Category Archives: Skin Care

Safe in the Summer

Here we are. Summer is around the corner. Winter sweaters have made their way into the back of the closet storage and the shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits are re-inhabiting the dresser drawers as you are starting to think about protection from our glorious sun.

Without a doubt the love for your children and your desire to keep them from harm’s way has you insisting on a few seasonal things; proper sunscreen coverage, proper hydration, a hat for their heads, and sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays.

Perfect, all the essential bases are covered! Or are they? In theory this plan of action is ideal, keep the kids protected from the harsh components of the elements and you are good to go. Unfortunately it is not that simple.

Google it, and you’ll find hundreds of articles on the dangers of most conventional sunscreens. Add that to the fact that there are not yet government regulations on most body care products and you have a recipe for false claims and questionable and unsafe ingredients in a HUGE majority of the sunscreens on the market. Many traditional sun blocks actually contain known cancer causing ingredients. This is a big concern when your intention is to PROTECT your children.

What is a loving parent to do? You’ll be glad to know that safe sunscreens do exist! Even some made right here in Canada, some are government certified and some are even eco certified. This is incredible news for those wanting to do the best for the health of their family. There is a great website with a database with invaluable information on thousands of body care products; it is called Skindeep and I highly recommend looking into the safety information on your sunscreens and any of the body care products you might use before slathering them on.

Proper hydration – this one is pretty much a no brainer, we play, we sweat, we need to hydrate. But HOW we hydrate, for reasons of our well being, is just as important as actually hydrating itself.  For health reasons as well as HUGE environmental reasons, make a personal promise to yourself right now – never use a plastic water bottle again! It doesn’t matter whether you recycle or not, they are toxic, toxic to you, toxic to our planet. For starters they are made from petroleum, and the multitude of chemicals in their composition makes its way into the water you drink and once there they are they known to negatively affect and wreak havoc on our endocrine systems. INVEST in the best, invest in yourself,  get a top quality water bottle preferably in an 18/8 stainless steel, (it should cost in the neighborhood of between about $18 and $25 dollars) and it should last you FOREVER. I have been using mine for 6 years! I have saved Thousands of dollars as a result, not to mention I personally have kept more than 12000 plastic bottles out of landfills, (I used to go through about 6 bottles a day).

Protective eye wear that filters out Ultra Violet Rays, (including the more dangerous UVB rays) are essential.  Even in overcast skies they can protect you and your kids from cataracts, as well as short-term eye damage including snow-blindness in the winter months.

Topping it off, a proper sunhat serves two major purposes; 1 – it is meant to shade you or prevent you from being in direct sunlight, and 2 – and this is actually even more important, it is mean to allow you to expel heat, so the traditional baseball cap is not the greatest of ideas, they tend to hold the heat in, which can lead to overheating, so a straw hat (while not the most fashionable choice) is really a better idea.

You love your kids and every year you tackle the same summer safety concerns. This year take a few extra minutes to look at the bigger and more long term picture. The small changes you make today to support the health of your kids and our planet may cost you a few dollars more initially but the payoff or ROI (return on investment is HUGE) in peace of mind and a healthful future for your family.

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Safe Sun, Safe Sun Screen

* This Blog was originally posted on the eCause website on July 26, 2011 Question – How can you pick a safe sunscreen? Which ones are safe, healthy and effective?
Answer – With the help of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) study on sunscreens.

The known fact about sunscreens is that they help prevent sunburns, but in reality many are detrimental to our health in other ways. Some commonly found ingredients may heighten skin cancer risks while others don’t offer sufficient UVA protection. Most sunscreens give people a false sense of security, leading them to stay out longer in the sun and increase their exposure to harmful rays.

Learn what to avoid when buying sunscreens and understand why EWG favours mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (either with or without nano-particles), and always be cautious to avoid sprays and powders in this type of sunscreen due to the risk of particle inhalation.

So much information can be difficult to process and may discourage you from wanting any sun this summer, but remember that the sun offers a vital vitamin to your body, vitamin D. In fact, the main source of vitamin D in the body is found in sunlight and offers important health benefits. Vitamin D can strengthen your immune system, reduce your risk to various cancers (including breast, colon, kidney and ovarian cancers) and regulates at least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body. (Source – EWG Sunscreens 2011).

At eCause, our top three tips on safe sun exposure are:
1- Use a natural and safe sunscreen.
2- Look for shade, wear protective clothing and avoid intense sun exposure during peak hours (11am -2:00 PM)
3- Order your safe and recommended sunscreen for this summer in our online eCause Summer Picks eco-boutique!

Now available – Save with our sunscreen family pack, everything you need for everyone in the family.

Wishing you a safe summer full of sunshiny days!

*For a complete list of the sunscreen chemicals, toxicity concerns and associated risks, visit the EWG’s Skin Deep Database and read up on their complete 2011 sunscreen guide.