3 Summer Season and Camping Items That May Contribute to Your Allergy Misery

Three everyday items that many of us use when we go camping, or throughout the summer season, that we would never suspect might be causing or contributing to allergies are:

1. Suntan products: Lotions, Oils, or Sprays
2. Bug Sprays or Repellants
3. Antibacterial Soaps or Hand Sanitizers

Most suntan products are made with chemical sunscreens, many of which have been found to be unsafe or even carcinogenic, and there is continuing debate as to their actual effectiveness in providing adequate protection from the damaging effects of over exposure to the sun. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I’ve blogged extensively over the past few years on various aspects of this topic. While not much has changed over the years, there is some momentum building around the need to innovate and find safer sunscreen ingredients.

This may well be a hidden source of allergy trouble. Until we see some real change and innovation in this arena your best tactic for choosing sun care products that won’t cause more trouble than they are worth is to eliminate commonly used sunscreen chemicals like Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, and Octocrylene in favor of sunblock products made with naturally occurring minerals like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide. These mineral sunblock products stay on the surface of the skin and reflect sunlight instead of being absorbed into the skin, so they are safer and more effective. And if you use suntan oils stay away from Mineral Oil – a petroleum derivative that has been found to be an endocrine disruptor– and instead, choose a healthy fat like virgin Coconut Oil, which is totally safe and also an excellent skin care oil.

When it comes to bug sprays, there are not a lot of options out there to choose from and unfortunately most commercial bug sprays only disclose the active ingredient so you have no idea what else is in the product that could be creating additional problems. As much as humanly possible you should avoid DEET, which is a highly toxic substance. And because most of the time it comes in a spray form you end up inhaling that substance as well! Don’t be fooled by scent. Just because it doesn’t smell bad doesn’t mean it isn’t bad for you!

Instead opt-in for products made with 100% pure essential oils like Citronella, Lemongrass and Geranium, which are just a few of the many essential oils that are effective bug repellants. These are natural substances that your body can easily metabolize and eliminate so again, there’s no fear of chemical residue being left behind.

Last but not least, when it comes to antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers avoid products made with Triclosan! This ingredient is a derivative of Agent Orange and is considered highly toxic by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Product manufacturers would have you believe that because it’s used in diluted amounts it’s ok but it’s NOT! This ingredient is not only harmful to you it’s very harmful to the environment too.

Choose products made with Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils –both are very effective antibacterial agents without the toxic effects. For hand sanitizers look for products with these oils in a base of Aloe Vera, Vegetable Glycerin or Ethanol. For soaps stick to liquid castile soaps made with essential oils.

One last note on this . . . you may be allergic to certain plants and herbs, which would make it difficult or even impossible to use products with the specific essential oils I mentioned above. Don’t let that discourage you. There are a wide variety of essential oils with therapeutic benefits to choose from and being sensitive to one in no way means you will be sensitive to others.

Look and Feel Your Best Without Compromising Your Baby’s Health

Hope you’ve been enjoying all the insight and wisdom that’s being shared on these Tele-Summit calls. This evening is our 4th call in the series: “Look and Feel Your Best Without Compromising Your Baby’s Health.” I’ll be the resident expert for today’s session and I’ll be talking about something very important –-the hidden health threats to your baby from the personal care and beauty products you use! Some of the things I’ll cover on tonight’s session:

  • Startling new research about ingredients in mass-produced personal care products that may pre-dispose your baby to obesity (among other serious health problems!)
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  • The top 10 ingredients you MUST avoid to keep you and your baby safe and how you can find out if the products you’re using right now may contain them
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  • Using Mother Nature’s Rx: Essential Oils to safely address some of the most common pregnancy-related complaints

Much of what I’ll be sharing on tonight’s call applies to you whether you are pregnant or not, but becomes even more important when you are or planning to be. There’s no better time than now to take inventory of the products you currently use and toss the ones that are bad for you. Come join me and learn how to become a more conscious consumer so you can stop exposing your baby to hidden threats from toxic exposure while learning how to identify and choose safer, more effective natural alternatives.

We’re going LIVE at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern. Don’t miss this very important call!

If you’re pregnant now, are planning to become pregnant, work with pregnant women and want to better support them through this journey, or know anyone who fits any of these criteria, please share this with them and encourage them to register at: http://www.dropwise.info. It’s FREE!

Why Olive Oil is Such a Great Natural Skin Care Oil

When it comes to natural plant oils, keep in mind that the oils that most closely resemble your skin’s natural oil (sebum) are the ones that will produce the best results for your skin and your overall health. They also tend to be more stable, with a considerably longer shelf life than most other oils.

Sebum, your body’s natural oil, is secreted by your oil glands (sebaceous glands), which are typically located at the root of every hair as well as other places throughout the body. This oil is very important to skin health. It softens and lubricates the skin and hair and prevents the skin from drying and cracking. It also has anti-microbial properties that protect the skin from infection and damage.

Many factors (living in dry or windy climates or higher altitudes, for example) can lead to excessively dry skin, where the sebum you secrete is simply not enough to do the job and additional moisturizers are needed. By the same token, overactive sebaceous glands that lead to excessively oily (and acne-prone) skin can sometimes be a sign of an oil deficiency in the body. As counter-intuitive as that may sound, if your body isn’t getting enough Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) from food or supplementation, it can respond by over-producing and secreting sebum to counteract the potential harm or damage to your skin that can come from this deficiency.

All fats and oils (including sebum) are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two ways of classifying these fatty acids. The first is based on saturated fat vs. unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). The other is a system of classification based on molecular size or the length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. If I can get technical here for a minute . . . fatty acids often consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. So oils can have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), or long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Sebum contains medium chain fatty acids, in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), so oils that consist of MCFAs are those that most closely resemble sebum.

The two plant-based culinary oils that are richest in antioxidants and most closely resemble your sebum are Virgin Coconut and EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), which is what makes them such excellent skincare ingredients, and the main ones to look for in high quality natural lotions, creams and cleansers.