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The Good and the Bad In Your Sunscreen

I live in Bend, Oregon…a paradise for summer sports enthusiasts! There’s trail running, mountain biking, road biking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, paddleboarding, and the list goes on and on. Sounds great, right? It totally is, but I also don't want to get sunburned, nor do I want to promote premature aging! The problem is, so many sunscreens contain yucky ingredients I don't want absorbed into my body.  

Did You Know?

Hanging out beside the pool or at the ocean/lake increases overall UV radiation by 25%, and ultimately skin cancer. More than 90% of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure.

Something to keep in mind on your next hiking trip, or if you live at a high elevation  ultraviolet radiation exposure increases 4 to 5% with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45% more intense than at sea level. 

The water and wind also wears away sunscreen and reduces its effectiveness, so take extra precautions.

The Bad Ingredients To Avoid!

When choosing a sunscreen to protect your skin, avoid these four hormone disrupting chemicals (bad!):

1) Avoid Oxybenzone  

Oxybenzone is found in nearly every chemical sunscreen. It’s recommended to avoid this ingredient because it penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can also trigger allergic skin reactions. Although research is preliminary, studies have found a link between higher concentrations of oxybenzone and health issues. One study has linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women; another found that women with higher levels of oxybenzone during pregnancy had lower birth weight daughters.

2) Avoid Octinoxate

Octinoxate gets into the bloodstream and demonstrates hormone-like activity. In animals, octinoxate altered the reproductive system and thyroid. It can also trigger allergic skin reactions. Breastfeeding moms, take caution, this chemical can be found in mother’s milk so please avoid so it isn’t passed to your beautiful baby.

3) Avoid Retinyl Palmitate

When used in a night cream, this form of vitamin A is supposed to have anti-aging effects. But on sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate may speed development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies. Why is this “inactive ingredient” allowed in sunscreens intended for use in the sun? Good question.

4) Avoid Homosalate

Homosalate enters the bloodstream and disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone. This is another chemical for breastfeeding moms to especially avoid because it can be found in mother’s milk.

Want more info about hormone disrupting chemicals? BPA is a prevalant one, along with Parabens and Phthalates

The Good Ingredients!

Look for a sunscreen with any of these four ingredients. They not only provide excellent UVA protection, but also offer very limited to no skin penetration, and no evidence of hormone disruption.

1) Titanium Dioxide

2) Zinc Oxide

3) Avobenzone

4) Mexoryl SX

The Environmental Working Group is an excellent reference for identifying a safe sunscreen and to learn more about the sunscreen you currently use. Check out their guide here 2018 Sunscreen Guide.

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

Reference:

Environmental Working Group. The trouble With Sunscreen Chemicals. 

The Good and the Bad In Your Sunscreen

Summer and beach time may be winding down, but don’t let your sunscreen use leave with it. It's easy to associate winter with snow and wind-chill, but most people aren’t aware that UV rays can be every bit as damaging during the winter.

I live in Bend, Oregon…a winter sports enthusiast’s paradise! There’s skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skate skiing, snowmobiling, and the list goes on and on. If these are activities you enjoy, you are at an increased risk for overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The combination of higher altitude and UV rays reflected by the snow puts skiers and snowboarders at an increased risk of sun damage, and ultimately skin cancer. More than 90% of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure.

Did You Know?

Ultraviolet radiation exposure increases 4 to 5% with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45% more intense than at sea level. In addition, snow reflects up to 80% of the UV light from the sun, meaning that you are often hit by the same rays twice.  

Both snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness, so you have to take extra precautions.

The Bad Ingredients!

When choosing a sunscreen to protect your skin, avoid these four hormone disrupting chemicals (bad!):

1)   Avoid Oxybenzone  

Oxybenzone is found in nearly every chemical sunscreen. It’s recommended to avoid this ingredient because it penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can also trigger allergic skin reactions. Although research is preliminary, studies have found a link between higher concentrations of oxybenzone and health issues. One study has linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women; another found that women with higher levels of oxybenzone during pregnancy had lower birth weight daughters.

2)   Avoid Octinoxate

Octinoxate gets into the bloodstream and demonstrates hormone-like activity. In animals, octinoxate altered the reproductive system and thyroid. It can also trigger allergic skin reactions. Breastfeeding moms, take caution, this chemical can be found in mother’s milk so please avoid so it isn’t passed to your beautiful baby.

3)   Avoid Retinyl Palmitate

When used in a night cream, this form of vitamin A is supposed to have anti-aging effects. But on sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate may speed development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies. Why is this “inactive ingredient” allowed in sunscreens intended for use in the sun? Good question.

4)   Avoid Homosalate

Homosalate enters the bloodstream and disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone. This is another chemical for breastfeeding moms to especially avoid because it can be found in mother’s milk.

The Good Ingredients!

I recommend buying sunscreen with any of these ingredients because all these ingredients not only provide excellent UVA protection, but also offer very limited to no skin penetration and no evidence of hormone disruption.

1)   Titanium Dioxide

2)   Zinc Oxide

3)   Avobenzone

4)   Mexoryl SX

The Environmental Working Group is an excellent reference for identifying a safe sunscreen and to learn more about the sunscreen you currently use. Check their guide out here 2014 Sunscreen Guide

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

Reference:

Environmental Working Group. The trouble With Sunscreen Chemicals. 

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The Good and Bad Ingredients In Your Sunscreen

Summer and beach time may be winding down, but don’t let your sunscreen use leave with it. It's easy to associate fall and winter with gray, chilly days, but most people aren’t aware that UV rays can be every bit as damaging at all times of the year.

I live in Bend, Oregon…an outdoors enthusiast’s paradise! There’s hiking, biking, trail running (or walking, for the rest of us), a litany of snow activities, and the list goes on and on. If these are activities you enjoy, you are at an increased risk for overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The combination of higher altitude and UV rays puts you at an increased risk of sun damage, and ultimately skin cancer. More than 90% of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure.

Did You Know?

Ultraviolet radiation exposure increases 4 to 5% with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45% more intense than at sea level. In addition, snow reflects up to 80% of the UV light from the sun, meaning that you are often hit by the same rays twice.  

Both snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness, so you have to take extra precautions.

The Bad Ingredients!

When choosing a sunscreen to protect your skin, avoid these four hormone disrupting chemicals (bad!):

1)   Avoid Oxybenzone  

Oxybenzone is found in nearly every chemical sunscreen. It’s recommended to avoid this ingredient because it penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can also trigger allergic skin reactions. Although research is preliminary, studies have found a link between higher concentrations of oxybenzone and health issues. One study has linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women; another found that women with higher levels of oxybenzone during pregnancy had lower birth weight daughters.

2)   Avoid Octinoxate

Octinoxate gets into the bloodstream and demonstrates hormone-like activity. In animals, octinoxate altered the reproductive system and thyroid. It can also trigger allergic skin reactions. Breastfeeding moms, take caution, this chemical can be found in mother’s milk so please avoid so it isn’t passed to your beautiful baby.

3)   Avoid Retinyl Palmitate

When used in a night cream, this form of vitamin A is supposed to have anti-aging effects. But on sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate may speed development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies. Why is this “inactive ingredient” allowed in sunscreens intended for use in the sun? Good question.

4)   Avoid Homosalate

Homosalate enters the bloodstream and disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone. This is another chemical for breastfeeding moms to especially avoid because it can be found in mother’s milk.

The Good Ingredients!

I recommend buying sunscreen with any of these ingredients because all these ingredients not only provide excellent UVA protection, but also offer very limited to no skin penetration and no evidence of hormone disruption.

1)   Titanium Dioxide

2)   Zinc Oxide

3)   Avobenzone

4)   Mexoryl SX

The Environmental Working Group is an excellent reference for identifying a safe sunscreen and to learn more about the sunscreen you currently use. Check their guide out here 2014 Sunscreen Guide

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

Reference:

Environmental Working Group. The trouble With Sunscreen Chemicals. 

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The 2014 Dirty Dozen Guide to Pesticides in Produce

This week the Environmental Working Group released it's 2014 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce, commonly known as the "Dirty Dozen" list. The Guide is an annual rating of 48 commonly purchased fruits and vegetables with the most and least pesticide residue, based on an analysis of 32,000 samples tested by the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more than a decade, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been stepping in to provide information to millions of shoppers that the EPA has failed to offer, despite a 1996 "Consumer Right to Know" law that requires it. With over 65% of the thousands of samples sent in for analysis testing positive for pesticide residue, the EWG makes it easy for consumers to make an educated decision while shopping for produce.

The 2014 Dirty Dozen

These items ranked highest in pesticide residue data. It is recommended to purchase these organically grown when possible.

  1. 1. Apples
  2. 2. Strawberries
  3. 3. Grapes
  4. 4. Celery
  5. 5. Peaches
  6. 6. Spinach
  7. 7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. 8. Nectarines
  9. 9. Cucumbers
  10. 10. Cherry Tomatoes
  11. 11. Snap Peas (Imported)
  12. 12. Potatoes

Interesting Findings - Every sample of imported nectarines and 99% of apple samples tested positive for pesticide residue. The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food. A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides, and single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.

The 2014 Clean Fifteen

These items ranked lowest in pesticide residue data when grown conventionally.

  1. 1. Avocados
  2. 2. Sweet Corn
  3. 3. Pineapples
  4. 4. Cabbage
  5. 5. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  6. 6. Onions
  7. 7. Asparagus
  8. 8. Mangoes
  9. 9. Papayas
  10. 10. Kiwi
  11. 11. Eggplant
  12. 12. Grapefruit
  13. 13. Cantaloupe
  14. 14. Cauliflower
  15. 15. Sweet Potatoes

Interesting Findings - Avocados were the cleanest, with only 1% of samples showing any detectable pesticides. No single fruit on the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than 4 pesticides. Only 5.5% of Clean Fifteen samples had two or more pesticides. 89% of pineapples had no residue, as did 82% of kiwis, and 61% of cantaloupe.

By releasing this list every year, the EWG empowers consumers who may otherwise find the cost of purchasing all organic produce cost- prohibitive. By referencing The Guide, shoppers are able to select between conventionally grown and organically grown produce with real data backing up their choice.

Why Should I Avoid Pesticides?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "The health effects of pesticides depend on the type of pesticide. Some such as organophosphates and carbamates, affect the nervous system. Others may irritate the skin or eyes. Some pesticides may be carcinogens. Others may affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body."

Pesticides pose an even greater health risk to our children.

  • The National Academy of Sciences reports that children are more susceptible to chemicals than adults, and estimates that 50% of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs in the first 5 years of life.
  • The EPA reports that children take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults, and have developing organ systems that are more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxins.
  • A 2000 study published by the EWG found that pesticides such as the weedkiller 2,4-D pass from mother to child through umbilical cord blood and breast milk.
  • Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley found that exposure to pesticides while in the womb may increase the odds that a child will have ADHD.

Why is Organic More Expensive?

Organically grown produce more closely reflects the true price of farming. Government subsidies tend to go towards large-scale, chemically intensive agriculture, lowering the true price of these conventionally grown products. The very practice of growing organic, such as restricted chemical use, better standards of care for animals, and more manual labor, is more costly to the farmer. In order to have the USDA-certified Organic seal on their product, organic farmers must pay for certification costs.

Shopping at your local farmers market can be a good way to save money on organically grown produce, particularly for those items that appear on the Dirty Dozen list. Often, your small, local farmer may employ organic growing practices, even if he/ she has not paid for the organic certification. In addition, you are not paying to have these items shipped from 1/2 way around the globe. These savings are passed on to you, the consumer. Local farmers are happy to talk to you about their growing practices, and will often invite you to their farm should you want to verify for yourself.

Shop smart, shop local, and don't leave home without The Guide!

Melissa Zimmerman, Healthy Goods


References: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/human.htm

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/lawn/factsheets/Pesticide.children.dontmix.pdf

 

 

 

 

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5 Reasons Water Boosts Your Metabolism

Do you feel sleepy or tired? Are you less active than usual? Do you have a dry, sticky mouth? Headache? Dizziness? If so, chances are you need to drink more water.

When you don’t drink enough water your system literally dries out which can lead to the symptoms above. Even mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism and you don’t want that, especially with the busy holidays approaching.

I know it’s getting cold outside and you may not feel as “thirsty” as you do during the summer. Do it for your metabolism!

1. Burn More Calories

A study found that drinking 17 oz. of water increases metabolic rate by 30% in both men and women. The increase in metabolic rate happened within 10 min after drinking the water and reached a maximum 30–40 min after water drinking. The effect lasted for more than an hour.

2. Feed Your Vital Organs

Your brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery–31%.

3. Fuel Your Metabolism

The carbohydrates and protein your body uses as fuel are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream. Without water your metabolism would certainly suffer.

4. Cleanse Your Colon

Don’t overlook the importance of water’s ability to transport waste material out of our bodies. An active metabolism is absolutely necessary for food to move through your intestines and to expel the excess matter and toxins from your body.

5. Boost Your Energy

The human body is made up of over 70% water. It is medically proven that just a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25-30% loss of energy in the average person.

Obviously drinking water is important, and not just any water, but CLEAN water.  Check out the Environmental Working Group’s water filter buying guide.  Along with filtering your water, another way to reduce the toxins in your water is to avoid drinking water from plastic containers. Instead, use a re-fillable glass or stainless steel bottle, such as a Klean Kanteen.

Drinking water is one of the only ways to cleanse your body so drink up!

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

 

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