Enjoy Summer: Avoid Sunburns and Mosquito Bites
With summer almost upon us, the two most common issues we face as we spend more time outdoors are sunburns and mosquito bites. This time of the year we get a number of emails asking for our favorite solutions to both, so this Newsletter will briefly cover these topics.
Our family lives on a farm, and we love to be outdoors working in the garden or taking a walk as the sun sets, but pesky mosquitoes can be troublesome without some insect repellent. Many of the commercial insect repellents contain DEET¹ (which has been shown to be toxic and even caused deaths of children) and/or other undesirable components. Also, many insect repellents smell so undesirable, that not only do the insects stay away, but we don't even care to be around ourselves!
If you'd like to enjoy the outdoors and not smell like citronella, our No Bites! blend of more than thirty, 100% high-quality essential oils in a coconut oil base may be a welcome addition to your summer. It has a pleasant, mild vanilla scent, and yet it is the most effective anti-mosquito blend we've ever used.
We offer No Bites! in a 1 oz or 2 oz spray.²
As for sun exposure, the Environmental Working Group says 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone, which toxicology experts believe is linked to hormone disruption and is potentially damaging to cells, which may lead to skin cancer. The EWG also warns consumers to avoid retinyl palminate. Government-funded studies on mice found that this type of Vitamin A may increase the risk of skin cancer when used on sun-exposed skin.³
Dr. Mercola suggests that we can boost our skin's "internal sunscreen" with antioxidants from whole fresh vegetables and fruits such as goji berries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
Regular exposure to UVB from sunlight, which in turn increases our vitamin D levels, actually reduces our risk of breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers. Mercola writes: "For all of these benefits, the only risks of UVB come from overexposure. This can be greatly minimized by avoiding sunburn, not staying out in the sun too long, and eating a healthy diet (full of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables). What you may not realize is that the amount of antioxidants that you have in your skin plays a major role in your development of sunburn. The more antioxidants you take in, the lower your risk of sunburn. Additionally, omega-3 fat deficiencies are a far more significant risk factor for deadly skin cancers than sun exposure. There is a good deal of evidence that sun exposure without sunburns actually decreases your risk of melanoma." ∗
Our Sunny Day Spray is formulated with pure, high-quality components and has been an effective protection against burning when out in the sun for lengths of time. Included in this blend is our Tamanu (Foraha) oil, which is not refined and has a rich nutty scent. It is antibacterial, good for burns, insect bites/stings, eczema, wounds and is safe internally. Natives have used Tamanu topically for thousands of years to promote smooth, healthy skin. Sesame Seed oil, while not a sun "screen," is a potent antioxidant and is felt to help us tan rather than burn. The essential oils of Lavender and Carrot Seed are both noted to be beneficial to the skin and to help with burns.
We suggest that Sunny Day Spray be applied frequently or at least every couple of hours and before and after swimming. We make no claims as to it being water-proof or even a sun "screen," but offer it as a skin-nourishing and safe alternative to toxic sunscreens. The mother of a young baby sums the testimonies of many: "My baby has red hair and is very fair skinned, and we are very happy with how well this blend works for us. No worries; no burns!"
May you have a wonderful and safe summer!
² PLEASE NOTE: Because we are not interested in submitting our blends to the EPA for approval,
we cannot call No Bites! a mosquito "repellent," nor the Sunny Day Spray a "sunscreen."
³ CNN Health, Avoid Sunscreens with Potentially Harmful Ingredients,
Group Warns, Danielle Dellorto, 16 May 2012.
∗ Mercola, Joseph MD., Over a Million People
Die EVERY Year From Lack of Sun Exposure, PDF