It's Time for Fun in the Sun!

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Summertime means lots of time outdoors and in the sun. 2 products that become top priority are sunscreen and bug repellent. I'm here to help you choose safer options and know what to look for.

Sun safety starts with physical blockers such as hats, clothing and sunglasses. It also applies to sunscreen that you put on your skin to block the suns rays. When looking for a sunscreen you want to avoid the blocker oxybenzone or avobenzone. They have been linked to hormone disruption. I read an article on a study that was done showing links to oxybenzone and low sperm counts. It has also been shown to harm the coral reefs and leach them of their color.


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My Favorite Sunscreens

I love the products that Beautycounter offers for sun protection. I have used many different brands and Beautycounter knocks it out of the park once again.

Protect All Over SPF 30
is formulated with Non-Nano Zinc oxide. It is lightweight and blends well leaving you without the dreaded zinc oxide white ghost appearance. It is water-resistant and protects you against both UVA and UVB rays. Aloe helps hydrate skin, while antioxidant-rich green tea and blood orange extracts fight free radicals.

Protect Stick Sunscreen SPF 30
It is compact and easy to use, our kid-friendly stick is suitable for face and body and provides water-resistant sun protection for the entire family. Organic ingredients, including coconut oil and acai fruit oil, help to hydrate and protect your skin. Plus with the addition of cocoa butter it smells like a tootsie roll!

Protect Lip Balm SPF 15
It is packed with natural moisturizing ingredients, providing powerful hydration and protection from the sun’s dangerous UVA/UVB rays. It is also formulated with non-nano zinc oxide. A combination of natural and organic ingredients—including cocoa and shea butter, coconut oil, and acai fruit oil—works to soothe lips, leaving them smooth, hydrated, and protected.

Dew Skin SPF 20

This is by far my favorite summer product. I describe it as the Jack of all trades, a perfect amount of tint, moisturizer and sun protection all in one.Black currant, peony flower root extract, and vitamin C reduce the appearance of age spots and enhance skin brightness, while hyaluronic acid promotes firmer, smoother-looking skin.
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The Zika Virus

What do you need to do protect yourself from those pesky bugs this summer? Also, with the Zika virus making headlines it's important to have the information to know how to protect yourself.

The Zika virus can cause severe in newborns and may trigger nervous system disorders in adults.

It is carried by Aedes mosquitoes that range across about 30 U.S. states in the summertime. It can also be transmitted by sexual contact.

Though the current Zika outbreak has been concentrated in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging pregnant women and their partners to take strong precautions against mosquito bites.

While I usually tell people to refrain from bug sprays containing DEET, if you are pregnant and at high risk for being around mosquitoes then DEET is your best safeguard.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) scientists have ranked repellents in order of effectiveness against the Aedes mosquito thought to be the primary Zika virus carrier:

Most effective

  • DEET (20-30 percent concentration)
  • Picaridin (20 percent concentration)
  • IR 3535 (20 percent concentration)

In laboratory conditions, these repellents offer strong protection from the Aedes mosquito for at least four hours. It’s important to reapply after swimming and sweating.

Less effective

  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus

Not effective

  • Vitamin B1 patches
  • Essential oils

Some essential oils may work for short periods, but others are ineffective against Aedes mosquitoes. Due to the serious risks posed by Zika, EWG does not recommend blends of essential oils for people at risk of mosquito-borne infection.

Lyme Disease

Living in the upper midwest we see a higher prevalence of lyme disease than other parts of the country. Lyme disease, caused by a bacterium spread by ticks, was responsible for 25,359 confirmed cases and another 8,102 suspected cases in 2014, according to the CDC.

Chronic lyme disease occurs when lyme disease isn't caught and treated early. It can cause an array of debilitating symptoms such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain, cognitive impairment and depression.

Bug Spray with DEET is also the most effective repellent against ticks.
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