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Sunscreen, SPF and Summer Skin Health

Picking out the best sunscreen for real protection from the sun and to prevent sun damage can be confusing. Trying to find one that is not akin to slathering a toxic waste dump all over your body then baking it in on a hot summer day is CraZy-making.

Its a marketing gold mine for manufacturers and the choices are overwhelming once you’re at the drug store. The one and only thing you can think of is picking something out based upon some SPF number and getting down to the beach before one million other people are there to claim a spot (and while the ice for the margaritas is still frozen or below from my trip to Cuba drinking Coco Locos!)

Today, we’re cutting through the goop to make this easier for you. First, there are some important basics to wade through though so bear with me.

Mineral Sunscreens

More popular than ever and highly effective these guys block both UVA and UVB (which is what you’re going for here. In and of themselves, in their purest form they are excellent and provide quick protection.

So, whats the catch? Well, the marketing geniuses have caught on and now add minerals to their already toxic blends. Duping lots of people, myself included, into thinking they were buying something both safe and effective but all it does is add something good to something already bad.

Read the fine print.

So whats the problem with chemical sunscreens?

Unfortunately, lots. They leach into the skin settle into fat deposits, lymph system and breast milk. They have been linked to a whole host of bad things like hormonal imbalances and cancers. Even worse, they get hyper activated by the sun- uh, ok.

To keep this simple avoid products with:


So what’s a sun lover to do? Keep reading.

Organic trivia:

Lets keep this simple. Only go for “100% Organic” or “Organic”. Both classifications allow for the USDA Organic Seal so look for that.

Beware of “Made with organic ingredients”. Again, more marketing BS.

So why do we so often apply sunscreen but still get burned?

3 reasons:

1. Its not “broad spectrum”
2. Sorry, but plain old user error
3. Wrong SPF for your skin type (we will crack this code in a second)

Broad Spectrum

If you plan for more than just incidental sun exposure, you need a product that is labeled “broad spectrum”. This will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends nothing less than 30.

User Error

Yep. Its on you. Apply at least a palm full to all exposed skin every 2 hours and reapply after swimming or excessive sweating. You can really lose a lot by sweating by the pool in the sun even if you don’t get into the water!

Cracking the SPF and skin type code:

I love this…..

· Fair skin — can stay in the sun 10 minutes before burning
   · Olive skin — can stay in the sun 15 minutes before burning
  · Dark skin — can stay in the sun 20 minutes before burning

Multiply the SPF by the number of minutes you can stay in the sun before burning.

For example: (SPF) 20 x 10 (Fair skin) = 200 minutes (amount of time you can stay in the sun before burning if you have Fair skin and use an SPF of 20).

Botta boom botta bing. Move on with your life…..

So, lets get to the good stuff. Since not everyone has the same needs (ie are you going to go out and do 15 miles of trail running or are you just in the sun shopping away at an outdoor mall) and different areas of the body require different types of protection lets break it down differently.


Badger Damascus Rose SPF 25

A weightless formula that smooths easily onto skin, Badger sunscreen for face leaves behind no whiteness or greasy feel. A lightly hydrating moisturizer that gives a matte finish and carries a mild, floral scent. This one makes a great daily go-to.

$19.99, EWG Sunscreen Guide 2016

Protection: SP 25, Broad Spectrum

Features & Certifications: 100% NPA Certified Natural, Certified NSF Non-GMO, Non-Nano, Cruelty-free,

Made with 95% certified organic ingredients

Look & Feel: light on skin, absorbs easily, non-greasy, non-whitening


Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30

Repair, moisturizer, protect, and glow in one step. Think of this as your anti-aging sunscreen product. Aloe-based and includes lightly hydrating natural oils to be mild on skin. It brightens and firms skin, reduces the appearance of dark spots, helps to control acne, and adds a look of luminescence. Goes on like a lightweight facial moisturizer and sinks into skin with a nice, smooth, scentless finish.

Protection: SPF 30

Features & Certifications: Wild crafted, Non-GMO, No Animal Testing, Made with organic ingredients

Look & Feel: not tacky or greasy, smooth finish, non-whitening



DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+

Includes some of the same anti-aging ingredients as the facial sunscreen, which means it works as a body lotion too. Softens, moisturizes and protects all at once. Plus, it is super easy to apply and smooths skin as you wear it.  Light and non-greasy.

$19.18, EWG Sunscreen Guide 2016

Protection: SPF 30, Broad Spectrum

Certifications: Cruelty-free, Gluten-free, Nano-free, Made with organic ingredients



Suntegrity Skincare Natural Mineral Sunscreen For Body SPF 30

Provides optimal sun protection, plus a healthy dose of antioxidants. $24, EWG Sunscreen Guide 2016

Protection: SPF 30, Broad Spectrum

Certifications: Vegan, Gluten-free, Nano-free, GMO-free, Made with organic ingredients

Look & Feel: fresh citrus scent, not greasy or sticky, white cast fades when rubbed into skin


Babies and Children

All Good Sunscreen Butter SPF 50+

A tin of super rich SPF that works well on little bodies. The ultra-mild coconut oil formula contains soothing calendula. Beeswax gives this product staying power for long lasting protection, making it a great choice for face when you’ll be spending a lot of time under the sun. Scentless and easy to apply.

$9.99, EWG Sunscreen Guide 2016

Protection: SPF 50+, Water Resistant (80 minutes), Broad Spectrum, Coral Reef Safe

Features & Certifications: Non-Nano, Gluten-free, Made with 95% certified organic ingredients
Look & Feel: remains slightly greasy on skin, very slight white tint

Guys- Its Time To Get Some Game At The Office

Seriously, gents.  Can we just, for once, skip the boring, safe and banal selection out there of office accessories?  You know, the standard issue grey or black laptop case you found at Best Buy or on Amazon?

If you want to make a truly memorable impression at your next meeting and make your presentation as unforgettable as your sense of style it doesn’t start and end with your tie.Bring it all together for a home run with these one-of-a-kind recycled suit laptop cases 

I first discovered these when I saw one of my patients with one– sidetrack: I treat the whole family and they are probably the most adorable, sweetest and not to mention fashion-forward family I know… Even their 5 year olds look like they just stepped off a runway–of these bags.  When I got my new Mac for Christmas last year it was time to up my game.  

The COOLEST part about this is that you get to work one-one-one with the lady who makes these.  You tell her the color scheme that you are going for.  In my case I was into black, grey, charcoal with a vintage suit label on it.  Each item is hand         made from recycled suit jackets.  I  freakin’ love this stuff!

I am a firm believer that our outward appearance should match how we feel about ourselves on the inside.  I know that when I feel good about how I look, my whole demeanor and confidence level will change.  Looking my best is important to me- its not about the label.  For me, its about an extension of my inside and what I want to present to the world.


I like fun, novel things and this bag is on point! Ladies, they also have purses, backpacks and kids clothes too.

Gut Check

Probiotics, probiotics, probiotics…….  that word is freakin’ everywhere anymore it seems like.  What to take? What to eat? What to avoid for optimal gut health? Whats it all even mean??


Just take a pill.   Now, breathe….  

Maintaining optimal gut health really is a “thing”.  The gut is directly linked to the brain (a story for another time) and, for millennia, this Chinese knew that health begins in the gut.

The reality is, that our modern lives wreak havoc on the natural bacteria that reside in our intestines.  These little guys are responsible not only for healthy digestion but all kinds of things ranging from neurotransmitter regulation to a healthy immune system.


As usual, I believe in making things EASY with the best products available.  In order to not add gut health ton one more thing on my list to think about, I take 2 pills daily of Jarro-Dophilus.  There are other brands, but this consistently gets high marks.  Its more on the expensive side, but with supplements you truly get what you pay for.

The TWO MOST IMPORTANT THINGS when shopping for a probiotic are:

  1. Buy it out of a refrigerated case at your favorite store. If not, make sure that it says “shelf stable” on the bottle otherwise those cute little bacteria die in the bottle.
  2. Absolutely essential that they are “enteric coated” so that they survive your gnarly stomach acids and make it into your intestine.

If you don’t follow those 2 simple rules, the reality is that (real talk) you are just going to have expensive poop without the medicinal benefit.



Bacteria are our friends!

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