This is a hot topic…pardon the pun!  What to do?  Is the sun really bad for us?  How do we safely protect ourselves?

With sun protection goes, common sense is key.  If you are only going to be out for a few minutes – say 20 or less, let your skin soak up some natural vitamin D.  Vitamin D increases our immunity, improves muscle function and can help lower blood pressure. (Dr. Natasha Turner, Chatelaine, May 2013)  Once the sunblock goes on, your body can’t absorb this very important nutrient.  If going out longer than 20 minutes, wear a hat & sunglasses and look for shade.  At the beginning of the summer or if I am going to be out for an extended period of time during the late summer, applied sun protection goes without saying.  When purchasing sunscreen, it is important to look for one that has the least number of yucky chemicals and relies primarily on natural ingredients.

The most problematic of the sunscreen chemicals used in the U.S. is oxybenzone, found in 80 percent of chemical sunscreens. EWG recommends that consumers avoid oxybenzone because it can penetrate the skin, cause allergic skin reactions and may disrupt hormones (Calafat 2008, Rodriguez 2006, Krause 2012).

Below is a link to the Environmental Working Group web site that will help you determine if the sunscreen you have is a good choice for you and your family.  There are many good natural choices out there but it will come down to trial and error finding one that suits you.  I like the feel of Goddess Garden’s products and was also pleased to see that some more well known companies, such as Coppertone, have made the safer choice list.

http://www.ewg.org/2013sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens

Bugs – I get that they are an important part of our eco system and in the long run, they make the world a better place but really, I would prefer that they didn’t use my family & loved ones as a regular part of their diet!  There are simple ways to become less attractive to these critters and safer alternatives to purchased drug store sprays.

Don’t eat bananas while camping – bananas make you extra tasty to mosquitos!

Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothes.

Ideas for Natural Bug Repellant

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/22/insect-bite-treatment.aspx?e_cid=20130722_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20130722

I think I will try the white vanilla extract and olive oil next time we plan to be out!

And last but certainly not least, is the topic of skin moisturizing.  Try using coconut oil as a healthy alternative to store bought lotions.  While this won’t provide sun protection, it will nourish your skin and give it a natural & healthy glow.