Skin cancer on the rise because of sunscreen?

You might want to think twice before putting on traditional sunscreen this summer. Evidence has been mounting over the years that traditional sunscreen is actually bad for you and can do more harm than good.

The controversy started in 1991 when Professor Johan Moan of the Norwegian Cancer Institute found that melanoma in Norway had increased by 350 percent for men and by 440 percent for women between 1957 to 1984 despite the fact that there had been no change in the ozone layer during that time.  Since that landmark study was released, experts including Drs. Cedric and Frank Garland of the University of California have argued that sunscreen does not prevent skin cancer—but rather can actually cause it.

One of the biggest problems experts have found with chemical sunscreen is that it blocks skin from absorbing essential Vitamin D, a nutrient that the body desperately needs—get this—to help prevent cancer.  Also chemical sunscreens contain an array of artificial fragrances, chemical colors, fillers and stabilizers that are readily absorbed into the skin and can negatively impact the body.

For instance, most chemical sunscreens contain benzphenone, which has demonstrated an ability to increase the production of harmful free radicals and even negatively impact DNA cells. And don’t think that this nasty stuff just passes through your body. A study showed that after individuals applied sunscreen containing 4% benzophenone-3, it was found in their urine five days later.

So what can you do? If you are going out in the sun, opt for a natural sunscreen! Natural Sunscreens utilize high quality all-natural and organic ingredients to offer consumers an effective alternative to chemical sunscreens. Also, talk to your health care professional about the role Vitamin D and Vitamin D3 play in your overall health. This will help you determine whether or not you are getting enough of this powerful nutrient. Want to learn more ways to protect your skin? Check out our favorite natural acne treatments.

Summer Getaway: Plan a Paddling Adventure

Imagine propelling yourself downstream, maneuvering around rocks, and exploring undiscovered nooks and crannies in the waterway, while utilizing the strength in your back and upper body.  Paddling allows you to do all this, which is one reason it’s one of the fastest growing sport today.

Starting Out

Kent Ford, who has 20 years of teaching experience, finds that another reason paddling is so popular is that it’s conducive to beginners.  “My top tip for beginners would be to get two or three days of instruction,” he says.  You can find quality instruction by calling local paddling associations in your neighborhood.  Don’t think that your best friend can teach you—chances are they don’t know important safety techniques.

“In whitewater, there are a lot of hazards that many not be obvious unless pointed out, so you will want to have that instruction given to you methodically,” Kent stresses.  Also, make sure that you wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times.

Sport-Specific Training

Basic paddling moves rely on core and upper body strength. To learn to perform an Eskimo roll you have to use your pecs, triceps, biceps, shoulders and lats to push yourself upright in your kayak without exiting it.  When it comes to paddling strokes, you’ll also utilize your upper body, twist into your spine and use your back as your powerhouse.  By incorporating the following programs into your existing routine three days a week, you will develop the strength you need.

Build Upper Body Strength

With free weights do three sets of 10-15 reps of standing tricep extensions on each side, where you concentrate on making sure that your body is at a 45 degree angle, and that you are really squeezing your muscles at the extension point without hyper-extending.

Follow this by doing three sets of 10-16 reps alternating standing bicep curls with shoulder raises.  Before you begin, slightly engage your abs and straighten your back.  First, work slowly up into the curls, making sure that your elbows remain by your sides at the top of the exercise and that your really squeezing into your biceps. Then, do your shoulder raises and work into the shoulders by bringing your arms up straight in front of you, but don’t lock your elbows out or go above shoulder level during the lift.

After this, do three sets of 10-15 reps of bench presses for your pecs and pull-ups for your lats.  During both of these exercises concentrate on straight wrists and remember a short choppy motion won’t build paddling strength, so it’s better to reduce your weight instead of compromising your range of motion.

Get more from your core

These two poses will work your core so that you can maneuver in the whitewater with ease. First, get on the floor face down with your mouth touching it, your legs together and toes pointed.  Then bend your arms so that your hands are chest level, palms down.  Now, without pushing with your hands, or moving your hips or legs, slowly move your head up while looking towards the ceiling.  You should really feel your back and spine working, not your neck.  Concentrate on lifting up high, extending your spine, engaging your abs and breathing throughout the exercise.

Assume the same position but put your arms out like wings on a plane.  Now, this time bring your arms and legs off the floor and look up while pulling in your abs and lengthening your body.  Your belly should be the only thing still touching the floor.  Focus on lifting at high as you can while flexing your thighs to give you even more power in the lift and don’t hold your breath.  Feel your entire back, glutes and thighs during the exercise.  Perform each exercise twice, holding it for 30 seconds to a minute and one more time, digging deep into it and holding until failure.

You will notice that your added strength will aid your paddling experience.  Not only will you be able to paddle with more power you will also be able to balance and brace yourself better so that you can direct your craft where you want to go—and the possibilities are endless.

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Wonderful Mineral Makeup for Winter

The snow is amazing, but the cold winter climate can present challenges when it comes to picking the best makeup. Some of the challenges we’ve come across are finding a makeup that won’t looked caked on the skin or start separating and disappearing. Over the years, we’ve tried lots of brands and have long sought a makeup that will work with us and the environment. Mostly, we’ve felt like the makeup lines we’ve tried were working against the elements and making our skin dryer and more prone to wrinkles.

That’s why we are really excited that we  discovered Mineral Hygienics makeup. Not only is it a great mineral makeup that adheres to skin without clogging pores, it is also one of the purest and long lasting products we’ve tried. We’ve particularly like that it only has 4 ingredients (yes just 4!) and it looks really natural on the skin. Best of all, we like it because it still looks fresh even after a long day in the dry winter climate. Use it in conjunction with these natural acne treatments for a flawless look.

Recently, we had the opportunity to talk about the line on the KRON 4 TV morning show in San Francisco and all the peeps on the show also fell in love with the line and what it has to offer. In fact, there was a bit of a friendly battle for the samples that were left in the studio. Check out Mineral Hygienics for yourself and make sure to check out the true stories from people like us who love the line.

After Labor Day Sweet Tooth Fix

Now that the Labor Day weekend is over and everyone is back at work (at least physically) how about a delicious natural chocolate giveaway to help get into the swing of things? One lucky winner will get two large Newtree Chocolate bars of two of our favorite flavors: Tranquility and Eternity.

The Eternity Bar features the intense flavors of Newtree Blackcurrant dark chocolate and a natural grape seed extract rich in antioxidants. The Newtree Tranquility bar contains milk chocolate with crisped rice, a natural lime blossom extract and bitter orange, which is well known for its relaxing properties. To enter to win, just visit our Facebook Page and leave us a quick comment. It’s that easy!