The weather is warming up here and summer is just around the corner. With that comes more time outside meaning you'll be needing some protection from sun and bugs and all the things that go along with your outdoor summer activities.
Unfortunately, traditional products like sunscreen and bug spray can be bad for your health. Instead of protecting you from a sunburn or bug bites, they are actually putting you at risk because they can be chock full of nasty chemicals that you don't want on your body's largest organ- your skin!
So, how can you protect yourself from the sun, bugs and keep creepy chemicals out of your life? You have to do some research!
One of my favorites references is the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database linked here www.ewg.org/skindeep/#.Wv8rxy-ZPOQ . You can enter in the name of your favorite skincare product and get immediate feedback on toxicity levels of that item or a particular ingredient. This is super helpful!
I personally recommend Beautycounter, Mychelle and Goddess Garden sun products because they don't contain endocrine disruptors like oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate or octisalate. If you've got these ingredients listed on your sunscreen bottle, it's time to toss it! By shopping my dispensary linked above, you can find safer options like Mychelle and Goddess Garden.
In addition to safe sunscreen, decreasing inflammation in your body will also decrease the likelihood of burning!
I always recommend a healthy diet filled with lots of colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables that will also protect your skin.
Consumption of healthy omega 3 fats found in fatty fish such as salmon do the trick as well. You can supplement here if you must by taking a good quality fish oil (hint: it's not the one on TV that says it's pharmacist recommended!).
Optimal vitamin D levels also protect your skin from burning. You can get your level checked at your healthcare provider's office the next time you have lab work drawn.
A new favorite of mine in recent years is astaxanthin. I first learned about this from The Wellness Mama (she has a great article on it). It acts as an "internal sunscreen" and has worked very well for me over the last few summers. Here's the link to her article on it.
Physical barriers are always a good idea. I like a good sun shirt, a ball cap or cute sun hat and large sunglasses.
Spending time outdoors in the summer can be restorative to our minds, bodies and souls but it's important that we protect ourselves from these hormone disrupting chemicals that are prevalent in skincare products.