Summer is here, and sunny days are in abundance. It's the time of year where we spend a lot of time outside. Sun can do damage and mosquitoes are a whole other problem. Bottom line, be wise about what you are using on your skin.

Sunscreens and bug sprays can be filled with some "not so good for your skin" chemicals; some are even toxic. You need to do your homework before purchasing and using various products. Here are a few helpful tips and things to think about:


  • Pick a good sunscreen and know what's in them.
  • Choose a sunscreen with zinc and titanium.
  • Per the Environmental Working Group (EWG), avoid oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is thought to alter hormonal systems of the body. 
  • EWG also recommends you avoid "spray on" or "powdery" sunscreens. Potentially harmful ingredients can be inhaled.
  • Vitamin A is found in roughly 30% of all sunscreens. Some research shows this additive can increase the risk of certain skin cancers. 

Bug repellent:

  • DEET in mosquito repellent is controversial; some deem it unsafe.
  • Safer alternatives such as lemon oil, eucalyptus oil, citronella and cedar oil are effective in keep mosquitoes away.
  • Don't let water "stand" in your yard. Dump out buckets, tires, and planter boxes that have standing water. 
  • Use non-toxic mosquito dunks for rain barrels and birdbaths to keep mosquitoes from breeding.

Modern thinking goes, the fewer chemicals you use, the safer your skin, your health and you family will be. Take the time to research your products this summer.