• Is your sunscreen eco-friendly?

    0 comments / Posted by Lisa Doyle

    Many nations with rich ecological landscapes are turning to eco-tourism as a means to support environmental and economic prosperity, with coral reefs being one of the leading tourist attractions. “One estimate places the total global value of coral reef based recreation and tourism at 9.6 billion dollars of their total global net benefit.”

    Sadly, the same tourists who value these biodiversity hotspots may be unknowingly bringing harm to them by using sunscreens that contain a chemical ingredient called oxybenzone. This chemical has been found to contribute to coral bleaching, a process which occurs when coral polyps expel the symbiotic algae that they host. These algae, called zooxanthellae, are what allow corals to utilize the sun’s energy by means of photosynthesis, provide them with food energy, and also give corals their beautiful colors that we all love so much!

    When we lather on sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and then enter the ocean, swimming out to explore it’s beautiful corals, those same corals also become lathered in oxybenzone. According to the National Park Service, “4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen enters reef areas annually.” That’s a whole lot of harmful chemicals. Corals that come into contact with oxybenzone (which has a very high absorbtion rate) become at risk for developing the virus that causes them to bleach. And since everything we put on our skin can also be absorbed by our bodies, in many cases, these chemically packed sunscreens are also promoting the growth of skin cancer and free radical production in our bodies. This is scary stuff !

    Here’s the good news...Just Skin Food offers a Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Natural and Organic Sunscreen containing non-nano partical zinc oxide instead of oxybenzone. Non-nano zinc oxide is not micronized, so it is not easily absorbed into the body. Instead, it lays on the skin as a protectant .... and because our ingredients are all natural and organic, they are also eco and reef friendly ! When I recently conducted Marine Protected Area management fieldwork in South Caicos, I used Just Skin Food’s sunscreen to protect myself, as well as the ecology of the environment ... definitely a win-win situation!

    More good news : in Hawaii, state senator Will Espero is currently fighting for a bill that would ban the sale and use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone in marine-life conservation districts. Passing such a bill would be a tremendous step toward helping to protect local reefs and ensuring the future of local tourism and the fishing industry. While the use of chemically loaded sunscreens is not the only issue contributing to coral bleaching, it is certainly an undeniable factor, and something that we, as forward thinking individuals, can help to control. When we care about our environment, we take care with our choices.

    Will you choose wisely?


    When doing this:                                             Use this:                      


    - - written by Serena Iacoviello
    - - edited by Lisa :D

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  • Summertime Fun Part 2…To Sunscreen or Not To Sunscreen?

    0 comments / Posted by 1

    Protection from Sunburn: No Chemical Concoctions, Only Common Sense, Non-Toxic Sunscreens and Homeopathy to the rescue again!

    • Have you seen these headlines:    “The Best New Sunscreens,” or “Recent Research on Skin Cancer Risks,” “Keep Your Children Protected.” Blah, blah blah…Excuse me but logically how does covering children and adults with lots of synthetic glop equate to protection? And by the way, didn’t our ancestors work in the blazing sun for centuries without developing skin cancers? Something doesn’t quite add up here.

    There is a huge public health campaign to get people to use sunscreens to prevent skin cancer…but in less-well-known–media you will see references to studies that sunscreen actually increases rates of skin cancer.

    These toxic ingredients or endocrine disrupting chemicals in many cases may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical production in the body. The most harmful chemicals in sunscreen include Oxtinoxate, Oxybenzone and Homosalate.

    Anything you put on your skin can be absorbed by your body, particularly these chemicals, as they have a high absorption rate. It is best not to use anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.

    In fact, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen, and a 2007 document from the FDA stated that: “The FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer” In fact, many reports show that most sunscreens actually raise skin cancer risk.

    So what to do?

    The best defense is to keep your skin accustomed to the sun year round. Our ancestors didn’t need sunscreen, they just stayed tan. Yes, true the hole in the ozone did not exist then but here is where we need to use common sense and avoid the height of the midday sun and wear hats and protective clothing when outside for long periods even at the beach.

    I personally refuse to put anything on my skin that isn’t 100% food, I have always forgone the sunscreen.  Instead, my family and I suntan sensibly in the vitality-giving rays of the sun.

    We slather ourselves at times with antioxidant-rich sunscreen that contain ingredients such coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter and cocoa butter to nourish and protect the skin and a sun hat or shirt as well.  Doing this will go far in reaching a nice suntan goal without chemicals. We do use sunscreens that contain non-nano particle zinc oxide, which is not micronized so that it is not easily absorbed into the body but lays as a protectant.

    My Natural and Organic Sunscreen lotion bar contain all of these ingredients and they are safe and chemical free.IMG_3125

    But, too much sunscreen can also cause vitamin D deficiency, since D is formed in the skin in the presence of sunlight, there is a new phenomenon occurring–RICKETS on the rise even here in the USA, which we thought went out with 19th century tenements is now showing up in children, teens and even young adults. Even with supplementation sunshine is still the best  source of Vitamin D.

    I will admit though that occasionally we overdo it and end up with a bit of sunburn. Does this mean seemingly endless days of painful suffering? Not with homeopathy! 

    • The first remedy for sunburns that we use is Cantharis 30c. The hallmark of this remedy is burning pain, a familiar sensation to sunburn sufferers.
    • There is also Belladonna 30c, this remedy is useful if the sunburn is radiating heat – you can feel it when your hand is a few inches away from the person’s body, other symptoms may be a throbbing headache and other pulsating and throbbing sensations on the body.
    For these remedies take a couple of pellets in 30c potency and repeat two to four times a day depending on how severe your symptoms are, taking less frequently as the symptoms get better. Homeopathic remedies can be found at your local health food stores and some progressive pharmacies in New York City.  If they do not carry a remedy ask them to order it for you.

    And of course our trusty friend ALOE VERA gel from your health food store not the ones you buy at those other places – its synthetic not real.  Real ALOE VERA gel should be kept in the refrigerator for that extra cooling effect.

    Here are the ingredients in my Natural and Organic Sunscreen lotion bar that nourish and protect the skin:

    Organic coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter. 35% natural non-nano zinc oxide, local beeswax, non-gmo vitamin E.

    Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen, it blocks about 20% of UV rays when applied.

    Shea Butter has a natural SPF 4-5

    Mango Butter may be used for cutaneous dryness to assist in moisturizing after exposure to sun, it heals that sunburn sensation.

    Cocoa Butter is a superb moisturizer, which slows down moisture loss, it is known for its’ hydrating effect.

    I use 35% of non-nano particle zinc oxide to increase the protection SPF to 30 for protection from the UV rays from getting sunburns. And zinc oxide is water resistant NOT water proof so you still need to reapply it, but it will not come off in the water, just reapply after swimming.


    I will be offline most of the summer for some R&R – research and reflection and also trying to complete all paper works for the USDA certification.  No new products will be added or blogging till the fall.  Well maybe I’ll blog one more time during the summer for some updates, not sure.

    You can find my Natural & Organic Sunscreen Lotion Bar at Green Street Market, Cape May Honey Farm and online store.

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