Sun Care Center

Making the leap to eco-friendly skin care

I'll admit it. I used to be a fan of aerosol hair products, and my skin care routine was filled with products with ingredients I couldn't pronounce, let alone learn their potential effects on my body. But once I became a mom, I started to become a lot more cognizant of whether I was using clean or eco-friendly beauty products.

The reasons were twofold. First, I became extremely aware of the products and chemicals that were coming into contact with my skin and by extension, my son's, especially while I was breastfeeding. And two, I started to consider the effect my self-care habits might have on the Earth's environment – an Earth he'd one day inherit.

After all, putting a recycling bin out by the curb doesn't exactly make you eco-friendly. Here's how I switched up my beauty routine with the environment in mind.

Update your sunscreen

We live in Florida, so sunscreen is a daily part of our routine. But did you know that when you wear sunscreen in the ocean, chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate get into the water and can damage coral reefs?

Enter reef-friendly sunscreen. Marked by the absence of oxybenzone and octinoxate, these sunscreens are a greener sun protection option. And they're starting to become more popular. In fact, Hawaii has already banned the sale of sunscreen containing these two chemicals. And when you consider that half of the Great Barrier Reef has died since 2016, this is one small lifestyle change that could make a big environmental impact.

Mineral sunscreens are also another great alternative. Regular sunscreens create a chemical blocker – in other words, a combination of chemicals like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate to create a chemical barrier between your skin and the sun's damaging UV rays. Some studies have shown that these chemicals can disrupt hormones, which can have a whole host of negative effects on your body.

Mineral sunscreen, however, uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, (and sometimes both), to form a physical barrier between your skin and the sun's rays. Usually, the ingredients in a mineral sunscreen are cleaner, but be sure to read the ingredients carefully, since they can still contain some harmful chemicals.

Clean up your beauty routine

You've probably heard of clean beauty product brands like Beautycounter, or at least scrolled past a sales pitch or two on your Facebook feed. While I don't sell these products, I am a huge fan of the clean beauty movement.

One study found that on average, women use 12 different products with 168 ingredients daily. It also found that one in every 13 women is exposed to likely human carcinogens daily through their personal care products.

I started using cleaner beauty products about six months ago when I was breastfeeding since a lot of the ingredients in regular anti-aging products are not recommended for this demographic. Today, my skin looks great. Plus, I also like the fact that I'm not slathering hundreds of chemicals on my face or exposing myself to carcinogens every day.

Use less plastic

Another green skin care habit to pick up? Don't wear makeup every day. My pre-baby self would have never done this. After all, I was working in an office five days a week and felt the need to look put-together at all times. But since becoming a work-from-home-mom, I don't feel the need to put on a full face of makeup every day. Plus, it doesn't last long in 90-degree Florida heat.

The benefits are cyclical. When I forgo makeup, my skin improves. Then I feel like I can go makeup-free more often. This decreases my monthly spend on beauty products. And since I'm using less product, I'm also contributing less to the plastic that makes its way into our landfills. Fun fact: 40% of plastic waste is made up of packaging, which is used only once then discarded.

You may not be ready to take the full clean beauty leap just yet. But try going greener in just one aspect of your self-care routine, whether it's using reef-friendly sunscreen or using a cleaner product. The Earth – and your face – will thank you.

Living Well

How to fight dry skin this winter

One type of skin care regimen may work in the spring and summer months, but dry skin can be a nuisance in the winter. Fight dry skin with an FSA!

One type of skin care regimen may work in the spring and summer months, but dry skin can be a nuisance in the winter. Without proper winter skin care, dry skin can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.Over time, it can begin to flake, crack and even bleed in some places. A new season calls for a new skin care regimen and is here to help!

Here are the most important steps to take to fight dry skin this winter:

Revamp your shower routine

Showering is a daily necessity, but you can take the proper steps to ensure that it does not harm your skin over time. Avoid extremely hot water that could harm your skin, use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser that won't irritate your skin and carefully blot rather than rubbing your skin with a towel to dry off. Most importantly, after each shower when your pores are open, use a moisturizer. This can trap excess moisture and reduce the likelihood of skin drying out.

Shop for this Holiday bundle from MDSolarSciences for optimum skin protection!

Embrace lip balm

No one likes having chapped lips, and they can be a continual nuisance throughout the winter months if you don't use lip balm religiously. This can help shield the skin on your lips during cold, dry days, and support their underlying health. Look for lip balms that contain Vitamin E and aloe vera to soothe and even the appearance of skin tone. And just because it's winter, you shouldn't forget sun protection!

Look for a sun protective lip balm- as long as it's SPF 15 or above, it is eligible for FSA reimbursement.

Use unscented skin products

When shopping for moisturizers and other skin care products, it's important to remember that some ingredients are not applicable to everyone's skin types. For instance, some ingredients like alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin. Read product labels carefully to avoid these additives, and instead opt for unscented moisturizers that utilize natural ingredients.

Check out the La Roche Posay Mineral Tinted Suncreen for year-round sun protection of your face.

Check out Vichy Ultra Light Sunscreen for year-round sun care.

Use a humidifier

In most modern homes, humidifiers are attached to home heating systems. A home humidifier is a great option to raise the relative humidity in the spaces you use. Humidifiers can help alleviate your dry skin issues!

For every health issue that winter throws at you this season, rely on to keep you and your loved ones healthy!

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