At Olive Branch Wellness Center, we advocate that our patients switch out their conventional skin care and beauty products for products with only natural ingredients. Why? Because what you put on your skin matters! Your skin is porous when it comes to certain chemicals and compounds, allowing them to enter the bloodstream.
Take sunscreen, for example. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that chemicals from sunscreen entered the blood stream after only one day of use! The sunscreens they tested have some tongue twisters like avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule in it, that haven’t yet been tested to see if they are safe if taken internally.
Other sunscreens have loads of artificial colors and fragrances, or — in the case of spray sunscreens — propellants. Think how heavily you may be spraying or slathering sunscreen on you and your kids, in addition to all the other lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners and makeup products your skin is exposed to every day. That can add up to a huge toxic load for your liver to handle, in addition to the carcinogenic risks.
Hiding from the sun isn’t the answer, as you need sunlight to help produce vitamin D. Ironically, people hide from the sun, or drench themselves in sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. But the vitamin D and health benefits you gain from being outdoors are shown to help the body fight a full range of cancers, including skin cancer. Also, full spectrum daylight is a boon to mental health and balancing your body’s sleep and waking cycles.
What’s the answer to safe sun exposure? If you absolutely need sunscreen (you freckle or burn easily, you have kids who will be outdoors all day at the pool or beach), invest in a good natural product that is mineral based. Remember zinc oxide, the white stuff the lifeguards used to smear on their noses? Products using zinc oxide as the main protective ingredient are safer! Today, you can find zinc-oxide based products that don’t leave a heavy white residue.
Another good strategy? Moderation and common sense. A few minutes without sunscreen won’t hurt you, and in fact may help your body produce valuable vitamin D. If you have fair skin, or plan to be outdoors for longer period of time, you’ll need to take more precautions like wearing a hat, or bringing a long-sleeve coverup to outings. To gain the benefits of sunshine with less risk, go outdoors in the early morning and late afternoon during the summer, when the sun isn’t directly overhead. The bonus is early morning will be cooler if you’re planning a golf outing, exercise or yardwork.
Finally, next time you visit Olive Branch Wellness Center, check out some of our natural cosmetic and skin care products. You deserve the best for your health in what you put inside your body an on it!
Selenium is a crucial mineral that works as an anti-oxidant to defend your body against free radicals, and can combat asthma, inflammation, and heart disease, while boosting immune function. Selenium may also protect your brain health. Studies also show that those with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of selenium.
Selenium is critical to thyroid health, and a deficiency is often associated with problems like hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. One study showed taking Selenium supplements daily for three months lowered thyroid anti-bodies.
Research also shows that selenium can protect you against lung, colon, breast and prostate cancer. Interestingly, the anti-cancer properties of selenium were only measured when the selenium was from a food source versus a supplement.
Luckily, you can easily add selenium rich foods to your diet, including seafood and nuts — especially Brazil nuts. They are actually so loaded with selenium, you should moderate how many you eat at one sitting. Eating just 3 Brazil nuts gives you more than 450% of your RDA of selenium. Since Selenium toxicity can also occur with too high a dose of supplements, be sure to check with your naturopathic physician rather than self-prescribe your selenium dose.