The sun is finally start to shine bright, and you’re ready to lather yourself with clean, healthy sunscreen, but finding a safe and effective sunscreen isn’t the only key to sun safety. According to Ken Cook, President and Co-Founder of Environmental Working Group (EWG) and a leader in the environmental health movement, protecting yourself from skin cancer is more than just sunscreen; there’s an entire sun safety protocol to follow. Ken educated the Beautycounter community about his tips and tricks—and we’re sharing his words of wisdom with the Be Well community too.
As Beautycounter’s Head of Environment, Health, and Safety, Mia Davis receives many questions about skincare ingredients, including: “How can you have safe products if you use some synthetic ingredients?” People are understandably confused about the difference between ingredient “safety” and ingredient “source.”
Just as important as what you put in your body, what you put on your body is key to optimal health. Here are our favorite natural beauty products. Tell us yours in comments below.
A safe sunscreen (like zinc oxide) is your best bet when it comes to protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. But did you know that you can increase your skin’s resistance to damage, aging, and even cancer with certain healthy foods? Plants have their own built-in protection against the damaging effects of the sun.
I love this time of year. After a long, cold winter, how can you resist the sun when it beckons you to go outside? Before you leave the house, though, be sure to reduce your risk of skin damage. Cover up with a shirt, put on sunglasses and check the UV index to plan events around the sun. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times to go outdoors.
Winter air is dry air. Humidifiers put moisture back into the air, which can create a lot of benefits for you and your family. A 2013 study, for example, showed that increasing humidity levels to 43 percent or above significantly reduced the ability of airborne viruses to cause flu infections. In fact, in a low humidity environment, 70-77 percent of viruses could transmit the disease through coughs, but when humidity was increased to 43 percent or more, that number dropped to only 14 percent.
Dry, winter air can wreak havoc on skin. Not only does it steal moisture away, it can lead to tiny cracks in the surface, lowering skin’s ability to protect against free radical damage. In fact, if you’re not careful, you can suffer accelerated aging over the winter months. With a few changes to your skin care routine, you can avoid the damage and keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant during these winter months. Avoid these seven mistakes, and step up your nourishing and moisturizing care.
We all know that too much stress is bad for our health. A 2012 study, for example, found that stress increases risk of depression, heart disease and infectious diseases, and increases inflammation throughout the body—which, by the way, increases skin aging, as well. When we’re stressed, we’re also less likely to eat right, get enough sleep, or stick with our exercise routines. That affects our overall health, but also our appearance. The skin fails to get the nutrients it needs to repair itself. You can tell by that inconvenient acne eruption or psoriasis flare up.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), in 2010, skin allergies affected 13 percent of children aged 17 years and under. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says these allergies are on the rise, increasing from 7.4 percent in 1997 to 12.5 percent in 2011. Child or adult, allergic skin reactions can be really frustrating. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, you apply a moisturizer and end up with redness and inflammation.
Although irresponsible sunbathing is unquestionably harmful and precautions need to be taken, regular, moderate, unprotected sun exposure is essential for good health. It’s free, easy to come by and good for you when handled wisely. It’s also the only reliable way for your body to generate vitamin D, an essential ingredient for optimizing health and preventing disease.
According to a survey published in 2007, a substantial proportion of the U.S. population has symptoms of eczema—31.6 million to be more specific. Most of these cases are not diagnosed by a physician, which shows these conditions are often undertreated. Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) affects both kids and adults, and is more common in cities and polluted areas. It’s also linked with asthma and allergies, and causes symptoms like itching, redness, and rashes.
We constantly hear how important it is to exfoliate, but chances are you are not doing it properly. You can both over-exfoliate and use the wrong ingredients, both will cause damage to your skin. So while it is important to make sure you exfoliate (as dead skin cells left on the surface of your skin can do everything from reduce the efficacy of absorption from the products you apply, increase dryness, aging and irritation to clog pores), it matters with what and how often. Most people are not exfoliating properly.