What to avoid in sunscreens:
- Spray on and powdered sunscreen - pose inhalation risks.
- SPF above 50 - doesn't protect you from UVA rays that suppress the immune system and may cause cancer.
- Oxybenzone - absorbs through the skin and acts as an estrogen in the body, potentially contributing to health issues.
- Retinyl palmitate - may speed development of skin cancer in sun-exposed skin.
- Tanning oil - increases risk of developing skin cancer.
- Sunscreen and bug repellent combination products - results in increased absorption of toxins in the repellent.
It is possible to be protected from the suns rays without being exposed to toxins in sunscreens.
- A good example: True Natural Sunscreen, 100% mineral-based (zinc oxide), with vegan and water resistance options, gluten-free, nanoparticle-free, GMO-free, alcohol-free, and fast absorbing (non-greasy).
- Find more options in the Environmental Working Group Online Sunscreen Guide.
What to avoid:
- Sugar (cane sugar, sucrose, dextrose, fructose) and/or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) - sugar challenges insulin function and can quickly lead to weight gain; corn syrup is concentrated fructose which also easily translates to weight gain, especially around your waist. The beverages we think of most often as containing sugar and/or HFCS are soda and flavored coffee drinks, but Gatorade, Vitamin Water, bottled teas, and coconut water (especially flavored versions) also contain high amounts of sugar.
- Energy drinks - while many of the ingredients are fine, including vitamins and herbs, just be careful to avoid energy drinks containing extra sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucralose (Splenda), and caffeine.
- Zero calorie - usually means that it contains artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, instead of sugar.
- Artificial flavors - not typically harmful, but can come along with artificial sweeteners and colors.
- Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 - associated with risk of cancer, allergies, and attention issues.
Ways to refresh, without consuming sugar and gaining weight:
- Water (hot or cold), filtered - add a splash of lemon juice or try Hint Water for water with a fruity taste, but without sugar.
- Tea (hot or cold) with ginger, lemon and/or stevia.
- 100% raw coconut water does not contain sweeteners or additives, and is not from concentrate.
- Kombucha - fermented tea, such as GT's is raw, organic and contains probiotics, with minimal sugar. Be careful if fermented foods aggravate your digestion (they do mine). (Note from Kathy: I make my own. If you want to know how, email me and I'll tell you)