Today let’s talk about and heal all of your summer skin care concerns holistically… everything from:
cuts and scrapes
bug bites and more…
I’ve got you covered!
Here we go:
1. My Fav Sunscreen
My favorite sunscreen: Miessence Reflect Outdoor Balm.
Why is it my fav?
It truly absorbs into my skin, leaves it only slightly white as opposed to thick and pasty white, and is made up ONLY of Zinc.
- Non-nanoparticle zinc… Reflect uses micronized zinc minerals that are 150 nanometers
- Formulated with 22% microfine zinc oxide which offers protection from harmful rays while organic olive oil keeps the skin supple.
- Non-coated minerals… Reflect’s mineral zinc is not coated with aluminum compounds, silicone compounds or titanium dioxide
- Creates a physical sunblock that bounces the sun’s harmful rays off of your skin, unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb rays
- Fantastically effective, broad spectrum sun blocker with no synthetic chemicals
- Potent antioxidants including natural vitamin E, beta carotene and polygonum extract, protect the skin from premature aging and prevent damage caused by the elements
Now I’ll just tell you upfront that sunscreen is not my number one recommendation for prevention of skin cancer. Nor is it my second recommendation either.
I prefer to avoid peak sun hours and use sun protective clothing like rashguards, hats and sunglasses.
But when I’m going to be spending all day at the beach or gardening outside during peak sun hours… Miessence’s Reflect is the sunscreen I use.
It is an investment in my health and the health of my children, so I go for it and use it liberally.
- Some chemicals in sunscreen (like the oils, petroleum products, and retinyl palmitate found in most sunscreens) have been shown to actually increase the rates of skin cancer lesions, when directly applied to the skin.
- On top of that, many of the chemicals in chemical blocking sunscreens are shown to disrupt our natural hormone pathways. In fact, oxybenzone, the most COMMON chemical sunscreen used, has been shown to disrupt hormones and is *not* (repeat NOT) recommended for use in children. That’s right… look at all the “kid’s formula” sunscreens out there… they generally contain oxybenzone. This chemical not only is a hormone-disruptor, but it is particularly well absorbed (which is why it is so commonly used) so applying to your skin it becomes internally absorbed within minutes. Which means children, who are still growing, are getting systemic doses of hormone-disrupting oxybenzone circulating through their bodies on a daily basis all summer long.
- More bad news… mineral based sunscreens are increasingly being made in nano-sized particles so that they blend into the skin better… and unfortunately, this means they can potentially be absorbed systemically as well. Even mineral based sunscreens like zinc or titanium dioxide are potentially toxic if they enter your body, so you want to be sure your product does not use nanoparticles.
- ALL sunscreens have a drawback. All sunscreens (chemical and physical) effectively decrease your skin’s ability to manufacture Vitamin D. You really can’t underestimate how important Vitamin D is… it has been shown to prevent cancers, strokes, heart disease, boost your immune system, strengthen bones, prevent osteoporosis, decrease mental disorders. We need it. Point blank.
- Most of us are vit D deficient. If you don’t get daily sun exposure, take a Vit D supplement. If you use sunscreen, take a Vitamin D supplement. If you work inside or go to school all day long… you must take a Vitamin D supplement (I like Biotics Vit D emulsion…)
- Also, sunscreens give the user a false confidence… at least with no protection, redness develops and gives us a common sense indicator to GET OUT OF THE SUN and to be much more careful next time! With sunscreen use… all common sense is gone. With no threat of a sunburn… sun exposure can continue on double and even triple the length of time that one would normally be in the sun. Yikes.
But there is good news too. Lots of different ways to protect your skin:
- The most important #1 way to protect from ultraviolet exposure is avoidance. Avoid going out in the sun during the peak UV hours in mid-day.
- There was a huge medical study that backs this up… Sunscreen was third in order of most effective ways to protect yourself from sun damage and skin cancers.
- So the ultimate solution, when possible, is sun avoidance during peak sun hours (10AM – 4PM) — this is infinitely better than any sun protection.
- The second best way to protect from the sun, if you are going out in the peak hours and/or going to be out for many consecutive hours, is uv protective clothing. Rash guards, hats, sunglasses. Be certain to protect your eyes by wearing UV protective sunglasses, dear reader! UV exposure is one of the leading causes of lens opacity (cataracts) as you age. You can prevent this by diligently protecting your eyes.
The third? That’s Miessence’s Reflect Outdoor Balm, my friends.
Enjoy the long summer days and warmer nights and use this common sense approach, combined with this fantastic sunscreen when needed, to protect your skin from future cancers.
2. Treating Yeast Overgrowth
There are two summer *musts* on this topic:
- No wearing tight sweaty bras or swimsuits for hours and hours on end.
- You’ve got to love the skin you’re in and give it time to air out.
I remember when my kids were super little and I loved nothing more but for them just to run around naked all day long, no diaper in sight.
That is something you should consider if you are prone to yeasty beasties… lots of time with no undies! Perhaps consider sleeping nude?
Besides going nekked when you have the privacy and space to do so, here are other things you can do right this very minute to stack the odds against yeast overgrowth and rid yourself of Candida infections long term:
First, the energetic imbalance behind a yeast overgrowth… being too sweet!
Literally! Yeast tend to take advantage of hosts that are sending out the vibe that they will put up with stuff that they really don’t want.
Are you grinning and bearing something that you’d secretly like to say a firm “no” to?
Are you letting someone walk all over you? We know that yeast will take advantage of this and walk all over us if we let them.
Just take a bit of time to double-check that we say no when we need to and we have clear boundaries that allow us to do what we truly want to do and enjoy that without guilt.
If you are sucking it up and putting a smile on your face, your body feels this. Your skin is working over time to set a boundary that you are failing to make for yourself. There is no way your skin should be having to set boundaries that you aren’t being clear about. It just can’t keep up, and as a result, those yeasty beasties are having a field day.
… and more probiotics. I talk about all my favs in this blog post!
There are different forms… spray… liquid… but it works because of its antimicrobial properties.
It kills yeast as well as lots of other pathogens, so it’s a great supplement to have around.
Just as you might spray colloidal silver in your mouths at the first sign of a cold, you can spray it directly on skin infections — like if you have an infected bug bite or on areas of yeast overgrowth AND take it internally to get the upper hand on those buggers!
Proteolytic Enzymes (such as Biofilm Defense) break up the biofilm on pathogens and weakens them… allowing our bodies to effectively clear them out for good.
The biofilm is exactly what it sounds like, a film over the surface of a foreign pathogen like yeast, and it’s purpose is to protect the pathogen from being defeated.
When you break up this biofilm by taking proteolytic enzymes, often this one supplement is enough to rid you of yeast for good!
Decrease consumption of sugar and simple carbs
I’m sure you’ve heard of this one before… and it’s true, even though I hate to admit it. I have a serious sweet tooth and it is nothing to be trifled with!
But yeast love to thrive on sugars and simple carbs like white flour.
If you can reduce your consumption of these foods (and pay particular attention to it if you have an active yeast infection!) and you’ll give the yeast less to feed on and a decreased rate of growth.
Sulfur rich foods
Sulfur rich foods like many spices, garlic and onion, help naturally defeat the yeast overgrowth.
Make them a part of your summertime diet on a routine basis!
And the good news is, if you load up on the garlic, you are going to naturally repel mosquitos and other biting insects as well! So load cloves of garlic into spaghetti and pizza sauces, on garlic bread, raw in salads… you name it!
3. Athlete’s Foot
Many of the same tips for decreasing yeast overgrowth will also work for decreasing fungal overgrowth as well… so read through the list above and incorporate those things into your fungal line of defense as well.
On top of this, be sure you are not keeping your feet trapped into hot, moist environments like closed toed shoes.
If you *must* wear closed toed shoes, be certain to wear socks and change them frequently.
Open toed sandals and flip flops are better, and barefoot is best as often as possible!!!
Also, Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree Oil will both help treat the fungal infection — just dry feet extremely well after swimming or bathing, and use a cotton ball to dab on either apple cider vinegar or tea trea oil several times a day for several weeks and watch your athlete’s foot infection disappear for good.
4. Healing Summer scrapes: abrasions and bug bites
You already know I love honey to ease seasonal allergy symptoms…
…and I love honey for wound healing as well!
Summer is filled with little cuts, scabs, scrapes and bites. So it’s the perfect time to share this info…
Findings published in the International Wound Journal show that when raw honey was used on all types of wounds, it:
- promoted healing
- minimized necrosis
- minimized the amount of skin that sloughed off the wound
- reduced wound size
- decreased affected area around wound
Not only did it help speed wound healing, but it made a measurable improvement in over 84% of wounds!!!!
We are talking:
- post operative wounds
- general skin wounds
- pressure sores and more!
Honey has well-known antimicrobial benefits, doesn’t spoil, is easy to have on hand and is portable (no refrigeration required!) so it really makes perfect sense to use as a secondary wound dressing in children older than 12 months old.
- First be sure to flush out any wound with lots of water… for a long period of time… 2 minutes ideally.
- Then, depending on wound type you may consider a topical antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, or antibacterial dressing, and then honey.
- For minor wounds, use deep cleansing and then raw honey as a dressing, but be sure to have any deeper or larger wounds evaluated by a physician.
Because honey is so safe and so effective for so many different types of wounds… and because it speeds healing and decreases the amount of skin that is affected by the wound, I feel that honey ultimately will be shown to reduce the appearance of scarring as well.
So for post operative wounds or acne infections or stretch marks or injuries that you want to minimize scarring in… bring on the raw honey!
Sweet news, indeed!
To help prevent bug bites in the first place — I use a two pronged approach:
1. Organic Cedar Oil Spray directly on skin, pets, around doorways and porches and windows and anywhere inside or outside of your home that bugs tend to congregate — used directly on skin it helps deter them from bothering you at all and is organic, safe, natural and no nasty DEET or other chemical concerns.
2. Burning sage or incense around the yard — for example, a few incense sticks or a sage stick burning on your outdoor patio table while you eat dinner — to deter flying insects from buzzing around your food and spoiling your meal! Or, as I suggest in this blog post — throw a smudge stick of dried sage into your summer bonfire to help keep the mosquitoes away all night!
Stay tuned for my article next week, on the intuitive energy of your skin…
…and happy summertime!