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
With summer coming around, it’s worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the recent FDA changes to sunscreen labeling so you can understand the product’s claims and buy a sunscreen that fits your needs.
Most important look for a Sunscreen that is Broad Spectrum which protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
FDA's label ruling -
1. Broad Spectrum designation: Sunscreens can be labeled with “Broad Spectrum SPF [value]” as long as it passes the FDA’s broad spectrum test that determines how well it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Just Skin Food's sunscreen is Broad Spectrum SPF30 and it is a superior Broad Spectrum UV protection. We use the highest allowable amount of non-nano zinc oxide.
2. Use claims: Only Broad Spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher can “claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures.” We claim that on our new labels now. Our Sunscreen was lab tested according to FDA's SPF tests and we are SPF30.
Lets take a little quiz and see if you can answer these...
•Is SPF 45 sunscreen three times stronger than SPF 15 sunscreen? Does it last three times longer? • Do sunscreens provide better UVA protection than UVB protection? • What works better, sunscreens or sunblocks? • Do "broad-spectrum" sunscreens protect against all UV rays?
If you're not certain of the answers, you are not alone. Recent research shows that people who buy sunscreens aren't sure exactly what protection they need, and not sure of the technical terms on labels.
“A survey of 235 individuals who bought sunscreen found they did not know the difference between UVA and UVB or between SPF and UVA”. Most believed that higher SPF ratings meant stronger UV protection and the concept of "broad-spectrum" protection confused them further.
So here is "The Lingo"
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is used to estimate the amount of UV radiation it normally takes to sunburn one’s skin with protective sunscreen. Bet you didn’t know that “A” in UVA stands for ‘Aging’ and “B” in UVB stands for ‘Burning’. We sure never knew years ago, most don’t think about it.
So in order to determine the SPF needed use this formula to figure out the appropriate SPF - “SPF Number x Time to Burn without Protection = Time to Burn with Protection”. For example: SPF 15 x 10 minutes = 150 minutes of protection
There are two types of protective products – Sunblock and Sunscreen.
Sunblocks are formulated to shield against UVB rays, while sunscreens protect against UVA. In order to fully protect your skin, choose a broad-spectrum protection formulated sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
So what does Broad-spectrum protection really mean? The phrase indicates that a product shields against UVA as well as UVB. Most broad-spectrum sunscreens and sunblocks with an SPF of 15 or higher do a good job against UVB and short UVA rays; if they also contain zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide, they are effective against the entire UVA spectrum.
Just Skin Food is a Broad Spectrum SPF30 protector allowing you to have both protection against UVA and UVB. Our active ingredient is Zinc Oxide (non-nano) and it is a superior Broad Spectrum since we use the highest allowable zinc oxide as per the FDA.
Did you know that SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB. While SPF 30 blocks only 4% more UVB at 97%. SPF 30 or higher may be advisable for sun-sensitive individuals, skin cancer patients, and people at high risk of developing skin cancer. They also allow some margin for error if too little sunscreen is applied. So choosing an SPF30 is good in case you feel you are not applying it evenly or even enough. But SPF15 will just be as effective.
Anything higher then an SPF30 does not mean higher sunblock. The higher the SPF possibly allows you to apply it less times or go longer without reapplying but does not mean extra protection. Now the FDA tells everyone to reapply at least every two hours or less regardless of SPF value. Why? Because there is no such thing as full protection. You sweat and swim and therefore you need to reapply- simple. If you can not constantly reapply you must wear sun-protective gear and both is advisable.
The Skin Cancer Foundation considers sunscreens or sunblocks as one part of a comprehensive sun protection program, along with sun-protective clothing, sunglasses, shade, and sun avoidance from 10A.M. to 2PM.
For more information on prevention and early detection of skin cancer, call the Skin Cancer Foundation at 1-800-SKIN-490.
Click here to read about out Lab Reports
Here are four new additions that have recently joined our Just Skin Food’s family of healthy retailers that carry our products. All carry our sunscreen and many carry a selection of our other products. So if you are local to them or want products delivered to you from within your local area please visit these establishments.
Healthy in The Park - California
Located in the foothills of the Yosemite Valley, California area, Healthy in The Park serves as a local store as well as an online retailer. Selling organic, eco-friendly and cruelty free products. Healthy in The Park works one on one with a number of brands that in some way farm their own items or directly support the organic and wild crafted harvesting methods in order to help people feel better and live a more healthy lifestyle with the use of safer body and skin care items.
Healthy in The Park aims to bring consumers only the best and most reputable products available in the eco-friendly and organic market. Body washes, lotions, salves, skin care lines, detoxes, cosmetics, pain relief and more are all available both in store and online. Mother owned and family operated, you can find out more about Healthy in The Park by visiting the location in person on Yosemite Springs Parkway or by visiting their website located at: www.healthyinthepark.com.
Terra Health & Wellness Market - Missouri
Terra Health & Wellness Market is located in Independence, Missouri, operating a store location as well as an e-store. They just recent opened on May 19, 2015. Created with the purpose to provide the local community with a health food store that provides healthy, organic and all natural food and product options to consumers, the store has flourished since its inception. On the store shelves or online you will find a variety of products that are free of artificial sweeteners, artificial dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives and more.
Striving to help people eat better and live healthier, the Terra store understands how important it is to pay attention to what you consume as well as put onto your skin. Only the best quality vitamins, herbs and supplements are sold here along with one hundred percent organic produce, all natural deli meats, organic juices and smoothies, gluten free products and organic body products. Thanks to ethical and professional business practices, Terra Healthy & Wellness Market is likely to see a lot of success in the future while providing a healthy option for shoppers in person and online. The e-store, located at www.terrahealthmarket.com, will allow for shipments of non-perishable items to arrive right on your doorstep. North Carolina:
Nutrients, Etc. - Asheville, North Carolina
Many consumers are concerned with the quality and the purity of the supplements that they purchase and rightfully so. At Nutrients, Etc. each product has been chosen carefully and tested by physician James Biddle, MD and a trained and educated staff of employees. When you shop at this website you can shop confidently, knowing that you are getting only the best. Personal service along with affordable prices makes Nutrients, Etc. a great location for you to find products that will compliment your natural or holistic style of living and help you to heal your body.
In addition to hand selected vitamins and nutritional supplements, Nutrients, Etc. also offers a variety of other products that will help you live a more healthy lifestyle. This includes air filters, water filters, body products, skincare products, books, audio products and video products. Prices are very affordable and competitively price. You can find out more by visiting the Nutrients, Etc. website which is located at www.nutrientsetc.com.
Just the other day we received this from our friends over at Nutrients,Etc., they only received their first order on Saturday May 30th… They write
Liquid Karma Local Organics at Paramus Park Mall -New Jersey
Located at the Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey, Liquid Karma offers a wide variety of locally made organic products in their unique and healthy-minded kiosk store. The motivation for this kiosk store opening was to give local vendors and businesses the opportunity to reach a wide variety of clientele in the Northern New Jersey area. Whether it be all natural or organic soap, salves, aromatherapy, cosmetics or other body products, Liquid Karma stands behind each of their vendors. Liquid Karma will be adding more kiosk stores in other malls as well.
Living a more natural and organic way of life can help a person look better and healthier on the outside but more importantly, on the inside as well. At Liquid Karma you can view a wide selection of hand picked products that will benefit you and your family while you embark on a more healthy and nurturing life path. You can heal the body from the inside out and feel better about the products and companies that you are supporting in the New Jersey area. You can visit the Liquid Karma on instagram and facebook page for more information.
Here is Serena, "my helper" actually my assistant in getting all the paperwork together for the products to be reviewed by EWG. She loves all sustainability of life and making sure we abide by nature and not ruin it.
She is a college student at Fordham University entering her 3rd year studying Environmental Studies and International Political Economy and is going abroad to the Islands of Turks and Caicos to study “Marine Policy Management at the School for Field Studies in South Caicos” (her goal is to save the reef) or at least prevent it from getting worse and prevent over development of this untouched part of the Islands. Too many developers want a piece of it and over developing this area will cause big problems for the reef.
Send her some well wishes on her journey; she can be reached by clicking here SERENA.
When Serena returns in a MONTH – “how am I ever going to get along without her” – she will be concentrating on getting the paperwork completed for the USDA. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be done by the end of the summer then onto submitting for review.
Her journey to South Caicos gives her first hand knowledge of what is not permitted or sustainable to use on such pristine places in order not to harm local wildlife or the sea. She was directed to only bring non-toxic products, for example washing clothing she can only use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap or similar items – which is what we only use in our homes and shop. Safe sunscreen without any chemicals – not those brands that spray toxic chemicals in the air or toxic to the ocean and seas. In addition, she needs to bring organic non-toxic shampoo and non-bleached personal products etc. The list went on and on.
I am so proud of her for taking on such a journey to help out our environment and basically all of us.
This week we were making lots of products before she heads out see us pictured here:
Now she is doing it all on her own.
Happy summer and happy swimming to all!!!
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.
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.
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.