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SUMMER SUN AND POISON IVY CARE

Updated: Apr 10

Summer’s coming, and it’s going to be hotter than ever. Protecting yourself has never been easier or more important.

From sunscreen and sunburns to poison ivy, we have got you covered.

caution poison ivy

First up, you need to stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when you’re outside in the heat, having a few cocktails. It’s essential, though, because dehydration can worsen sun problems. So drink up. Here are some great recipes to spice up your water:

flavored water recipes

Many people benefit from extra electrolytes in the summer to help prevent dehydration. Unfortunately, most electrolyte products are full of less than desirable ingredients. You don’t need all the sweeteners, flavorings, and junk found in most. Instead, we found some fantastic whole-food electrolyte supplements. So the next time you need extra hydration, reach for the clean stuff. Your body will thank you.


With so many people on antibiotics for Lyme disease, we wanted to remind everyone that certain antibiotics, like doxycycline, can make you burn much faster and easier. So, stay out of the sun as much as possible while on them and two weeks after finishing the course.


Getting some sun exposure without sunscreen is good for you. Use this app on your phone to track the best times to get some sun without getting sunburned.


Good sunscreen is the foundation of any sun care kit. You want a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against UVB and UVA rays. Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen.


Sunscreens come in two main types, mineral and chemical.

Chemical:

  • Aminobenzoic acid

  • Avobenzone

  • Cinoxate

  • Dioxybenzone

  • Homosalate

  • Meradimate

  • Octocrylene

  • Octinoxate

  • Octisalate

  • Oxybenzone

  • Padimate O

  • Ensulizole

  • Sulisobenzone

  • Trolamine salicylate

Mineral:

  • Titanium dioxide

  • Zinc oxide


Many safety issues are becoming increasingly apparent with chemical sunscreens, so we recommend using a mineral-based one.

Recent research has found that chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin and show up in concentrations that raise concerns about these ingredients' safety. However, most people are unaware that there has been little to no research into whether these ingredients are safe over the long term. In 2019, the FDA found that only two sunscreen ingredients were safe, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. In addition, the European Commission found that several chemical sunscreens were being used in concentrations that were well above levels thought to be safe.

It is essential to avoid synthetic chemical sunscreens in oceans and rivers. They have an extremely damaging effect on coral reefs. They disrupt the reproduction of corals and have adverse effects on marine life. The best thing to do is use non-nano mineral-based sunscreen.

coral reef

Coral has enough to deal with. So let's not add sunscreen chemicals to that list.


Both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide protect against UVB rays, but zinc oxide is more effective against UVA rays, so it is our choice for the best sunscreen.

The downside to mineral sunscreens is that they often leave a white residue. Taking your time and rubbing them in well will help to reduce it. We feel that a little white residue is worth the protection and safety they offer over chemical-based sunscreens.

Choosing mineral-based sunscreens is a simple way to help protect the environment and ourselves. There is no excuse to do otherwise.


The issue we have with many “natural” sunscreen products is the awful ingredients in most of them. The skin is the largest organ, so what you put on it will get absorbed into the body. So using only clean, safe ingredients should be a priority for everything you put on your skin.


Look at the ingredients of this top-selling “natural” sunscreen:


Titanium Dioxide 7.0%, Zinc Oxide 9.0%. Other Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isoamyl Laurate, Coconut Alkanes, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquioleate, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-3 Ricinoleate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Alumina, Stearic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Polygonum aviculare Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Magnesium Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.


While many of those ingredients are safe, some have serious safety issues. For example, phenoxyethanol is especially dangerous for infants. So, do not use sunscreens or creams with phenoxyethanol on babies.


To us, a natural sunscreen would have only simple, natural ingredients. Ingredients that you know what they are. Compare those ingredients to the ones in our recommended sunscreen. It has four simple ingredients for a truly natural sunscreen experience: grass-fed tallow, non-nano zinc oxide, avocado pulp oil, and beeswax. It rubs in smoothly, with minimal white residue left behind, and it is not overly thick like most natural sunscreen.


While most "natural" sunscreens have a vegetable and seed oils base, this is a mistake. They do not provide the nourishment your skin needs and contribute to inflammation.


Avoid sunscreens with these ingredients:

  • Sunflower oil

  • Canola oil

  • Vegetable oil

  • Grapeseed oil

  • Cottonseed oil

  • Safflower oil

  • Corn Oil


Grass-fed tallow is a much better choice than seed oils. It supplies valuable fats and beneficial compounds. Seed oils don't have these. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and feeding it right is very important. No other base is as nourishing and protecting as grass-fed tallow.

camel

Alpharetta wants to know, "What's in your sunscreen?"


So you forgot your super sunscreen, stayed in the sun too long, and now you have sunburn.

What should you do?

  1. Drink more water. Water will help it to heal faster.

    1. If the sunburn is severe, consider adding electrolytes to your water.

  2. Eat plenty of good-quality protein. It helps your skin to heal faster.

  3. Take cold baths and showers.

    1. A cool milk and oatmeal bath can relieve a lot of pain and speed healing.

    2. After getting out, pat dry but leave a little moisture on the area.

  4. Put some good aloe vera on it. Do this at least three times a day.

    1. Fresh aloe vera is best. Scrape the inner part of the leaf out and apply generously.

    2. Frankly, most aloe gel is crap.

      1. Many aloe vera products are clear. If yours is completely clear, it has little to no aloe vera. Instead, it’s full of thickeners and other questionable ingredients like carbomer, a petroleum product.

      2. Others are brown. If your aloe gel is brown, it is oxidized because of poor manufacturing processes. It is a sign of serious quality control issues.

      3. Often, aloe products have questionable preservatives like sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and grapefruit seed extract. There is no need for this. Much safer preservatives can be used, like citric acid. However, this requires companies to have better production processes, which many do not want because it cuts into their profits.

      4. Our gel is different. It’s pure aloe vera, with no questionable preservatives, and non-oxidized. In addition, it contains a blend of soothing herbs and botanicals (witch hazel, comfrey, radish root, eucalyptus, spearmint, and lavender) to help cool and soothe skin fast.

    3. Let the aloe sink in for a minute, and apply this balm over it.

    4. Do not put Vaseline or other petroleum-based products on sunburn as it will prevent the area from being able to heal and traps sweat and salt. In addition, it can lead to infection.

  5. If your skin blisters, allow them to heal, do not pop them!

  6. When you are outside, wear clothing that covers the area to protect it from further sun damage.

  7. If it starts to look infected, make sure to call your doctor.

dog wearing sunglasses

Your pets can get sunburned, too, so keep an eye on them if they are in the sun.


Poison ivy is another bain of summer. There is nothing quite like the annoying itch from this terrible plant, and unfortunately, climate change is making it grow stronger and itchier.

So what can you do?

Call your doctor right away if you get poison ivy near your eye. Getting poison ivy in your eye can have serious health risks.

When you notice exposure to poison ivy, wash the affected area with charcoal and clay tallow soap. It will help to make it easier to remove any remaining oils that are on the skin. Wash the area with the soap several times during the day as well.

Many people have questions about whether poison ivy spreads from itching or not; here is some great information on that.



Poison ivy and other poison plant rashes can’t be spread from person to person. But it is possible to pick up the rash from plant oil that may have stuck to clothing, pets, garden tools, and other items that have come in contact with these plants. The plant oil lingers (sometimes for years) on virtually any surface until it’s washed off with water or rubbing alcohol.

The rash will occur only where the plant oil has touched the skin, so a person with poison ivy can’t spread it on the body by scratching. It may seem like the rash is spreading if it appears over time instead of all at once. But this is either because the plant oil is absorbed at different rates on different parts of the body or because of repeated exposure to contaminated objects or plant oil trapped under the fingernails. Even if blisters break, the fluid in the blisters is not plant oil and cannot further spread the rash.

Spray the area frequently with this spray (do not spray near the eyes). The herbs help to dry it out and soothe the itch.

Apply calendula oil three times a day.

Oatmeal baths are great for soothing the skin and relieving itching and redness.

If you have jewelweed growing near you, split open the stem and apply it for fast, soothing relief.

jewelweed

Keeping yourself healthy and safe this summer has never been easier.

Just remember:

  1. Stay hydrated.

  2. Use good, clean non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen.

  3. Use incredible plants to soothe and heal your skin.

Use code sun at checkout to save 20%!

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