Summertime is great for a lot of things: getting outside, soaking up the sun, and spending time with family and friends. But it can also be a time when your skin takes a beating.
Between the hot weather, sunscreen, bugspray, and plastic, your skin can become dried out and full of toxins. Here are some tips to help you keep your skin healthy this summer.
25% of anything you put on your skin goes into your bloodstream. It can also transfer to breast milk and create hormone-related issues.
Some of the chemicals used in sunscreen are banned globally, because they’re destroying coral reefs. If they can destroy a coral reef, imagine what it’s doing to your body.
Sunscreen contains chemicals that can cause the following:
- Endometriosis (painful disorder which causes growth of tissue on the outside of the uterus)
- Decreased sperm count
- Lower testosterone
- Hormone imbalance
Avoid Being Outside When It’s Too Hot
The sun is good for us, but you don’t want to be outside all day. You can avoid damage from the sun by taking breaks, staying in the shade, and wearing protective sun gear.
Avoid Spray-on Sunscreen
If you do use it, try not to breathe it in. I recommend spraying it into your hand and then applying it.
Badger Sunscreen is a brand that my family uses to protect ourselves from the sun. Instead of harmful chemicals going into your body, it uses zinc instead.
You could also use forms of coconut oil, but those only have an SPF of about 8.
A higher SPF doesn’t always mean it provides more protection from the sun. Sometimes, it can mean more toxicity when it comes to chemicals that you’re putting on your skin. I try not to go over an SPF of 30-40.
2. Nail Polish
Nail polish contains chemicals like DBP (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, and formaldehyde.
What’s the big deal? It’s just your nails, right? According to a study done by Duke University, these chemicals are hormone disruptors as well, and nail polish gets absorbed every time you use it.
If you have experienced any of the following while at a nail salon, it could be because you’re absorbing harmful chemicals:
- Menstruation issues
You can still get your nails done, but just skip the polish. You can also bring your own non-toxic nail polish for them to use at the salon.
I recommend painting your nails at home, just so you’re not sitting in the salon for hours breathing in harmful chemicals.
When buying nail polish, try to stay away from anything toxic. One of the most toxic things in nail polish is acetone. My daughters use a brand called Piggy Paint, which is a safe choice and good for both kids and adults.
3. Bug Spray
DEET is the most common ingredient in bug spray. Duke University found that DEET can diffuse brain cells and cause them to die. It’s also been shown to have behavioral changes in animals it’s been tested on.
One of the brands I use is Badger, which contains mostly oils and essential oils. It also contains a form of soybean oil, which is okay to have because you’re not eating it.
If you want a simple, natural solution, you can also make your own. Fill a small spray bottle with an ounce of witch hazel; a few drops each of lemon, citronella, lemongrass, lavender, and peppermint oil; and fill the rest with water.
Toxins from plastic end up everywhere, especially in water bottles. BPA and phthalates are hormone disruptors, and can cross into the fetus if you’re pregnant.
These toxins can also increase oxidative stress, worsen thyroid problems, and compromise vitamin D levels.
If you’re like most people, you’re going to be drinking a lot of water during the summer. If you do, try to stay away from plastic water bottles. When plastic water bottles are left in the sun, it increases the amount of toxicity.
Glass or stainless steel bottles are good alternatives for hydrating on a hot day.
You should also try to stay away from tupperware containers. Any plastic that gets warmed up spreads harmful nanoparticles everywhere.
My family uses glass tupperware and stainless steel bowls to avoid heating plastic. If you’re microwaving anything, make sure to use a glass container.
Remember, if you’re going to be outside, make sure you take precautions. Avoid spray-on sunscreens, and get a brand that doesn’t include any toxins, because 25% of what you put on your skin ends up in you.
Don’t put nail polish on your nails, because they can absorb toxins, too! Try your best to avoid plastics and harmful bug sprays as well.
Above all, shop smart with your brands, pay attention to what you’re putting in and on your body, and enjoy your time outside!