Tag Archives: Skin

The Many Benefits Of Lavender Oil

Lavender oil

Lavender. The word alone has a seductive sound. It is little wonder that this plant should be so commonly associated with passion. Even 15th century England was not too proper to produce the famous nursery rhyme “Lavender Blue,” referring to the maids in the house shucking corn, “Whilst you and I keep the bed warm.” The tonic has additionally been sipped throughout history by maidens hoping to divine the identity of their true loves, placed under pillows in hopes of romance, and stuck under the beds of newlyweds to ensure passion. Furthermore, if that weren’t enough, lavender oil has plenty of more practical uses as well. Lavender oil is extracted from the lavender plant. Its Latin name is Lavare, which means to wash, and is so named for its pleasant aroma. The oil is known for its abilities to relieve pain and tension, disinfect the skin, treat respiratory illness, and boost blood circulation.

Bug Repellant
Although humans may find the scent of the oil attractive, it is quite another story for insects. Apply some on exposed skin to prevent irritating bites from bugs such as midges, moths, and mosquitoes. If you are bitten, go ahead and apply some more. The oil has anti- inflammatory properties that will help to reduce resulting pain and irritation.

Woman sleeping

Sleep
The relaxing qualities of lavender oil can make it a potent treatment for insomnia. Studies on elderly patients point to an increase in sleep regularity when the patient’s regular sleep medication is replaced by a few drops of the oil on their pillows.

Nervous System
The calming scent of lavender essential oil is an excellent tonic for anxiety and nerves, and can thus be useful in treating headaches, depression, migraines, and stress. The aroma has been shown to remove restlessness and increase mental activity, which makes it an effective treatment for insomnia and a way to regulate heart rate. One study demonstrated a noticeable decrease in emotional stress and increase in cognitive function when subjects inhaled lavender and rosemary oils before taking an exam.

Woman touching face

Acne
Maybe one of the reasons lavender oil is known to induce romance is because of how much better it can make you look, Dermatologists and aromatherapists believe it to be one of the most effective oils in acne treatment. Lavender essential oil works on acne by inhibiting the bacteria that cause the infection and helping to regulate the over production of sebum. It can also reduce post acne scarring and increase healing.

Relief of Pain
Lavender oil can be a remedy for pain resulting from sore muscles and aches, rheumatism, sprains, and lumbago. A study on postoperative pain relief showed that the addition of lavender essential oil to the patient’s oxygen supply reduced the amount of pain experienced following surgery.

Digestion
Lavender essential oil can be used a digestive aid, helping to increase food mobility in the intestine. It additionally improves the production of bile and gastric juices, making it an effective form of relief of stomach pain, flatulence, indigestion, colic, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

What do you use lavender for? Tell us why your loving lavender. We love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Woman walking along beach

Why Makeup and Sunburn Don’t Mix

Have you ever heard the expression two wrongs don’t make a right? Perhaps someone should have warned one woman that she about to find out how true that saying is before she learned from her own experience. Recently, a Reddit post showing before and after photos of a woman sporting a sunburn went viral. In the before pic, the woman is shown sans makeup so as to give the viewer an up close view of what a painful sunburn looks like. The after picture shows the same woman after using a full coverage foundation. The result? One might believe they were looking at a skincare advert; the signs of sunburn untraceable; the woman’s skin dewy and soft.

The viewer response? Overwhelmingly positive. Headlines declared, “This is the best foundation for covering sunburn! It completely conceals sun damage!” The response from the dermatological community? A little less so. Even though foundation may provide a great way to cover the symptoms of a sunburn, it actually hinders the healing process.

Woman applying sunscreen

Sunburnt Skin Needs to Heal
Dermatologist Dendy Engelman weighs in on the post saying, “Extremely burnt skin is damaged and needs time to heal. Applying makeup, especially if it has chemicals and irritants, can cause more inflammation to the skin. You want your skin to heal properly and quickly. It’s more important to focus on products that soothe and combat damage.”

Alternative
Even though hiding the inflammation and redness may seem to be the priority, Dr. Engelman advises emphasizing proper skin care over minimizing the burn’s appearance. “Apply some aloe to help cool and heal and use a product with antioxidants to combat all the free radical damage,” she says. If coverage is important, the doctor advises using powder based makeup which goes on more smoothly and is less irritating to damaged skin.

Woman soaking in bath

Two Rights
Fortunately, if you have added insult to injury by first allowing yourself to burn and then trying to conceal it, there is an all in one solution for both problems: apple cider vinegar. Just add a cupful or two to a bath and soak for 10 minutes. Dr. Engelman says that this ingredient will soothe the skin while balancing its pH level.

Avoiding Sunburn
Of course, the best way to avoid the ill-advised use of makeup to conceal a burn is to not get a burn at all. So let’s take a moment to review the ways of doing just that:

  • Always Wear Sunscreen
    Always wear a broadband sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply it 15 to 20 minutes before venturing out in the sun. Once out, reapply every two hours, especially if you’ve been swimming or sweating. Apply to all parts of your body, including the part in your hair and the tops of your ears.
  • Wear Protective Clothing
    If you’re really serious about blocking the sun’s rays, you need to make sure you wear clothes that you can’t see your hand through. Sheer fabrics will not provide enough coverage Wear a hat to block the sun from your face and wear sunglasses to protect eyes from UV rays.
  • Avoid the Sun When It Is Hottest
    The sun is at its strongest between ten in the morning and four in the afternoon. Try to avoid the sun during these hours and take frequent shade breaks to keep from prolonged exposure. Be especially diligent about rules during these hours.

Let us know what you do when you get an unavoidable sunburn? How do you stay safe while looking great?

Five Steps To A Great Skincare Routine

There is nothing new about the “less is more” concept. Even before Susie Faux termed the phrase “capsule wardrobe” in the seventies, people have realized the wisdom of quality over quantity and the freedom derived from having less. So why is it that so many people are obsessed with multi-step beauty routines?

Of course, if you have the time and patience, you’re welcome to spend as much of it on skin care as you like, but, if you don’t, there is nothing wrong with keeping it scaled down. Remember, you own your beauty routine, it doesn’t own you. So, if you believe in keeping it short and sweet, here’s are five steps that will help you maximize while you minimize.

Woman cleansing skin

Cleanse
Cleansing skin is the most basic step in a skin routine. It should be done twice daily, once in the morning and once at night, to give skin time to heal and breath without being clogged by makeup and debris.

Cleansing should be done with clean hands. Begin by wetting skin with warm water to open the pores. Apply a cleanser appropriate to your skin type using upward circular motions. Some products will be more effective if you leave them on for a minute or two to allow penetration. Remove with damp cotton pads or by splashing your face with cold water. (Cold water will close up pores.) Pat dry gently with a clean towel.

Tone
Toning restores your skin’s pH balance, which is usually altered during the cleansing process. This step can also make your skin more resistant to bacteria. Some toners will only restore your skin’s pH, others will kill bacteria, still others may contain an extra ingredient to prevent acne. Choose the one that suits your skin, and, if you have sensitive skin, be sure to use a specially formulated toner.

Apply toner to entire face with a cotton pad, taking care to avoid your eyes. Do not rinse off.

Woman moisturizing

Moisturize
Moisturizing is the most important step in the beauty routine, and should not be omitted, even if your skin is oily. There is quite a variety of moisturizing products, such as gels (oily skin), creams (dry/sensitive skin), and serums (normal/oily skin). Some may contain anti wrinkle, and anti acne agents, others may tint, or tan, skin.

Apply moisturizer to the face and neck, after toner has dried, using a circular motion. You may want to follow up with a separate moisturizer targeted toward preventing swelling and aging in the eye area.

Exfoliate
Once or twice weekly, use an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells. Make sure not to use anything too harsh, which can irritate skin and tear skin cells.

Remove makeup and massage the exfoliator gently into your face using an outward circular motion for about thirty seconds. Remember, gently is the key word here! If you’re using an exfoliating wash cloth, soak it in warm water and rub it in small circles on your face. Be sure to target creases by your nose and other areas on which blackheads tend to develop.

Face mask

Face Mask
Peel off masks are the best option for unclogging pores, and are the best for oily or acne prone skin. Those with dry skin will benefit most from moisturizing masks.

Choose a natural, mild mask. Keep applications down to once a week or less; frequent applications will result in over cleansing your face. You can make your own, in the interest of keeping it natural, or use a store bought one, following directions on the package.

What do you think of the five-step skin routine? Is less more, or is more more? Let us know what you think?

Natural Ingredients That Stimulate Healthy Cell Formation

These days, when the word “cell” is mentioned, most of us are likely to think “phone.” While many of us may argue that cell phones are vital to our well being, there are other kinds of cells that are probably just a little more important. These are the cells in your body; the fundamental units of life form which all your organs and tissues are made.

Like most of our cell phones, the cells of the body are in constant communication with one another, responding to the signals they receive from your environment. If the cells cannot operate efficiently, tissues and organs can breakdown, resulting in a host of health conditions. In order to keep these cells functioning properly you need to keep yourself well nourished. Here are some healthy ingredients you need to ensure that these very important cells continue to serve you well.

whole grains

Whole Grain
Whole foods contain the fullest variety of nutrients, which makes whole grains one of the most complete food sources for healthy cell formation. The three main parts of the whole grain each serve a different purpose, and provide a different complement of vitamins and minerals. The protective bran guards the sprout from sun damage; the germ contains a high level of micronutrients from the vitamin E family, while the endosperm contains the lowest level of nutrients and serves mostly to provide calories for the sprout. While all three parts are used in whole grain food, refined products, such as white bread, use only the endosperm, or starch component of the grain.

Fats and Cell Formation
The fats you eat have a major influence on your cells. As a matter of fact, they become your cell membranes. Unsaturated fats, like the omega-3s in fish and nuts, are needed to give your cell membranes their shape and the ability to communicate with one another. While trans fatty acids, or saturated fats, also become part of your cells membrane, they are less able to respond to signals and can cause cell membranes to become brittle.

Cereals, vegetables, fruits, and grains also have fats to protect cell membrane from damage. These include tocopherals and are found in highest amounts in wheat germ oil, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene in carrots, vitamin C from citrus fruits, and lycopene in tomatoes.

eggs and meat

DNA
DNA is the part of your cell which stores your genetic information, and it is vital that you take steps to make sure its integrity is not compromised. When the structure of DNA breaks down, the body becomes not only unable to produce proteins for proper cell function, but it may cause mutations that lead to cancer. While fats are an integral part of protecting the DNA, it is also important to maintain adequate levels of protein, choline, inositol, carotenoids, and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.

Healthy DNA also requires an adequate intakes of vitamin B12 and folate, which are involved with repair and replication of DNA. Eggs, meat, fish and dairy are all rich in vitamin B12, while high levels of folate are found in eggs, grains, and green vegetables.

Organic Foods
Since agricultural chemicals are know to damage the function and structure if cells, organically grown foods are recommended to promote healthy cell formation. Studies show that pesticides can overstimulate enzymes which can be a cause of inflammation, and a contributing factor to psoriasis and atherosclerosis,
Organic foods can also minimize DNA degradation. Test tube studies show that agricultural chemicals can lead to genetic mutations leading to the development of cancer and have a negative effect on the production of energy.

Are you keeping your cells healthy? Let us know what you’re eating to keep your cells in tip top shape!

Foods That Are Killing your Complexion

Woman drinking juice

You look in the mirror, and there it is: a new zit. You do a quick mental inventory of the foods you’ve eaten in the last few days to determine the culprit, but it doesn’t take you long to determine; it’s that candy bar you ate the other day. How you tried to forget about that dietary blunder. You didn’t even list it in your food journal. But now, here it is, getting its revenge in the form of a large pimple that will probably taunt you for the next two weeks.

You know that you are what you eat and your skin is one of the biggest reminders. Although some foods are hard to resist, pimples are a high price to pay. But, forewarned is forearmed. So, in the spirit of forewarning, here are some foods that may be causing those complexion killers.

Canned Soup
Although it may make a cheap, quick lunch, canned soup contains bisphenol and sodium which can make skin retain water, causing it to become dry, swollen, and inflamed. Bone broth is a gut soothing option which can help to heal the stomach lining without making your skin break out in the process.

donuts

Processed Carbohydrates
Processed carbohydrates include all those foods we love like white bread, cereals, and baked goods. Unfortunately, these dietary staples break down and transform into sugar, which is bad news for your health and your skin. Seed and almond flour crackers are low in sugar and high in fiber and may save you from acne woes.

Juice
Another high-sugar bandit, juice is no friend to the acne-prone. Try a high protein smoothie with healthy fats instead.

Canned Tuna
While it may be accessible and cost effective, canned tuna may not be your healthiest seafood option. Dr. Lipman says, “It lacks the nutrients found in wild fish and is often farmed, causing mercury toxicity. ” Canned wild salmon is a safer source of omega-3s and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Woman eating pizza

Cheese made from Cow’s Milk
Pizza eaters be warned. According to Dr. Frank Lipman, MD, “Dairy is a brilliant trigger for skin issues like acne, as all dairy products come from lactating organic cows. Organic cows are filled with cow’s hormones, which can trigger hormonal acne in humans.” If you can, try replacing the dreaded zit inducer with lactose free cashew cheese or nutritional yeast, although they may not work as well as mozzarella on pizza.

Soda
Soda is a veritable cocktail of skin no no’s, from its high sugar level to its chemical content. Soda increases insulin levels and can interfere with the production of healthy bacteria. The result? A plethora of skin issuers ranging from eczema and rosacea to acne. Kombucha is a probiotic rich alternative, which would be a less “inflammatory” option.

Coffee
Caffeine in coffee can dehydrate skin. If you can sacrifice the jolt, consuming hot water with a hint of lemon can hydrate skin and reduce inflammation.

Are there any foods worth suffering zits for? Let us know what you think! And good luck keeping your complexion clear and lovely!

Use These Herbal Aids For Dry Skin

If there is anything to be learned from history, it is safe to say that people have always had a high respect for herbs. Elizabethan herbalist, Nicholas Culpepper credited plants with possessing powers of good (light) and evil (dark). That may explain why Chinese Emperor, and part time herbal enthusiast, Chi’en Nung, while able to identify 365 healing herbs, died after consuming one that turned out to be poisonous.

Despite the occasional mishap, it is safe to say that the herbal remedy has maintained a pretty respectable track record to this day, quite a feat considering how long its history is. Herbals have been credited with easing aches, pains, digestion problems and are also one of the most effective and trusted ingredients in beauty and skin products. If you are looking to give your skin a hydrating boost, here are some of the best (pretested) herbal remedies for dry skin relief.

avocado oil

Avocado Oil
It should be no surprise that a super food makes a super skin treatment. Avocado oil stimulates production of collagen and hydrates skin, and can even be used as a substitute for your nightly serum.

Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil helps to stimulate cell renewal and gets rid of cells that dull the complexion to reveal new, fresh skin underneath. It can also be used to treat dry, itchy scalp and dandruff. Mix five to seven drops with luke warm water and use it to rinse hair after shampooing to address a flaky scalp.

Lavender Oil
Not only does it smell great, lavender can also relieve itchy tight skin and protect it from UV rays and free radicals which cause premature aging. Apply directly to your face, or put a few drops in your day or night cream.

Pomegranate seed oil

Pomegranate Seed Oil
The antioxidant properties in the pomegranate makes them a great anti-ager, whether you choose to munch or apply topically. The magical seeds can reduce breakdown and increase production of collagen to keep your skin looking firm and useful. Put a drop on your skin after applying moisturizer.

Grapeseed Oil
You’ve probably seen this ingredient being given credit on the labels of anti aging serums and creams. Grapeseed oil has been a proven component in the restoration of collagen and softens find lines to help skin stay firm. “Plus, according to David Colbert, MD, “grape seed oil is high in polyphenols which are antioxidants that can help calm inflammation.” Add two drops to your morning moisturizer to reap its anti aging benefits.

Sunflower Seed Oil
Got dry scaly elbows and knees? Slather some of this vitamin E rich oil on them for some quick hydration.

carrot seed oil

Carrot Seed Oil
Fight age spots with this bunny pleasing option, extracted from the dried seeds of the orange plant. Carrot seed oil can also speed up healing of skin irritations like psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.

Olive Oil
Besides being a delicious addition to food, olive oil can also be just the thing to relieve a dry, itchy scalp, due to its anti fungal and antibacterial properties. Ellen Marmur, MD, advises, “To calm either issue, once a week, massage a 1/4 cup of olive oils into your scalp so its evenly saturated. Wait at least 20 minutes, then shampoo and condition. Use the remainder to treat your complexion. Olive oil is rich in vitamins that can help prevent spots anilines caused by sun damage. Put two drops in your favorite moisturizer to boost results.

What herbal treatments work best on your dry skin? Let us know your favorites!

Prevent Wrinkles On Your Chest and Neck

In “Gravity,” a video installation Michael Haussman, the artist, asked his subjects were to jump on a trampoline while he shot a video. He edited in post-production, steadying the subjects in the frame so that they appeared to stay still while their fat and muscles remained in motion, The result suggests a time-lapse aging, in which the subject’s body seems to age about thirty years in 15 seconds. It shows us how the aging process alters perception, changing the flawless to the flawed sometimes in a matter of very little time.

Woman smiling

Gravity: it’s skin’s biggest downfall, and causes even the most taught bodies to sag and wrinkle. However, while we can’t fight the gravity, we can fight the effects. Here are some ways to prevent wrinkles on the neck and chest.

Types of Wrinkles
With the aging process, you may begin to notice loose crepey skin and wrinkles on your chest and neck areas. Although some of this can be attributed to loss of collagen, environmental factors are largely to blame. According to AgingSkin.Net, 90-95% of all lines, wrinkles and discolorations are due to sun exposure.

While chest and neck wrinkles usually appear with age, “necklace lines,” characterized by horizontal lines on your neck can start in your twenties, or even as early as childhood. Loose and saggy skin is more often associated with age.

Reasons
There are several hypotheses as to the cause of aging on the neck and chest. One theory, suggested by Skintour.com, is that chest wrinkles are a result of sleeping position. Impression lines caused by sheets and blankets that faded quickly when you were young, may become a little less temporary as you age, due to loss of elasticity.

Treatment
Laser treatments, chemical peels and botox injections are all options for treating skin on the chest and neck. A study conducted by the Brazilian Center for Studies in Dermatology found that injecting Poly-L-Lactic acid or PLLA into the neck and chest could also improve the appearance of wrinkles. Adjusting your sleep position from your side to your back may be another option, as are breast pads and pillows.

Product
It is important to realize that most skin products are not just for your face. When you cleanse your face, be sure to include your neck, as should be the case with toners, moisturizers, masks, and scrubs. Look especially for skin care products containing antioxidants to fight damaging free radicals.

Moisturize
Never underestimate the power of a good moisturizer. Note that your neck and chest have fewer oil glands than your face, and are more prone to dryness and irritation. Moisturizers help maintain elasticity and plumpness for ease of mobility and a smoother appearance.

Sun Exposure
Protecting exposed skin from the sun is important to everyone, regardless of skin condition, Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, with 5 to 10 % titanium and zinc on law exposed skin, neck and chest included.

What do you do to prevent wrinkles on your neck and chest? Let us know!

Add Apples To Your Overall Skin Care Routine

In language, history, folklore and mythology apple references abound. We routinely compare “apples to oranges,” we believe that ” an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and we’ve all heard of the garden incident that caused the downfall of mankind. William Tell shot an apple from his son’s head, and apples also have the distinguished honor of sharing a name with the first child of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Add Apples To Your Overall Skin Care Routine

Whether as a symbol of beauty and rebirth or temptation and sin, there is little doubt that the apple holds an important place in our history for many reasons. And now we can add a new one to the list: apples are great for the skin.

Apples for Skin Care
Apples are rich in nutrients known to benefit the skin. Copper maintains melanin production to keep the skin protected against the harmful rays of the sun. Vitamin C restores collagen levels, boosting elasticity and rebuilding collagen levels. Vitamin A rejuvenates damaged skin tissues and promotes skin cell growth.

Oily Skin Face Pack
If your skin, tends to be oily, combine a freshly squeezed teaspoon of lemon juice with a teaspoon of yogurt, and a teaspoon of grated apple. The lactic acid in the yogurt will absorb excess oil and brighten and moisturize skin. Apply the mixture to your face and let it sit for about 15 minutes, Rinse with lukewarm water, pat skin dry and apply moisturizer.

Apple mash

Sensitive Skin Face Pack
Got sensitive skin? There’s an app(le) for that. Boil a small apple until it’s tender and remove from hot water. Let it cool and peel it. Using a fork, mash the apple in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of ripe banana and a teaspoon of pure coconut cream. Mix to a smooth paste. Rub it into your skin and let it sit for twenty minutes. Use lukewarm water to rinse and pat dry.

Normal to Dry Skin
You can make a skin pack for normal to dry skin by combining a teaspoon of grated apple with a half teaspoon of organic honey. Mix to make a paste. Apply pack to your skin and allow to sit for about fifteen minutes. You can also use this recipe as a spot treatment for acne by applying the paste to the affected area and allowing to sit for twenty minutes.

Additional Benefits
Apples contain an exfoliating astringent that can help prevent acne and contains malic acid (AHA) for skin renewal. Apple cider vinegar can be used to relieve itching skin and scalp, regulate skin pH levels and exfoliate and soothe skin.

Apple cider vinegar

For Anti-Aging
A skin brightening, anti-aging mask can be made by combining a mashed apple with a teaspoon of orange, lemon, or grapefruit juice, one tablespoon of ground almond meal two crushed basil leaves and one tablespoon of cream, yogurt, or milk. Mash and apply to face. Leave on for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

Are you using apples to maintain that glow? Let us know your apple skincare recipes. We love to share!

Vitamin A Derivatives That Improve Skin Texture, Tone, and Color

As is the case with many of the best discoveries, the use of vitamin A as a wrinkle control agent happened largely by accident. It all began in the laboratories of Dr. Albert Kligman in the 1960’s when the controversial dermatologist began to experiment on prisoners with a vitamin A derivative called tretinoin as an acne treatment. Imagine the delight of the incarcerated men to discover not only the disappearance of their acne, but a noticeable decrease in wrinkles and smoother skin tones!

Woman applying vitamin A on her skin

Vitamin A and its derivatives have often been referred to as the “gold standard of skin care,” a paragon of excellence against which all other skin care products can be measured. If you are thinking of incorporating some vitamin A into your routine, here are some things you may want to know.

Retinoids
Retinoids are also known as the generic term for tretinoin, retin-A, or differin, and are available only by prescription. They are absorbed directly into the skin cells which makes them highly effective against hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and acne.

The downside of this miracle cream is its likelihood to cause skin irritation. Retinoids are often associated with redness and peeling and require adjustment to the dosage to combat these side effects. The key with these products is keeping the applied amount to a minimum. A pea-sized amount should be enough for the whole face, and a larger quantity is unnecessary.

Retinol
Retinol is vitamin A in its pure form and is an over the counter alternative to harsher retinoids. While the conversion to retinoic acid will decrease the potency of the retinol, it should still be effective enough to bring noticeable results. Although retinol may trigger minor irritation, side effects should generally subside over time as the skin grows more accustomed to the treatment.

Retinyl Palmitate
This combination of retinol and palmitic acid is one of the less effective vitamin A derivatives. While it does convert to retinoic acid, the process often takes so long that by the time it is completed, the product has lost most of its ability to affect the DNA of the cell. As a result, you would need a very high concentration of retinal palmitate to have significant effect, and most cosmetic companies who use it as a source of vitamin A usually do not put enough of it in their serums and creams to make a difference.
The bottom line: If retinyl palmitate is not combined with other vitamin A derivatives, it is almost useless.

Retinaldehyde
Retinaldehyde is a potent over the counter form of vitamin A which is commonly perceived to be the closest to retinoic acid without the irritating side effects. However, it is important to take note of content in your product. In order to be effective, a retinaldehyde concentration of 0.05% to 0.1% needs to be present. This is the equivalent of a 0.025 tretinoin. The biggest side effect of retinaldehyde will be the lightening of your purse. Most skin care products containing substantial amounts of the ingredient will be on the high-end side in price, so be prepared to pay for quality.

Other Advice
Be aware that vitamin A is not stable and tends to lose potency when it interacts with sunlight. Creams and serums are therefore best applied at night. Do not use a cleanser with retinoids, as the retinoids depend on contact with skin to achieve full benefit and should not be washed away. When purchasing retinoids, look for packaging that minimizes exposure to air and light which can affect the stability of the vitamin.

Let us know your choice when it comes to choosing Vitamin A derivatives. Which ones work best for you?

Certain Sunscreens May Harm Corals

Coral reefs

You’re finally going on your Hawaiian vacation. You’re going to party the week away eating kalua pork and huli huli chicken, working on your hula moves and drinking exotic cocktails from coconuts with umbrellas sticking out of them. You’re going to go snorkeling in the crystal waters of Waikiki Beach and you’re going to hit the white sands of Honolulu running. And of course, you’re going to slather on that sunscreen. Right? Well, you may want to think again.

You know that your Hawaiian vacation would not be complete without checking out those amazing coral reefs. Not only are these beauties responsible for housing 500 species of algae which provide food and sustenance to Hawaii’s vast marine life, they’re also going to keep you hangin’ 10 by creating those big Hawaiian waves. Unfortunately, when it comes to these natural wonders, your sunscreen may be doing more harm than good.

Dangers of Sunscreen to Corals
Although sunscreen may be fully beneficial to humans, it may be anything but for the coral reef. Chemicals in sunscreens that wash off the body off beach goers wreak havoc on the precious reefs, bleaching the coral, hindering its growth, and often, outright killing it. In the aim of damage control to one of Hawaii’s most profitable natural resources, Hawaiian Senator Will Espero presented a bill to congress on January 20 that would ban sunscreens with octinoxate and oxybenzone from the Hawaiian island.

Sunscreen Harms Corals
The chemical and mineral filters in sunscreen, used to block the sun’s radiation are the most damaging to the reefs. They wash off the skin of surfers, swimmers, spear fishers, and even those using the beach showers, and find their way into the ocean. Oxybenzone, concentrations have been measured at 30 times the concentration level safe for the corals. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources says, “(These chemicals) cause deformities in coral larvae making them unable to swim, settle out, and form new coral colonies. It also increases the rate at which coral bleaching occurs. This puts coral reef health at risk, and reduces resiliency to climate change.”

Woman on a hammock

Craig Downs, researcher on stunted coral growth at Haereticua Environmental Laboratory in Virginia says that oxybenzone “kills (coral.) It turns them into zombies if it doesn’t kill them outright. It makes them sterile and you do not get coral recruitment.”

Not Just A Hawaiian Problem
Hawaiian corals are not the only ones being endangered. In fact, about 80% of all corals in the Caribbean Sea have died within the past 40 years. Although factors such as temperature anomalies, predators, pollution from cruise ships and coastal runoffs all contribute to the endangerment, the fact the approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen has been found to wash into the world’s ocean each year is not helping matters.

The Other Side
Of course, there are two sides to every story. Sunscreen manufacturers, such as L’oreal uphold the benefits of their products and oppose the ban claiming there is not enough supporting evidence. However, Espero rallies, ” We have advocates and science on our side. Fisherman, boat owners, ocean sports enthusiasts, ocean-tour operators, and environmentalists rely on the ocean for recreation and jobs. Opponents will be out there, but supporters as well.

What Can You Do?
If your wondering how to keep these creatures safe without risking your delicate complexion, you can check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide to safe sunscreen, but be aware that they do advise, “Sunscreen should be your last resort,” and urge you to consider long sleeved shirts, Uv blocking attire, sunglasses, shade and well time jaunts into the sun to keep exposure to a minimum.

So what do you think? To screen or not to screen? Let us know where you stand!