What’s in Your Sunscreen?

Badger Sunscreens: One of the top rated safe sunscreens for the family by EWG

Badger Sunscreens: One of the top-rated safe sunscreens by EWG

Just because you are familiar with a product doesn’t make it safe. For years I chose Neutrogena sunscreen for my family because I had always used it and I believed it to be a solid and effective choice. But it is important to know the truth about sunscreens and I soon discovered something: there are reports that chemical sunscreens that contain the compound oxybenzone (like those found in Neutrogena) absorb through the skin and may disrupt the hormone system. I reviewed these reports from EWG, The Environmental Working Group, and immediately stopped using it and switched to others (from EWG’s list of best beach and sports sunscreens). Safer choices include UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

And although I feel more comfortable using safer sunscreens that is only one part of my sun care regimen: I accessorize with hats and UVA/UVB sunglasses, I stay out of the sun more – especially during the hottest part of the day, and I cover up. I will even catch the sun for 10-15  minutes early in the day without any coverage for some added vitamin D. Just being mindful of the hidden dangers will do so much for your good health and satisfaction.

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You mean function is more important than fashion?

Wearing my ray-ban style sunglasses, boo too

Wearing my aviator-style sunglasses before I heard the bad news

A few years ago, I saved my money for a pair of Maui Jim aviator-style sunglasses and delighted myself with the purchase. I have been wearing them happily ever since. Until today, when I heard on Good Morning America that these types of sunglasses actually harm you when it comes to sun exposure. Excuse me? You mean not all sunglasses help protect the eyes? You mean not all sunglasses are created equal?

Apparently, not. Simply said, the aviator-style doesn’t give you enough sun protection, lets in too much light, and may actually give you wrinkles in the creases of your eyes. And the metal frame can cause your skin to burn where it touches your face. Aw, come on! With this style, there is a cosmetic consequence (wrinkling and sun damage) and a medical consequence to your eyes (risk of cataracts, cancers, etc.). Better to wear plastic frames, with wider sides that cover and wrap around your face. And of course, UV protection is essential.

It’s still a good idea to wear sunscreen on your face (at least an SPF 30) and a hat if you can. But this fashion news is disheartening. I’m not buying it.  Bummer – I already did!

Photo by Alexandra

 

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Hats-on to sunscreen and skin protection!

Hats-on!

Hats-on!

Hats-on!

Hats-on!

Not long ago, I felt the first signs of age, when I noticed a large brown freckle on my face. I had noticed it a few years before, this spot on my right cheek, first staring in wonder as it appeared and grew darker, until eventually, wanting it removed. Thankfully, my dermatologist brilliantly removed it with laser treatments and I was free of the spot. But she left me with powerful words of warning: from now on, always protect my face from the sun. If I don’t, the spot will not only return, but it will be much darker when it does. And by the way, try a hat!

So I started wearing hats when I hung out in the sun. But I also started to be more mindful about putting on sunscreen, both on that spot and on my face. The best sunscreen is simply zinc oxide, that white stuff you remember from seeing on the noses on lifeguards. Continue reading

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We come from the suntanning-with-baby-oil-generation. Believe it!

Play
Talking skin with Trish

Talking skin with Trish

When Trish and I were teens, the thing to do was lather in baby oil for the ultimate suntan. I can’t believe we did that! Unbelievable, yes, and for Trish, who suffered a tremendous sunburn on her face as a result, it was also life-altering. Upon celebrating her 50th birthday (welcome to my club,Trish!) Trish is once again taking a hard look at her skin. In this podcast, Trish shares her skin regiment and how caring for our skin means caring for ourselves.

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Bland is boring when you’re talking about food but good when you’re talking about skin …

See? No more brown spot!

No more brown spot!

Last week Chaz Dean talked about the two most important things when it comes to our self-image, self-esteem and confidence: our hair and our skin. Hair may be our crowning glory but our skin is the mirror to what’s going on inside. Neither should be overlooked and both need to be protected. The winter months can be especially hard on our skin and the elements create dryness and chapping that needs extra tending.

Aging and growing older shines a new light on caring for our skin. A few years ago I had a rude awakening. I began to notice a large brown spot on my cheek that wouldn’t go away; in fact, it got darker and more noticeable with time. What was it? A large freckle? An age spot? Whatever it was I didn’t want it and it began to bother me, to the point where, when I looked at myself in the mirror, it was all I could see. Through a recommendation, I met a lovely woman, Dr. Lisa Breslauer, Board Certified Dermatologist. After performing a series of laser treatments Dr. Breslauer removed that stubborn brown spot and I was able to see myself again! Continue reading

Poolside Accessories

At the pool

At the pool – photos by Cheryl

Sunscreen – check

Sunhat – check

Sunglasses – check

Lipstick – check

Smile, from being in a state of pure joy – check

At the pool - photos by Cheryl

At the pool – photos by Cheryl

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Packing for the beach

Wild Horses on the beach of my beloved Outerbanks, North Carolina

Wild Horses on the beach of my beloved Outer Banks, North Carolina

Packing for my annual beach vacation with my family has become a process of elimination. And elimination. And elimination. I have come to see that simple and easy-to-unpack are the best ways to go. You end up wearing a few things over and over anyway. Here are my essentials:

– swimsuit and coverup (this year I am taking the plunge and adding pink to my classic black swimwear with my Lisa Curran Swim one-piece

– sunscreen and beach hat (my floppy pink hat has been my beach companion for several years)

– a few pairs of shorts and tees

– one light, longer length pant

– one easy-to-pack sundress

– exercise gear for my long sunset walks

– flip flops, sandals, and a beach bag

That’s it. Don’t fret whatever you are missing – maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a little something in town.

Happy Summer Travels!

 

 

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