Lifestyles by Leslie, May 2014.
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Is Your Sunscreen Toxic? 
In This Issue: Saturday's Workshop, Spring Detox "DIY" Program and images from the Retreat

Here's the skinny on sunscreens from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the nation's most effective environment health and advocacy agency.  EWG’s 7th annual analysis of sunscreens included safety and effectiveness ratings for more than 1,400 SPF-rated products! This analysis included sunscreens, lip balms, makeups and moisturizers. The ratings were based on an in-house compilation of standard data sources from industry, government and academic resources over the past eight years, including a thorough review of the technical literature. Need more data? Check out the Environment Working Group's methodology for assessing sunscreens.

 Should you toss your sunscreen in favor of a safer option? 

Melanoma rates are increasing and the consensus among scientists is that sunscreens alone cannot reverse this trend. The FDA’s rules allow most sunscreens to claim they offer “broad spectrum” skin protection and also that they can reduce skin cancer risk. However, EWG’s assessment of 750 sunscreens on the market in 2013 spotted significant problems. Learn nine surprising facts about sunscreens including, what's "wrong with high SPF's?"

What you need to know

There are almost two thousand products on the market, making it confusing to pick the most effective and the safest brands. EWG says these items should never make it into your suitcase, beach bag or backpack - see what not to bring on your next vacation

See EWG's Top Sun Safety Tips

These chemicals are toxic to your body:

  • Oxybenzone - this is a hormone disrupting chemical which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream. It is the most popular ingredient in chemical-based sunscreens and only blocks UVB ray (sun’s good rays providing vitamin D production), not UVA which are the most free radical damaging rays.  
  • Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) â€“ A 2009 study by U.S. government scientists released by the National Toxicology Program found when this is applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, it may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.
  • Fragrance â€“ Petroleum-based products that smell good are linked to organ toxicity and allergies.
  • High SPF â€“ The FDA does not regulate SPF higher than 50. Many of the higher SPFs do not provide additional protection and studies have suggested that users are exposed to just as many ultraviolet rays as those who use lower-SPF products.
  • Sprays or Powders â€“ Sprays and powders have additional chemicals added for performance purposes and these can be toxic to the lungs. The bottom line? If there’s a chance you’ll breathe it, don’t buy it.
  • Popular Conventional Brands - Aveeno, Banana Boat, Coppertone, generic store brands and many others are rated the worst in terms of safety in the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide. You can use this guide to find out how good or bad the brand you have or want to buy is rated.

How To Choose A Safe Sunscreen

  • Look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide-based mineral sunscreens, which do not penetrate the skin and provide UVA protection against the sun’s most damaging rays
  • Choose sunscreens rated 0-2 on the EWG's website 
  • Choose sunscreens that are unscented or use essential oils as fragrance
  • Pick lotion based sunscreens with water resistance
  • Pick broad spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays
In summary, in todays society we are lucky to have so many choices as consumers. We all have the choice to give our bodies a cleaner, gentler option for sun protection. Keep yourself and your family to be safe at all ages through a little education about healthier sunscreens. Over the years to come, your skin will thank you!
Yoga & Self Care
Detox Workshop

THIS Saturday!
Tune In, Clean Out & Shape Up!
at extendYoga
Saturday, May 17, 2014 2 to 4:30 pm EST
In this 2-part workshop we'll detoxify the body through yoga followed by a discussion on detoxification techniques using simply self-care strategies.
Last Chance! Spring Detox "DIY" Program
Learn to establish a new relationship with food through stress management and mindfulness techniques. The Spring Detox can help you to build lean muscle mass, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, beat the sugar blues, sleep better, sustain your energy.
Register directly through my Online Store
Here's how to recover from - or just plain avoid - the classic kitchen errors that often happen in our race to get dinner on the table. Learn about nine key tips that will save you from meal disasters directly from our favorite mentors at 
Many thanks to the lovely women who came out for the May Wellness Retreat. I'm so grateful for this experience!

A special thanks to all of the practitioners and teachers who made this retreat a success.

We had such a great time and I'm already looking forward to hosting a co-ed version for one day this Fall. Stay tuned for more information to come!

Be well, live well and be YOU!


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