Take a look at our natural summer skincare alternatives 

Sunday 06 July, 2014 

It was one of those “what on earth?” facts that made your head spin…

Back in 2007, researchers revealed that women who use make-up every day absorb an estimated 5lb of chemicals into their bodies every year.

Richard Bence, a biochemist working on the research said: "We really need to start questioning the products we are putting on our skin and not just assume that the chemicals in them are safe.

Men who didn’t wear makeup weren’t exactly off the hook either….

If you’re using any kind of suntan lotion, then you’re slathering your skin in chemical-packed creams… never mind insect repellents, after-sun care, deodorantand lotions you might take for dry skin problems, rashes and swollen joints.

In fact, in a moment I’ll show you the safest, most natural alternatives you can try this summer –all collected here.

Anyway, there’s was a big hoo-ha about this “5lb of chemicals” claim at the time, particularly because it was in The Daily Mail. I remember it, because I’d only just started writing The Good Life Letter and it was precisely these sorts of terrifying media scares that I wanted to protect ordinary people from getting confused by.

A bunch of scientists fired back with: “Imagine putting a piece of pizza on your skin. How much of that do you think will be absorbed?“

I find this funny because, although it was a scientist’s joke, it’s actually true that a pizza can help you avoid sunburn. This was shown in 2008 when researchers at the University of Manchester discovered that test subjects who ate tomato paste were 33% more protected against the sun’s harmful rays.

It was all down to lycopene, the antioxidant that makes tomatoes red. It neutralises the harmful molecules in your skin when you get too much sun.

But I digress…

The question is…

Are you really absorbing all this nasty stuff through your skin?

You can read though all kinds of arguments and counter arguments. But my common sense view of the matter is this…

Your skin is a sensitive, precious organ, exposed to a world with increasing levels of toxins in the water, air, cleaning products and detergents. So there’s no point in putting chemicals on it that…

A) Don’t need to be there (why take risks if you don’t need to?)

B) Are artificially made (we try to eat naturally, so why not take the same attitude with skin?)

C) Don’t let the skin do what it does natural, such as sweat out toxins
Just to give you an example…

There’s a substance in 56% of sunscreens known as benzophenones – these are a group of chemicals which include oxybenzone, dioxybenzone and butylmethoxydibenzoylmethane. They’re believed to cause hormone disruptions and cell damage.

But there are companies who make suntan lotions that don’t have these chemicals. So why take the risk?

This is why I recommend that when you choose a moisturiser, after-sun, suntan lotion, deodorant, insect repellent or ANYTHING that goes on your skin, choose something that’s natural and high quality. Make sure you KNOW what the ingredients are and where they come from.

To help, here’s a Summer Survival collection that does precisely that – gathers all the items you might need for a hot sweaty summer, but without the damaging ingredients.  Click here for more.

Finding an all-natural sunscreen is especially important for kids…

The hidden irritants in kiddie sunscreens

There are a lot of products branded for children, which make out that they’re somehow gentler, safer and more natural.

This isn’t always true by any means.

These products contain artificial additives and substances designed to clog up the pores and cause prickly heat or rashes, which happen when the skin can’t breathe properly. The effect is like wrapping the skin in cling-film – sweat simply can’t escape like it’s supposed to!

My recommendation if you’re going to be out in the sun with your children or grandchildren is that you pick up this Suncream&Aftersun package from Green People. It’s all-natural, organic, allows the skin to breathe and contains no nasty hidden chemicals.

This is well worth a look

That’s it from me. I hope that by writing today’s letter about sunburn that I’ve not cursed us all to a summer of cloud and rain.

That would be typical!

Until next time

Ray Collins



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