Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The (Year Round) Importance of Sunscreen!

Most people now know that too much sun exposure is bad!  But at the same time.....  the sun is not the enemy and a small amount of exposure to the sun is healthy and necessary to get adequate vitamin D!

Turns out in most areas 10 minutes in the direct sunlight is enough to reach adequate vitamin D levels!  So what is an outdoors lover to do?! SUNSCREEN!  Responsible sun exposure is key, which includes AVOIDING sunscreens with dangerous, deceptive or ineffective ingredients and choosing sun barriers when needed instead (clothing + shade).  In situations when you don't want to cover up, like in intense heat, or beach days when you know you will be getting sun, a safe sunscreen is absolutely necessary.

This is ESPECIALLY important for ACNE-PRONE skin and for protection AGAINST PHOTODAMAGE. Overexposure can damage the skin’s fragile oils and make photodamage, acne and irritation WORSE, so even if you hate sunscreen, get some safe stuff for your beautiful face.

Sunscreens that provide a physical protection from the sun (zinc based) also are providing a physical barrier or protection for your skin from the outside world as well. I have read several articles about the benefits of zinc based sunscreens for rosacea. As a sufferer of rosacea myself, I have found a significant improvement to my skin since I started using zinc based sunscreen. This is a good motivator to use sunscreen year round (which you should be doing anyway!) Sunscreens also work as a good primer for makeup!

Here’s what’s fascinating: I always thought that the “safest” kinds of sun protection, besides clothes and shade, were “sunblocks” – white, creamy, zinc-based lotions that don’t totally rub in.

Turns out, those aren’t ACTUALLY sunblocks at all. No lotion or stick product can be called “sunblock” any more, because “sunBLOCK” suggests something that doesn’t need to be reapplied. And you should ALWAYS reapply any sun protection product.

Your choices are really between chemical sunscreens (not good) and physical zinc-based sunscreens, which are safer, but you need to choose wisely.

Most chemical-based sunscreens on the market (anything WITHOUT zinc oxide - these use “-benzone” ingredients like avobenzone and oxybenzone – avoid!), which includes Neutrogena, Coppertone and Banana Boat, not only basically lie about their SPF (anything over 50 is pretty much hooey, as SPF maxes out between 30 and 50).... but even worse... the chemicals in these sunscreens often contain ingredients that may become MORE dangerous when exposed to UV light!

The safest sunscreen you can use is a physical (zinc-based)sunscreen.   (Titanium dioxide is also considered a physical sunscreen but might also undergo changes during light expose so stick to zinc-oxide only!) Please NEVER use spray sunscreens, which have both separation and inhalation risks.

Beautycounter’s sunscreen was created with the entire family in mind, this lightweight, water-resistant sunscreen is formulated with non-nano zinc oxide to blend seamlessly into skin without leaving white streaks, protecting you against both UVA and UVB rays. Aloe helps hydrate skin, while antioxidant-rich green tea and blood orange extracts fight free radicals.  This is my favorite for adult skin. (I have sensitive, occasionally acne-prone skin that I’m trying to protect from photodamage as much as possible). BeautyCounter has two stick sunscreens (smaller one for face, larger for body) a liquid sunscreen (what I use everyday) SPF lip balm, and Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer. 

 Here is more info from the BeautyCounter blog!

"Who knew that trying to keep our families safer could be so dangerous? We’ve been educated to protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays during outdoor summer activies. What we didn’t know as consumers is that sun protection is oftentimes veiled behind false claims. Many chemical-based sunscreens aren’t actually blocking dangerous UVA and UVB rays at all. In fact, they contain chemicals to simply prevent a burn so that we’re mistakenly led to think that we’re being protected. No burn, no problem, right? Wrong.

The Environmental Working Group, a consumer protection agency and one of our Trusted Non-Profits, has released their incredibly well-researched Sun Safety Campaign that rights the ship for many sunscreen myths that the general consumer deserves access to. Sections of the report include “The Problem with High SPF“, “Nanoparticles in Sunscreen“, and “Getting Enough Vitamin D“.
It was such a labor of love for us to launch Protect All Over. Our formulas are made with broad spectrum, mineral blocking, non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create a physical barrier from UVA and UVB rays – no toxic chemicals. We think this is the safest protection under the sun. The EWG thinks so, too: Protect has been selected as one of 2014’s safest sunscreens. Read on for an ingredient-by-ingredient look at some of the super-hero ingredients we love in Protect."

So remember to take care of your family and youself and stay protected from the sun!

Check out BeautyCounter products here!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Everything you need to know about Charcoal!

Everything You Need to Know About Charcoal Soap!

There has been a wave of products with charcoal lately! I've seen soaps, masks, those pore strips, you name it!  And for good reason, charcoal is amazing! Charcoal is great for acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. It's used in the medical field for detoxification, and works similarly on the skin. Charcoal boasts beauty benefits for skin by drawing oil, dirt and other harmful substances from clogged pores due to its adsorption powers. It can hold up to a 100 times its weight in impurities.

The key ingredients in the BeautyCounter charcoal cleansing bar are Charcoal Powder (drawing detoxifying), Coconut Oil (bacteria fighting), Witch Hazel ( astringent/bacteria fighting), and Green Tea ( bacteria fighting and energizing). The other beauty of this product is that is contains coconut oil and sunflower oil making it soothing to the skin

The Charcoal Cleansing Bar detoxifies and absorbs impurities in your skin without drying it out, resulting in a smoother, brighter complexion. Made with antioxidant-rich, organic green tea and hydrating organic coconut oil, the gentle formula can be used daily on your face and body.

 This product is not only great for the face but also your back, the back of your arms where many people struggle with keratosis pilaris, as well as and diaper rash.

Here are BeautyCounter's list of 7 reasons you should try the Charcoal Cleansing Bar!

If the idea of cleansing your face with charcoal sounds a little counterintuitive, we’re here to clear up (pun intended) any doubts. Our new Charcoal Face Bar works to clarify and detoxify your skin without drying it out. Read on for seven reasons this charcoal soap is the product you never knew you needed—until now.

1. Safety first: Soaps are often made with harsh surfactants such as sulfates that are overly drying and irritating to the skin. In addition, soaps may contain parabens as well as synthetic dyes, antioxidants, and fragrances that can act as hormone-disrupting chemicals. Our face bar doesn’t come with any of that.
2. Charcoal has gained a lot of attention lately as a buzzy skincare ingredient. Our bar contains a special type of charcoal powder called Binchotan, which helps to thoroughly cleanse skin and draw out dirt, oil, and impurities.
3. The fear with any deeply cleansing, detoxifying product is that it will also dry out your skin. Thanks to hydrating organic coconut and sunflower seed oils, our formula doesn’t.
4. Other noteworthy ingredients include antioxidant-rich organic green tea extract as well as organic witch hazel, an astringent that works to refine pores and balance skin.
5. Our formula works well for all skin types—not simply combination skin—and for men, women, and teens. It’s gentle enough to use daily on both your face and body.
6. Nothing looks cooler on your bathroom counter than a bar of black soap (plus, it’s a great conversation starter).
7. It’s designed to help give you a smoother, brighter, healthier-looking complexion—and who doesn’t want that?

Check it out here!