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Pools are open, the kids are out of school, and summer vibes are everywhere!

To make sure that you have everything that you need to get through this season happy and healthy, we wanted to share some of our BEST advice for all things summer.

We know as well as anyone how brutal a sunburn can be.  But we know that the chemical toxicity that can be found in most sunscreens are actually worse then ANY sunburn.

The Environmental Working Group has been doing some of the best research on the matter, but here are the facts:

Almost 3/4 of the sunscreens tested by the EWG offered insufficient sun protection or contained toxic ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of Vitamin A that may actually harm the skin. And despite evidence to the contrary, the government still allows most sunscreens to claim that they actually prevent cancer!

Active ingredients in sunscreens come in two forms…Mineral and chemical filters. These chemical filters can disrupt hormones, and in many cases are considered carcinogens!

Mineral filters are made to create an actual physical barrier between your skin and those harmful UV rays. They usually consist of zinc oxide or titanium oxide and frequently are composed as nano particles which can be dangerous when inhaled.

So the ideal is a mineral sunscreen without nano particles. For a list of the BEST non toxic sunscreens to protect your family this summer, CLICK HERE.

In the meantime, don’t forget these tried and true ways to protect yourself:

* Wear light clothing that covers your skin (They even make SPF clothing!)
* Bring your shades! Sunglasses protect your eyes.
* Hats are your friend! Whether a baseball cap or a wide brimmed sun hat, it all helps.
* Get yourself an umbrella or outdoor tent when headed to the beach or parks.
* Try to spend outdoor time in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn’t as dangerous.

If you do find yourself with an unexpected sunburn, try these quick fixes that will truly make the difference in your comfort and your skin’s healing:

* Lavender Oil (apply directly undiluted)
* Aloe (use pure with no added fragrance or other ingredients)
* Vinegar (fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and water to the area or take a cool bath with diluted apple cider vinegar)

How To Avoid Being Bugged This Summer

Anytime we have a mild winter, you better believe that the bugs will be out in BIG numbers. With more and more links to diseases being connected to biting bugs like mosquitoes and ticks, it’s more important than ever that you are guarding your family.  Traditional bug repellents are known to have a whole slew of toxic ingredients (Have you seen the warning labels on those things?!).

DEET is one of the most common and controversial bug repellent ingredients on the market. It has not only been linked to neurological effects, but it has also been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources in production and during use. DEET is toxic to birds and aquatic life. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.

SO…what can you use that will keep those nasty pests at bay when you’re away from your home citronella candles? Essential oils to the rescue! It’s so easy to find homemade repellents that really work!

Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Geranium, Lavender, and Peppermint all have insect repelling properties. For a simple, kid-friendly, all-purpose repellent, try the following:

 Insect Repellentaromatherapy treatment

  • 30 drops geranium essential oil
  • 30 drops citronella essential oil
  • 20 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 cup natural witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup water or distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of vegetable glycerin (optional) 

     

Mix all oils first in a glass spray bottle. Add vodka or alcohol and shake to combine. Add witch hazel and shake to combine. Add vegetable glycerin if using. Not necessary, but helps everything stay combined. Add water and shake again. Shake before each use, as the oils will naturally separate over time.

Once again the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has heaps of studies and the best recommendations on natural, non toxic (non-toxic, )store bought options. CLICK HERE to check it out!