
The truth is, there is no right way to live. There is only an array of different colors to reside in.
“The European Union bans nearly 1,400 chemicals from personal care products because they are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction. But in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration entrusts safety regulation of cosmetics to a private entity that is housed and funded by the industry’s trade association. To date, this entity has found only 11 chemicals to be “unsafe for use in cosmetics.” ”
-John Wasik, Washington Monthly
There is no doubt in my mind that parents want the best for their children. I am only an aunt and I want the world for my niece and nephew.
Johnson and Johnson is the one product company that comes to my mind when I see parents shopping or receiving gifts at their baby showers. Johnson and Johnson is also the single company that comes to my mind when I suggest companies to avoid completely. So where is the disconnect? Why do parents have to have Johnson and Johnson, and why wouldn’t I touch it without gloves on?
Johnson and Johnson does not make good products, they make good marketing campaigns.
Johnson and Johnson is not a baby company, they are an incredibly profitable company that sells cheap products.
Have you seen everything they own? Anything from K-Y jelly, to Aveeno, Band-Aid, medications like Tylenol, Listerine, Carefree, Splenda, and the list goes on and on. Parents should rethink any false ideas they may have about the company and realize they are not a healthy baby company to support.
Their advertisements bring to mind a gentle soft baby covered in blankets. Bath time with family. They even use calm, sleeping babies to sell their synthetic ”lavender” lotion. They have money and they are really good making their products look like something your baby needs.
Johnson and Johnson uses harsh chemicals in their products.
There is not a baby shower I have gone to that the pesky little yellow bottle of Johnson’s shampoo and Desitin don’t show up.
For 3 and 1/2 years the well known organization Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been alerting Johnson and Johnson that they are using a carcinogen in their Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. The one ingredient they address is called quaternium-15 and it is used as a preservative that continually releases formaldehyde (a cancer causing chemical) in their baby shampoo. Formaldehyde also is a skin, eye and respiratory irritant.
Recently, in April 2013 the FDA (in India) canceled Johnson and Johnson’s license to sell cosmetics because of a hazardous chemical found in J & J’s baby powder.
Take a look at their ingredients, do you know what any of those chemicals are?
Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA, Quaternium-15, Citric Acid, Yellow 10 and Orange 4. May also contain: Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide.
PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate: Surfectant, helps to remove grease and cleanse the hair. Strong concern for skin toxicant or allergen. Possibley toxic to the organ system.
PEG-150 Distearate: Helps thicken the product and is also another surfectant to remove even more grease and cleanse the hair. is a possibly toxic to the organ system.
Fragrance: It is unknown what ingredients make up “fragrance.” Possible allergen and hormone disruptor. Up to several 100 different chemicals can be used in one fragrance alone, which could include phthalates. Phthalates are a human carcinogen that may adversely affect human reproduction or development.”
Phthalates must be listed among the ingredients on product labels, unless they are added as a part of the “fragrance.” Under current law, they can then simply be labeled “fragrance,” even though they may make up 20% or more of the product.
Tetrasodium EDTA: Is a preservative that’s made from the known carcinogen formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. Is a penetration enhancer, meaning it can penetrate through the skin.
Quaternium-15: A preservative that releases formaldehyde, a known cancer causing ingredient.
Yellow 10: Color produced from petroleum and coal tar. Not approved by FDA for cosmetics used around eyes.
Orange 4: Color. Possible organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).
Instead of Johnson’s Shampoo try:
Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash (vegan, made in Clackamas, Oregon)
Ingredients: Organic Potassium cocoate [soap derived from coconut oil], contains Organic Potassium olivate [cleanser derived from olive oil], Aloe barbadensis (organic aloe) leaf juice, Vanilla planifolia (organic vanilla) fruit extract, Citrus sinensis (organic sweet orange), Kosher Vegetable glycerin (palm sourced), Potassium citrate, Butyrospermun parkii (organic shea) butter, Calendula officinalis (organic calendula) flower extract
Everyday Shea Babies and Up Shampoo and Body Wash (vegan and gluten free, made in Washington)
Ingredients: Aqueous extracts of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) and Neem (Azaradicha indica), Handcrafted Shea Butter Soap (Saponified Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) Butter and Virgin Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Oil), Decyl Polyglucose [biodegradable foaming agent, cleanser made derived from coconuts and corn starch], Lavender Essential Oil, Lemon Extract, Sea Salt.
Baby Carrots Body Wash (vegan and made in Enterprise, Oregon)
Ingredients: liquid castile soap (water, saponified organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, organic jojoba oil, organic guar gum, organic rosemary extract, organic aloe vera and vegetable glycerin) organic lavender, organic mandarin and roman chamomile essential oil
Other products of J & J’s continue to follow their same chemical ingredient use. Desitin baby rash cream is another popular item I always see being given to parents to use.
Johnson and Johnson’s Desitin
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (13%)
Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Magnesium Sulfate, Methylparaben, Microcrystalline Wax, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), PEG 30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Petrolatum, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Hydroxide, Propylparaben, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Water
Instead of Desitin use:
Earth Mama Baby Angel Baby Bottom Balm (vegan, made in Clackamas, Oregon)
Ingredients: Olea europaea (organic olive) oil, Butyrospermum parkii (organic shea) butter, Euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, Simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba) oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (organic tea tree), Lavandula angustifolia (organic lavender) flower oil, Calendula officinalis (organic calendula)flower extract, Hypericum perforatum (organic St. John’s wort) flower extract, Stellaria media (organic chickweed) extract, Plantago major (organic plantain) extract, Commiphora myrrha (myrrh)
Honest Healing Balm (not vegan, but better ingredients)
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea ( Olive) Fruit Oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Oil*, Tocopherol (non-GMO), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Calendula)*, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract* *Certified organic ingredient
The Merry Hempsters Baby Salve (vegan, made in Eugene, Oregon)
Ingredients: Organic Cannabis sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Euphorbia cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, (Certified Organic Lavandula officinalis (Lavender) Flowers, Certified Organic Calendula officinalis (Marigold) Flowers, and Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh) Gum Crystals Infused in Organic Olea europaea (Olive) or Organic Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Oil), (Essential Oils of: Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree), Lavandula officinalis (Lavender) and Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)), Non-GMO d-alpha Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Extract.
Aware companies you should use instead of Johnson and Johnson’s:
What alternatives to Johnson and Johnson products have you used?
The sun is finally coming out in Oregon and this weekend is suppose to be hot, well, in the 80′s which is hot for Oregon! Naturally, I will be making new sunscreen batches (one batch is going to have a new essential oil ingredient, so look out for it on Etsy).
Samvid Sunscreen is a simple mixture of plant ingredients with the mineral sunscreen zinc oxide, but I thought I would tell you a bit more.
organic unrefined coconut oil, organic unrefined olive oil, zinc oxide (18%), organic unrefined shea butter, organic unrefined jojoba oil.
Organic Coconut Oil & Organic Olive Oil
Both these oils have been found to have a natural UV filter along with helpful a mixture of tocopherols (vitamin E), carotenoids (antioxidants and the pigment of the plant that provides protection from the sun) and essential fatty acids. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine estimates that coconut and olive oil can block out 20% of UV rays.
Zinc Oxide (non-nano 18%)
Zinc oxide is a mineral sunscreen that reflects, not absorbs, the sun’s rays. It is safer alternative to many mainstream sunscreens because it does not get absorbed by your skin. For what it’s worth zinc oxide is one of only seventeen active ingredients currently approved by the FDA for use in sunscreens and it can only be used up to 25% in any product. It is a stable ingredient that does not break down easily in UV light. It’s also great because it is one ingredient that provides both UVA and UVB protection.
The Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine reiterate that:” Two FDA-approved inorganic sunscreens—titanium dioxide and zinc oxide—provide UV-A and UV-B protection. Zinc oxide and the non-micronized form of titanium dioxide provide UV-A1 and UV-A2 protection.”
Zinc oxide is also used as a gentle ingredient to help soothe and care for many skin issues, that is why you will see it as an ingredient in many baby care products or even products for rosacea.
Organic Shea Butter
Not only does shea butter help soften the skin and provide protection from the elements, it may also help protect from UV damage. National Geographic sites a study from National Library of Medicine that states “there is evidence to suggest that cinnamic acid esters [innate plant compound] in shea fat help to prevent skin damage from ultraviolet radiation.”
Organic Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is actually a wax, which is a simple plant ingredient to help with water resistance (along with the other plant oils used in Samvid Sunscreen). Jojoba oil has similar qualities to skin and is a great oil that moisturises, softens and soothe while still letting your skin breathe. This oil is also very stable which may be because of its high vitamin E content.
Now tell me, what’s in your sunscreen?
The NY Times reminds us that “The overwhelming majority of chemicals in use today have never been independently tested for safety…It often takes a crisis to draw attention to how little the government knows about industrial chemicals in circulation.”
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen has been used for years as a popular and easy to find sunscreen for little ones. You probably know it because of the pink bottle and the babies butt on the cover. It’s made for babies, so it has to be gentle and safe right? Take a look at the sunscreens formulated for baby skin and you might get the feeling that this sunscreen isn’t a safe sunscreen to choose. Look a little closer and you will be surprised it is intended for babies at all. Here are the “gentle” baby ingredients they use:
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%) (Sunscreen), Homosalate (13%) (Sunscreen), Octisalate (5%) (Sunscreen), Octocrylene (7%) (Sunscreen), Oxybenzone (4%) (Sunscreen)
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Sorbitol, Aluminum Starch, OctenylSuccinate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Sorbitan Isostearate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) (Vitamin E), Polyglyceryl 3 Diisostearate, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA
What’s wrong with chemical sunscreens like the one Coppertone makes?
Physical sunscreens (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) sit on top of the skin to reflect and scatter the sun’s rays like a mirror, while chemical sunscreens, like Coppertone’s, penetrate the skin and are absorbed into the blood stream. Chemical sunscreens are cheap to purchase, but can also be irritating to the skin, act as an endocrine disruptor, cause allergic reactions, and possibly generate free radicals which can harm your skin in the long run.
On top of that, if you do choose to use a chemical sunscreen you need to wait for it to work before going out in the sun.
Why are there so many active ingredients (aka ingredients that provide SPF protection) in Coppertone?
Unlike simply using a mineral sunscreen like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, the five chemical active ingredients (Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone) in Coppertone’s formula on their own don’t provide the broad protection from UVA and UVB rays that babies and grown ups need. Instead, Coppertone added more chemical ingredients so your baby can have the protection that is required.
Using a chemical sunscreen also provides a sunscreen consistency that rubs in just right without dealing with a mineral sunscreen that may leave a white reside on top of the skin.
What ingredients should I use?
Not Coppertone’s: Water, Sorbitol, Aluminum Starch, OctenylSuccinate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Sorbitan Isostearate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) (Vitamin E), Polyglyceryl 3 Diisostearate, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA.
Coppertone starts off on a bad foot by using water as a first ingredient in their sunscreen. It’s cheap/free/useless to use water in a sunscreen product. If you decide to use it you will have to also use preservatives that accompanied it- hence the whole second half of Coppertone’s ingredient list. So in essence you are using 5 different chemical sunscreens alongside a plentiful amount of preservatives, water, and my least favorite “fragrance” which can be up to 100 different chemicals in this single ingredient.
So, what should you use?
Simple sunscreens that use only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as an active ingredient. Take a look at Samvid Sunscreen. It is a simple 5 ingredient sunscreen with zinc oxide, that is free from using animal ingredients, water, or dangerous chemicals.
Resources to read:
Samvid’s free beauty book to learn about choosing better ingredients.
It might surprise you to know that I often don’t wear sunscreen, and accumulating research suggests that maybe we should be using sun and sunscreen in a completely different way than we have been taught.
Since I was young I have been told to “Wear your sunscreen you could get cancer!” and since then I have had a somewhat skewed perception of what sun exposure is capable of. Yes, excessive sun can lead to damaging effects on the body, it may lead to cancer, premature aging, sun spots, eye problems, and other issues, but this limited, scary view of sunlight is a very incomplete version of what sun can and should be doing for us.
While many may believe that sunscreen is the solution to all our sun problems, simply buying a cheap grocery store sunscreen is not what we should be doing to protect our skin. Instead, buying a cheap chemical sunscreen may be wrecking havoc and actually contributing to the damage of your skin. Are those chemicals contributing to cancer more than the sun is? It is an interesting question you may want to ask because putting just any old sunscreen on your precious skin.
While there is time for certain sunscreens there needs to be time for sun exposure too. The sun is the center of the universe, it has provided life and energy to all that resides on earth. Although many, unfortunately, see the benefit of the sun to simply become tan, the actual benefits are literally life altering. Sunlight can uplift your mood, help with depression, clear your skin, nourish your body for stronger bones, balance hormones, and improve your circulatory and immune system. Like a plant, the sun helps us grow and feeds our bodies. A high quality sunscreen should be used in addition to the sun, not in replace of it.
Somehow along the health education ads, we have lost our connection with the sun. We are out of balance, either rushing to cover our skin at every moment of the day or never protecting ourselves at all.
“Moreover, although excessive sun exposure is an established risk factor for cutaneous malignant melanoma, continued high sun exposure was linked with increased survival rates in patients with early-stage melanoma in a study reported by Marianne Berwick, an epidemiology professor at the University of New Mexico, in the February 2005 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Holick also points out that most melanomas occur on the least sun-exposed areas of the body, and occupational exposure to sunlight actually reduced melanoma risk in a study reported in the June 2003 Journal of Investigative Dermatology.”
Research is pointing us in the direction of more sunlight, not less. Gradual long term sun exposure can be a good thing for us in the right doses. An article from Harvard Medical School reiterates the findings that there is something more to sunlight:
“The same DNA-damaging, sunburn-causing UVB wavelengths that sunscreens are designed to block also do some good: They kick off the chemical and metabolic chain reaction that produces vitamin D. Research shows that many people have low vitamin D levels. There is a well-documented relationship between low vitamin D levels and poor bone health. Now links have been made to everything from multiple sclerosis to prostate cancer. “Linking” low vitamin D with these diseases doesn’t prove cause-and-effect, but it suggests that possibility. Getting some sun may also shake off the wintertime blues: Research suggests that light hitting your skin, not just your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder (SAD).”
Sunlight can have a positive effect on the body systems and sustain a balance within our bodies. Having a lack of sun exposure in our day can adversely affect many of our body functions. We need the sun, but how should we be using sun and sunscreens differently you may ask?
Be Timely With Your Sun Exposure
Get your sun time in when the sun is not at its most intense, which is between 10 and 3 (this will change seasonally).
To start, gently increase the amount of time you spend in the sun. “It is very important to increase your time in the sun gradually, generally starting at 10 to 30 minutes a few times a week [without sun protection], depending on your skin color. As you spend more time in the sun, your skin produces more melanin, so the next time you are sunning, you have more ability to absorb the sun’s rays. Get a good idea of how much you can personally handle, and never stay out long enough to become red or burned.”
Use High Quality Sunscreen
Use sunscreen when you are going to be in direct sun for a long period of time and most importantly use high quality sunscreen.
While you may be slow to purchase a $15 dollar sunscreen, like the one I handcraft, you should. The typical sunscreen contains a plethora of disturbing chemicals that may be doing more harm to your skin, body and environment than you know. Many grocery store sunscreens may be absorbed in your blood stream which could contribute to long term health effects. The concoction of chemicals we are supporting when we buy cheap sunscreens are washed off of our skin and contaminate beautiful water sources and plant life such as coral reefs. If you aren’t sure about the ingredients in your sunscreen browse through Switching Products with Samvid to learn more.
Instead, use a chemical-free sunscreen with plant ingredients (coconut oil in sunscreen has a natural SPF 6) to protect and nourish your skin when you are in the sun. There is a reason I make my own sunscreen, I understand that the majority of sunscreens on the market are not beneficial for your skin, and even the good ones like Badger Balm aren’t free of animal products.
Lastly, use clothing and shade as protection. Sunscreen doesn’t need to be a daily neccessity, while it is helpful in preventing premature aging and excessive sun exposure- remember that it does block the body from naturally absorbing vitamin D from the sun.
Try using a wide brim hat, long sleeves, sunglasses, light weight pants or a large tree for a sun block, then you can easily get sun when you need it. Coolibar or your local outdoor shop may have other options too.
While I may not wear sunscreen every day, there are plenty of hot sunny days when I do need to use it. Perhaps it’s time that we should all take a look at the balance between the sun and our sun protection, and ask ourselves, “Did I get enough sun today?” before lathering up with our favorite sunscreens.
For more in depth reading about sun:
The Benefits of Sunlight: US National Library of Medicine, National Health Institute
The Benefits of Moderate Sun Exposure: The Harvard Medical School Family Guide
Buy Samvid Sunscreen here!