Back in the day sunscreen wasn't a thing. In fact I remember putting on baby oil with iodine in it to get a nice tan. 😳😱😲 YES, I know that's shocking. But we just didn't understand how dangerous the sun could be to your skin. However we still need sun in healthy doses, for the wonderful Vitamin D. We need vitamin D for our immune health and bone health, but in safe doses. So let's not get burned. Use sunscreen during peak hours 11 am - 2 pm when you are more likely to get burned.
In the past fews years, I've learned much more about sunscreen and safe choices. Here are some things to be aware of when choosing sun protection for you and your family!:
1. What are we protecting against anyway?
UVA Rays: These rays contribute to premature aging of the skin as well as skin cancer.
UVB Rays: These are the rays that cause painful sunburn as well as skin cancer.
Blue Light: Found in the sun as well as technology (which we're all in front of ALL the time!), blue light can cause signs of aging in the skin. (No, thanks!)
2. How much SPF do I need?
There's much less variation in SPF than I once thought. For example:
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV rays
SPF 30 blocks 97% of UV rays
SPF 50 blocks 98% of UV rays
In fact, the FDA is concerned that claims of excessively high SPF values give users a false sense of protection, leading to overexposure to UVA rays that increase the risk of long-term skin damage and cancer. They've even suggested capping ratings at 60 SPF.
3. What's the difference between a chemical sunscreen and a mineral sunscreen?
Chemical sunscreens protect the skin from UV rays by scattering the rays. There's concern that this process can cause free radicals, harming our skin cells.
Chemical sunscreens typically contain oxybenzone, which is the chemical banned in places like Hawaii and Key West because it can damage coral reefs. It also isn't great for us! Oxybenzone disrupts our hormones, accumulates in our bodies, and is allergenic. Hard pass.
Mineral sunscreens use a physical barrier to block the UV rays from penetrating our skin. They're definitely the safer option between the two -- both for your health and our oceans.
4. Tell me more about Beautycounter's sunscreens!
All of Beautycounter's sunscreen is mineral sunscreen. It's also formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, meaning the particle size isn't small enough to be absorbed into the skin. (Yay!)
Our mists use a non-aerosol bag-on-valve technology to keep you safe. Other spray sunscreens have a high inhalation risk due to the ingredients and delivery system.
We have lots of great sunscreen options, including:
-a face sunscreen (lightweight, easy to rub in, and wears well under makeup)
-a tinted face moisturizer with SPF (one of my all-time 🥰 favorite products!)
-sunscreen lotion (my go-to for pre-pool or beach application)
-sunscreen mist (perfect to quickly and easily re-apply when you're busy having fun outside -- and there's a tinted option, too!)
-sunscreen stick (this is a favorite of mine to keep in my bag when I find myself being out and about without sunscreen and it's great for kids, fits perfectly in their small hands. )
Check out all sunscreen options together here!
5. I've used safer sunscreens in the past and didn't love them. They didn't rub in well or they made my skin look or feel weird. How do Beautycounter's stack up?
SUCH a good question. If you've used mineral sunscreens in the past you might have been left looking a bit like Casper the Friendly Ghost. I love that our sunscreens do NOT have that effect!
They also tend to work well for all members of the family, even those with especially sensitive skin.
5. What about finding other safe sunscreen brands, or vetting the brand I already use?
Environmental Working Group is my go-to resource for checking the safety of products (personal care products, baby products, cleaning products, and more!), and they have a great sunscreen guide you might find helpful. You can peruse that for brands they recommend, as well as use their search function to find safety information on brands you might currently be using.
Check out EWG's guide to sunscreens here!
I hope that was a helpful Sunscreen 101 overview! I'm always here if you have questions or would like help choosing the right sunscreen formula for you.
And I'm not talking about Great White's song from the 80's. Yes it a good song to run down memory lane. But I'm talking about getting bitten up while you're hanging outside by the pool, having a dinner with family and friends, doing yard work, gardening or even on a hike.
Those nasty bumpy itching or stinging bites. UGH!!! Plus some folks out there have bigger reactions to those bites based on the histamine levels in their bodies. YES, you can have more histamine in your body not related to those dang seasonal allergies. However that is a conversation for another day. Stay tuned for that one.
There are many options to control those pesky bugs. From having a fan outside with you blowing them away to using bug repellent. Those of a certain age will remember the days trucks would drive around spraying DEET to keep those inconvenient bugs away. Since that time many reports and studies have been done on DEET, because of the concern about its neurotoxicity, ability to melt plastic and its greasiness. Neurological symptoms such as seizures have been reported in infants exposed to DEET. Note that recent studies are saying in low doses it is safe. As for me, I'll stay away from it for now.
If you do get bit try applying tea tree oil on the bite. Tea tree oil is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and usually no-irritating. Also pure lavender oil can be used. My favorite way to take the itch out of a mosquito bite is to put a dap of Beautycounter's Charcoal + Mask, just a tiny bit stops the itching almost immediately.
Earlier this month I was working out in the yard planting flowers, herbs and vegetables when I felt a tick on my leg. Try as I might I couldn't get that tick off. I tried a tick spoon, eventually I had to have my husband get the tick off with tweezers. This tick was small and hard to remove we did manage to get all of it. Thankfully!!
To be on the safe side I attempted to put on betonite clay, I couldn't get the mix right. However I remembered that I had a charcoal mask on hand, it works wonders on bug bites taking care of the sting and itch. Thus I reasoned it would do the same if the tick left me an unwanted gift of a virus. So far I am healthy and I have not seen any rings or irritation at the bite sight.
I do have the following recommendations if you spend anytime outside.
After spending time outdoors, check for ticks. Know where to tick check to defend against a tick-borne infection. Start with these 10 spots going from bottom to top.
Check children, pets, and yourself for ticks. If you don’t have someone to help you, use a mirror to check all parts. Work your way up from bottom to top. Ticks like warm spots, so don’t miss any of those. Feel for bumps. Look for tiny dark spots. Most ticks are very small.
If you do find a tick, don’t worry. The earlier you spot it the better. Your odds of catching Lyme disease in the first 24 hours is extremely low.
If you do find a tick, don’t worry. The earlier you spot it the better. Your odds of catching Lyme disease in the first 24 hours is extremely low.
To remove a tick, use tweezers, tick spoon or tick key. Do not use your fingers! Do not use a lighter to burn it, that will make them regurgitate and increase the chance of infection.
Removing a tick with fine-tipped tweezers by grasping the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Squeeze & pull upward with even, steady pressure.
If the head remains in the skin, see if you can pull it out but don’t dig or rip the skin.
Clean the bite area
Dispose of the tick by putting it in alcohol or flushing it. Or place it in a sealable bag to send it to a tick testing site. (I don't have any recommendations for a lab to test ticks. If you do please let me know.) Do not crush it. Check the rest of the body.
I purchased this tick key for removal. You can find it online or at any outdoor store. I got mine at REI-Greensboro.
Did you know beside the COVID pandemic there is also an Alzheimer's epidemic. That Alzheimers is the leading form of dementia in the elderly. That subtle changes in memory start as early as 20 years before diagnosis. In fact according to a recent Forbes article, Blue Cross Blue Shield has seen 200% increase in diagnosis of this disease in 30-64 year olds. Now don't despair there are things you can do now to help protect your brain. First grab this book, The First Survivor's of Alzheimer's and also this book The End of Alzheimer's Program: The First Protocol to Enhance Cognition and Reverse Decline at Any Age Both are great and I read the first one in just under a week while on vacation last month, it has first hand accounts.
Some of the simplest things you can do right now is change your diet. Choose fresh whole foods. Choose organic if that is financially hard to do, choose organic for the dirty dozen. Don't worry about organic when purchasing fruit and vegetables that are on the clean 15. (see below) However I will say if you having any inflammation at all, even if it's not memory related, please steer clear of corn. It is very inflammatory and hard to process. Just check your poop 💩 the next time you eat corn. If you see it in your poop your body is not digesting it.
Grab Dr. Bredesen's book and start implementing some of his strategies. If you need help deciding where to begin schedule a discovery call with me to see if working with a functional nutrition counselor would be beneficial for you.
April showers bring May's flowers and with that pollen. If you live in the southern part of the United States you'll experience pollen season earlier in the spring. Are you suffering from an itchy scratchy throat and eyes? Is your nose all stuffy?
When we experience the symptoms of seasonal allergies our bodies are showing us it is inflamed. Ways you can decrease the inflammation is to shower when you get home after being outside. Rinsing your nose with a neti pot. Slowly crowd out the bad process foods by eating healthy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and proteins. Reach for complex carbohydrates versus the simple ones like bread, baked goods, soft drinks, and dairy products.
Even when you are treating your body right by eating whole foods and drinking plenty of water you can still experience the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Instead of reaching for an anti-histamine consider reaching for a supplement that diminishes the release of histamine without drying out your mucus membranes.
Options you can choose from are:
This mask was originally released as part of Beautycounter's holiday collection, which usually means it's a speciality product that will only be available during the holidays. The response to this product was overwhelmingly positive, hence why it's has been brought back as a staple product.
I finally tried it this month and was blown away by the effects of this mask. In a short ten minutes you can have soft smooth skin. Many has said it makes your skin as soft as a (insert your own adjective and noun). I tried it by myself and with my teen. We both loved how well our faces felt afterwards.
In a short 10 minutes this mask will make your dull tired skin feel smooth as baby's skin, full of bounce and be more radiant.
The Reflect AHA Effect mask contains:
Are you ready to try this mask now? Grab one here. On the fence I have a limited supply of samples. Message me here to try a sample. I only ask that you report back to me with your results.
I can't believe I never wrote about the PREDICT (Personalized Responses to Dietary Composition Trial) 2 Study that I participated in back in March of 2020. Wonder what was going on back that?😉 This was in depth nutrition study, covering blood glucose, and fat levels, activity, inflammation, sleep and gut microbiome diversity. Participants wore a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and an activity tracker. We took finger prick blood samples to monitor blood fat levels and collected stool samples for microbiome analysis.
We were required to eat muffins that has differing levels of fat and sugar. We also had to drink a glucose solution. After we ate the prepared food, finger blood samples were required. However in return we were able to see how the foods that we choose to eat responded in our bodies through the CGM and blood work drawn at the end of the study.
Here is just an overview of the foods I ate and the samples I supplied. The results were published here.
About 9 months after I completed the study they sent me a report about my blood glucose and fat levels. I also received a report on my gut microbiome. It was fairly healthy, so apparently I am eating the right foods for my gut. Where as my blood glucose and fat levels need a little work. I am pretty sure my lack of a gall bladder is contributing to my fat levels, I will try adding in an ox bile supplement to help my body digest the fats coming in. As for the blood glucose levels, I still need to tweak what is raising them.
Would you ever participate in a study like this?
Products that will be discontinued
Every year, Beautycounter makes the tough decision to remove a few products from our line. They're always products that aren't best sellers, and they're eliminated to make room for more products coming soon (a good thing!!).
Still, some of these are favorites of mine (and I know many of you love them, too), so I wanted to be sure to share this list in case you wanted to grab anything before it's gone.
Some products will be gone for good, while others will be replaced with updated versions. Those new versions are TBD timing-wise, though, so stock up now if you have any favorites on this list:
Today I also want to share an important pricing update from Beautycounter that begins February 1st, in light of that and the above product changes I am hosting a mystery New Year New Skincare pop up. This will be an opportunity for YOU to win host rewards for spending as little as $50. This pop up closes January 31, 2022
February 1st - prices increase by about 10%
For those who receive Beautycounter emails, you may have read this in a recent email from Beautycounter HQ, but I wanted to be sure to address it as well. Effective February 1, you'll see an increase of about 10% on pricing for all Beautycounter products. Please know that this is a carefully considered increase, and it's to account for rising production/material costs due in large part to the pandemic and the strain it's put on so many industries.
Two quick notes about this increase and ways to avoid it:
*Another way to save even MORE on all of your Beautycounter purchases is to join as a consultant. You'll receive a 25% discount on all personal orders that way! Some teammates and I hosted a call last week on what being a consultant looks like, and you can check out that replay here if you're interested.
As we all feel the pressure of the Holiday’s barreling on towards us, we need to find tools that will help us thrive, survive and actually ENJOY the season. As with any problem, if we don’t fill out toolboxes with helpful tools we will not be successful. Here are some tips and tricks to try this holiday season.
If you are anything like me, I'm always looking for gift ideas. Because you know someone might have a cooler or better idea than me. Or maybe I'm plumb out of ideas. At any rate I always love a good gift guide. I hope you enjoy the one I put together for you.
Mary, is the creator and founder of PaleoLove Company, Mom, wife, friend, partner in crime, and entrepreneur. She has been a lover of art, food and traveling since she was very young. She began her paleo journey just out of curiosity, then her oldest daughter developed health problems where she needed to consume a low carb low sugar diet. It is here where she developed her skills in creating and making low sugar low carb treats and eats.