Fun in the Sun

Summer VacationSummer is around the corner! And, we often take this time to remind ourselves of how we can protect our skin from potentially damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.

Yet, Summertime isn’t the only time that our skin is exposed to potentially damaging UV rays. It’s year round during sunny and overcast days.

Here are some tips for when you’re heading outdoors for some fun in the sun and during those cloudy days too.

  • Don that wide-brimmed hat to provide some shade up top because sunburn on your forehead, ears, and scalp are not pleasant. Yes, we’ve been there! Spending more time under shady trees and umbrellas are also helpful.
  • Slather on sunscreen with an SPF (sun screen factor) of 30 or higher. Look for sunscreen products that offer broad spectrum coverage to protect from UVA and UVB rays. Products that include titanium dioxide or zinc oxide could provide more natural protection and avoid artificial chemicals such as oxybenzone, petrochemicals, PABA, parabens, phthalates, and artificial fragrances.
  • Wear breathable, light-colored clothing that offer more coverage and keep you cooler at the same time. Staying indoors during the hottest times during the day is also a great way to protect your body.
  • Shield your eyes. Wear the right sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare and damaging UV rays.

So, have a wonderful time enjoying the great outdoors and remember to be kind to your body by protecting it!

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HEALTH & BEAUTY: Summertime Skin Care

IMG_2116Summer is here! And, it’s time for some fun in the sun! Also, it’s a great time to remind us of the importance of protecting our skin from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause premature aging and skin cancer.

Whether you’re heading to the beach, going hiking, or enjoying your daily stroll, how can you protect your skin and still have fun in the sun?

Use sunscreen. Sunscreen with an SPF (sun screen factor) of 30 or higher that offers broad spectrum coverage can better protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Overexposure to rays can lead to wrinkles and premature aging, so be sun-safe and choose the appropriate sunscreen.

Similarly, wear sunglasses that offer your eyes broad coverage from the sun’s harmful rays. To protect your skin further, wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing and hats that shield your face and body. And, seek shade. Walk on the shady side of the street, enjoy the coolness under beach umbrellas and trees, or stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day.

Your skin is the largest bodily organ. So, be sun-savvy and protect your skin as best you can. Have a wonderful Summer!

A Common Question About Sunscreen…

Summer Vacation

Summer is here! And, a question we’re often asked is…”What’s the best sunscreen to use?”

We tend to think of using sunscreen more during the Summertime since the sun is stronger and the days are hotter. Yet, it’s important to wear sunscreen on sunny, cloudy and cold-weather days to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays year-round.

It’s best to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays that can damage your skin, cause premature aging and could lead to skin cancer. The majority of skin cancer cases occur on areas of the body that are most exposed to the sun such as the face, hands, ears and neck, so be extra diligent when applying sunscreen to those areas. If you frequently forget to apply sunscreen, try using a daily all-over-body moisturizer that already includes an SPF (sun protection factor).

Look for products that have an SPF of 30 or higher and that include titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, a powdered mineral that provides more natural protection. And, look for products that are free of artificial chemicals such as homosalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, petrochemicals, PABA, parabens, phthalates, and artificial fragrances.

In addition to using the proper sunscreen, there are several things you can do to further protect your skin.

1) Keep covered. Clothing can offer a moderate amount of protection from UV rays. Wear cotton and breathable material to keep cool and to get some protection. Or, wear clothing with sun protection technology already built in.

2) Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face and eyes from damaging rays.

3) Stay indoors between the hours of 10:00am to 4:00pm when the rays are strongest.

4) Seek shade. Umbrellas and natural shade can also offer moderate protection.

Remember…your skin is your largest bodily organ, so protect it and be kind to it this Summer and all year round!

Toxic Medicine Cabinet – What are you putting on your body?

What’s in your cosmetics and beauty care products? Are there ingredients that you’ve never heard of? Can’t even pronounce?

At Naturally Susan’s, we scoured and researched ingredients in products such as facial moisturizers, body lotions, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, lipsticks, and foundations and discovered toxic chemicals in the products that were poisoning our bodies. So, we searched for natural, organic options and began developing our own.

Believe it or not, there are no government regulations that oversee the safety of cosmetics and personal care products that are in the market today. With the exception of color additives, cosmetic companies are not required to conduct pre-market testing or health studies before selling to consumers. As a result, hazardous ingredients can be included in products without warning labels.

So what did we find from our research? We found a laundry list of chemical ingredients and we’ve named a few in the watch list below.

Toxic Watch List:

* Parabens such as methyl, ethyl, propyl, and butyl parabens are used as preservatives and have been found to be carcinogenic. They are common ingredients in moisturizers.

* Fragrances are a chemical cocktail and are often listed simply as “fragrance” on the ingredient label. Approximately 3,000 chemicals hide behind the term “fragrance” and the synthetic components are not required to be listed.

* Petroleum-based products are derived from crude oil. These include mineral oil, paraffin wax, and paraffin oil and are often found in mascaras, foundations, and lipsticks. These ingredients clog pores, sealing toxins in our body.

* Sodium laurel sulfates are foam enhancers and have been found to cause damage to the central nervous system, skin irritation and eye damage in animals exposed to these chemicals.

* Phthalates are generally not listed on ingredient labels since they are part of fragrances. Oftentimes, they are used as plastic softeners and health issues may include birth defects and decreased sperm count.

* Talc has been associated with an increased development of ovarian cancer.

* Sunscreen chemicals such as oxybenzone and PABA can cause allergic reactions. Also, retinyl palmitate, a vitamin-A compound used in about 40% of sunscreen products, has been found to promote the development of skin cancer.

On average, a typical consumer uses about 10 cosmetic and personal care products every day. Our skin is the largest bodily organ that absorbs about 60% of what we put on it so, take a look through your bathroom cabinet to see what you’re putting on your body. While we may not be able to eliminate all toxic and chemical ingredients from our personal care regimen, let’s take steps to reduce our exposure.

What ingredients are in the products that you use? Let us know what you find.

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