Friday, June 3, 2011

Simple Sunscreen Solutions and why you need them.

Ahhh, it’s that time of year again! The Springs fill up before 9 am with hordes of families and their school aged children. The thermometer on the patio often reaches above 90 and the heat index can climb over 100! Good Ol’ Florida Sunshine weather! I don’t know about you, but I hear the nearest swimming hole callin my name!

Of course packin up is a bit more of a production these days, what with the addition of an infant to pack for and all, but the basics stay about the same. Towels, dry clothes, food, water, sunscreen…
Sunscreen. It was one of those things I hadn’t thought about “greenifyin” until we needed it this season. I KNEW there had to be something amiss here, I mean, even if you DO like the smell, you gotta know something just isn’t right about it. Not to mention it’s yet another source of consumerism that causes a strain on our resources.

Petroleum for instance, is a non-renewable resource; how much of it was used to create that fancy bottle and it’s tropical like ingredients?? I’ll give you an idea: Petroleum is a very good sunscreen and was more than likely used in making the bottle too. In response to the general population’s call for products and transportation to be more accessible or socially acceptable our Plant is being raped and our Brothers and Sisters murdered. The illusion of our dependence on petroleum fuel is a disgrace. We appear to be a tax on our own Planet and danger to our own. Citizens of the U.S., think one moment on the oil families in our country and what we have suffered under their rule! Citizens of the World, remember the recent damage in the Gulf and ask yourself, “Would they be drilling for it if we weren't BUYING it?”

How many sunscreen bottles do you think are setting in the landfill right now? No idea? Let’s play math for a second. The “official” number for the Florida 2010 Census is: 18,801,310.
Let’s just say that only HALF of those Floridians use only ONE bottle of sunscreen this year. That’s 9,400,655 bottles of chemical laden, resource depleting, potentially hazardous product stinkin up our landfills! Even if we assume that two thirds of these Sun Patrons bought an environmentally healthy alternative, that’s still 3,133,552 bottles or so and that’s assuming that each person only uses/purchases one bottle!
Here is the “official” Census 2010 site:

As you can see, the Sunscreen case is shaping up to be a big one and being the fine steward of my Planet and Humanity that I am I did a little more digging. I found some more interesting stuff for you and yep, there will be a pop quiz and solution at the end!

Science Class:
With a little help from my friends at Might Nest:
“Sunscreens themselves can seem like a mystery with all of their strange ingredients and acronyms and unfortunately, like all skincare products, are almost entirely unregulated by the U.S. government. One common sunscreen ingredient in particular to watch out for is the synthetic chemical oxybenzone. It is an endocrine disruptor which affects the nervous system, has been linked to cancer in some laboratory studies, and creates harmful free-radicals from sun exposure. Another area of potential concern that has arisen is that of nanomaterials. These are widely used in sunscreens to eliminate the chalky appearance of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Reports indicate that nanomaterials small size makes them more able to enter the lungs, pass through cell membranes, and possibly penetrate damaged or sun-burnt skin.”
Avoid sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone, DMDM Hydantoin, Triethanolamine, Parabens, Fragrance, and spray sunscreens (with nanoparticles)
• Look up your sunscreen in the Cosmetics Database, an extensive list run by a science non-profit that tracks what is healthy and what is not in skincare products.
We’ve done the homework for you by only offering sunscreens that are free of known toxins.”

Phew, did ya get all that?
READ YOUR LABELS! Be your own scientist! There are no real regulations on the words “green” and “natural” so our best defense is a good offense. Educate yourself on what NOT to buy and then go a hunting. Also keep in mind when you CONSUME a product that even though the content of that bottle may be a healthier solution, you are STILL consuming the packaging! And believe it or not there are home remedies one can implement as well.

I specifically noted the Mighty Nest information because anytime I hear “endocrine disruptor” red flags go up! Our endocrine system is directly linked to our Chakras! Let me catch you up to speed as to why that matters:
“The word chakra literally translates as wheel or disk and refers to a spinning sphere of bioenergetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column.”

“Each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands, and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. Thus, each chakra can be associated with particular parts of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that plexus or that endocrine gland associated with that chakra.”

Talk about jackin up the airways people! I think this is one your local friendly neighborhood Nurse, Reiki Master and Acupuncturist could agree on. The endocrine system/Chakra bioenergetic system relationship is not only vital to both our emotional and Spiritual health, but to our physical health as well! My personal belief states that my intuition and connection to the Source or God is also directly linked to this bioenergetic system within this space ship I call a body. THE most important connection of my Being in all dimensions. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll take a chance on that one, thank you! And honestly, no matter what your belief system is, armed with information, ANYONE can clearly see that it might be worth a second glace when you go to buy that bottle of goop whose ingredients you can’t pronounce, with the assaulting, chances are fake fragrance! I have to admit, I do love the smell of some! It’s just so overpowering no one around you has a choice in the matter!

So, solutions you say?
As you wish!

Sunscreen Recipe:

Coconut oil:Reapply often. I rub this stuff into my skin right after every shower rather than pack it for the beach. I also drop in some E.O. and make an aromatherapy rub.
Downside: It is a bit costly, and can be unstable in hot conditions.

Shea Butter:Reapply often. I have some of this in house at all times for many different health and beauty recipes and to use on its own. Shea butter is a VERY healing substance. Again, may not be real stable in hot conditions.

Black Soap:can leave Coconut, Shea and Palm oils behind. Poof! You just added sunscreens to your skin when you bathed!
For more info on the black soap and shea butter see my friend and local merchant Jackie!

Food Choices I found this very interesting. You are what you eat!

Exposing myself to the Sun in small increasing increments so that I have a slight color to my skin has seemed to help a great deal when I find myself caught out without adequate skin protection.

I also have the sense God gave a goose and take refuge in the shade as often as possible and wear a wide brimmed hat when I’m out too!
Episencial Sunscreen Product Review
My youngest most assuredly inherited what I like to call my “Blue vein Irish” skin. Protection is a must for us both so I do buy a product that is made with the health of both the planet and our family in mind by Episencial, from a local vender.
The product is made with organic, natural ingredients that I can understand in a facility that runs on Solar power from renewable resources.
There are a lot of natural skin protectors and sunscreens in the recipe like Shea butter, Green tea, Comfrey, Aloe vera and beeswax along with Sunflower and Sesame seed oils.
It is water resistant SPF 35 and safe enough for the entire family with no added fragrance.
The residue is due to the lack of harmful nanomaterials, and use of Zinc Oxide(10%) so I do NOT recommend putting it on your face unless you want to impersonate a ghost!
It is made with Environmental responsibility and my family's health in mind.
The residue is due to the lack of harmful nanomaterials, and use of Zinc Oxide(10%) so I do NOT recommend putting it on your face unless you want to impersonate a ghost!
We use it VERY sparingly as it is expensive. I paid $10 for a 4 fl oz tube!
It will leave behind a residue that’s kinda hard to get off and looks like desitin.
It is also not very stable, meaning it will get very runny with heat but it’s in a tube so a little easier to use. Next camping trip I may just put it in the cooler where I keep my coconut oil!
"Packaged in recycled and sustainable materials, and manufactured using solar power, Episencial products are good for your babies, kids and the planet!"

Get to know the creator of Episencial:
"A second-generation skin care expert from the family that developed the world renowned Epicuren® anti-aging skin care products, she now combines her activism for health and environmentalism with expertise in clinical skin care and nutritional science to develop green, effective skin care for pregnant women and children."
So, there ya have it! Hopefully I have given you enough information for you to make an educated choice, if not, hit up Google or better yet, shoot me an email!

“Change, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can affect great progress in the long run!” ~A.J.