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Tips for a Toxin-Free Summer

Updated: 7 days ago




Hot, sunny days. Sandy beaches. Late night sunsets. Summer is finally upon us! If you're like me, you look forward to this season all year long. Life is just better in the summer, am I right!?


Let's keep our summer toxin free together! With these healthy alternatives to common summer essentials, you can reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and keep your family safe while you enjoy everything that summer has to offer. Here are three ways to help avoid toxins during the summer months.


Ditch the traditional sunscreen and replace with red raspberry seed oil or clean sunscreen.


The skin is the body's largest organ and it absorbs whatever is put on it. Traditional sunscreen contains many chemicals that can wreak havoc on the body, leading to hormone imbalances, thyroid issues, and more. The active chemicals in sunscreen are also responsible for killing off the coral reef in Hawaii, so much so that legislators have proposed a bill to ban the sale of specific sunscreens. If it's killing the coral reef, what is it doing to our insides?


Another little known fact about sunscreen is that it prohibits the body from making Vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is crucial for the immune system and it is a vital component in keeping the body at optimal health. Low Vitamin D levels are linked to depression, osteoporosis, immune dysfunction, even cancer.


So, what to do? Well first off, always be responsible with the sun. Avoid prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight between the hours of 10 and 3. Hats are a great option, especially for those with sensitive skin who burn easily.


In addition to safe sun practices, we love red raspberry seed oil. This oil has a natural SPF of 25-30. Red raspberry seed oil won't clog pores, is antioxidant rich, and contains Vitamin E and essential fatty acids which add extra nourishment for the skin. And it smells ah-mazing. You can purchase it here. When you need something a little more heavy duty, check out the EWG's list of clean sunscreens.


Also, spending ten minutes sans sunscreen a day with exposed skin on the chest, arms, and face will suffice for your daily dose of vitamin D.


 

Ditch the bug sprays and replace with DIY essential oil sprays.


Hands down, my least favorite thing about summer is the bugs. Ants, wasps, bees, mosquitoes: ugh. No thank you. Unfortunately, every chemical-filled bug repellant on the market comes with risk to humans and animals. Take one look at the back of a can of Raid or DEET-filled bug spray and you will not soon want to spray them anywhere near your loved ones.


Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy alternatives. Most natural bug sprays contain a combination of essential oils that are safe and easy to mix up yourself at home. Here is my favorite recipe for a mosquito and bug repellant. It's safe for adults and children 3 and older.


 DIY Bug Spray

1/2 cup witch hazel

10 drops rosemary essential oil

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops citronella essential oil

10 drops geranium essential oil

1 teaspoon carrier oil such as jojoba or olive oil

1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol


Combine all ingredients in glass spray bottle. Be sure to use glass, never plastic, when using essential oils. Shake before use. For children, or those with sensitive skin, spray on clothes only to repel insects.


(Be sure to always use high-quality essential oils when applying any essential oil products to the skin. (If you are looking to purchase high-quality essential oils you can do so here, using code SHAREYL for 10% off.)


For ants, spiders, and other creepy crawlies in the home, mix up a solution of 15 drops peppermint oil and water in a small glass spray bottle. This works on contact or as a preventative. To ward off bees, I discovered a nifty little trick a few summers ago. Grab a lemon, cut it in half, and stick 6 whole cloves in each half. Place around area where people will be gathering. Works like a charm!


Reduce your exposure to aluminum by switching out these two common products.


Aluminum is a metal that can build up in the body and brain and lead to serious health problems, especially for those whose detox pathways are not functioning correctly. It also contributes to neurological issues like Autism and Alzheimer's. (Studies show high levels of aluminum in the brains of these patients.) Aluminum toxicity can cause muscle weakness, osteoporosis, mental problems, seizures, and delayed growth in children. Aluminum can be found in a variety of places such as: baking powder, cookware, personal care products, and certain pharmaceutical products.


Two ways to reduce aluminum exposure during the summer months are to avoid aluminum foil and to replace aluminum-containing deodorant/anti-perspirant.


Aluminum can leach into food when in direct contact, especially when salt or acid-containing foods are present, so for this reason avoiding aluminum foil is beneficial. If foil is necessary, an option would be to line the foil first with unbleached parchment paper so the food does not come in contact with the foil. Foods that are high in acidity, such as tomatoes and lemons, should never be cooked in aluminum cookware. Stainless steel cookware, utensils, and grilling baskets are always a better option overall.


As far as deodorant is concerned, studies show an increase in aluminum salt deposits in the breast tissue of women with breast cancer. Although the verdict is still out on whether deodorant/anti-perspirant is a direct cause, it's best to air on the side of caution, especially since there are lymph nodes in the armpit that are necessary for good health and should not be constantly contaminated with toxins. There are many natural deodorants that do not contain aluminum. My personal preference is Schmidt's. It smells great and works better than most natural deodorants. You may have to experiment a little to see what works for you.


By making just these few small changes, you can ensure a healthier summer season for yourself and your loved ones. Every step taken towards chemical free living is a step in the right direction! Have any other tips for toxin free summer living? Please share in the comments below!


Enjoy the sunshine Friends!



 







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