There are a lot of things to look out for in the nicer weather–biting critters like mosquitoes and damaging sun rays.

While you seek to protect yourself, arm yourself also with some knowledge–there are ingredients in bug spray and sunscreen that are endocrine disrupters and carcinogens and also affect nature when they washes off of you in the ocean or lake.

To help you become a label reader, read the Material Safety Data Sheet on any and all ingredients in your products. Then, seek products that offer safer alternatives. For sunscreen, instead of diethanolamine (DEA) and benzophenone try zinc and titanium dioxide. Products like Badger out of Gilsum, New Hampshire work well and you don’t have to worry about your health while you are are protecting your skin. For more information, see my Healthy Beauty Guide on GrowandMake.com with information about Badger and my article on Safer Sunscreen Alternatives.

For keeping bugs away, try some of the natural products and see if they work for you. Products made with cayenne pepper or citronella work for me. Buzz Away Extreme brand repellant lasts for hours! It contains a patented formula with essential oils and sodium bicarbonate and shields for at least 4 hours from biting insects, and 2 hours from ticks. Be practical and wear socks, shoes, and light pants and avoid perfume and hair spray when in the deep woods, and the bugs won’t be as attracted.

Happy Summer!

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