Take Care of Your Body’s Largest Organ

We sometimes forget that skin is the body’s largest organ, and as such, it requires special care. Just as we exercise and eat right to improve heart health and our entire digestive system, we need to tend to the skin—it’s the protective layer that covers all the other precious organs and should not be taken for granted.

July is UV Safety Awareness Month and sun protection is a key factor in maintaining skin health. Both men and women are aware of wrinkling and other skin conditions that are part of aging; however, the most dangerous skin afflictions are various forms of cancer. In fact, more skin cancers are diagnosed in the United States each year than all other cancers combined.1

Most skin cancers are caused by too much sun exposure, specifically, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. As the Earth’s ozone layer gradually becomes thinner—known as ozone depletion—the amount of UV radiation that reaches us increases, leading to a higher risk for skin cancer, eye cataracts, and genetic and immune system damage. 2 Ozone depletion is caused by the release of chemical compounds that contain gaseous chlorine or bromine from industry and other human activities, and to counteract these effects, the Montreal Protocol was signed into effect in 1987. To date, global cooperation has successfully helped to gradually eliminate the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances. 3

Other sources of UV radiation are man-made, for example, tanning beds and sun lamps. As the public becomes more educated about the dangers of UV ray exposure, spray tans have become more popular. Whether the chemicals in spray tans have long-term effects on the skin are being studied.

Sunburn and tanning are the short-term results of too much exposure to UV rays, and are signs of skin damage. Long-term exposure can cause early skin aging, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, dark patches, and pre-cancerous skin changes (such as dry, scaly, rough patches). Frequent sunburns in childhood may increase the risk for some types of skin cancer many years or even decades later. 4

Staying out of the sun entirely is unrealistic and deprives the body of its ability to manufacture vitamin D. Fortunately, there are a few easy precautions to take when enjoying the sun and protecting our skin at the same time:

  • Wear a hat. Not only will it help shield your skin and scalp from UV rays but it will also protect your hair from drying out.
  • Wear shade-protective or SPF rated clothing to help protect your skin from UV rays. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts and pants. (There are even thin sleeves that are popular with golfers to slip over arms to protect against sun exposure.)
  • Wear sunglasses for eye protection.
  • Stay in the shade when the sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that the sun can still damage your skin on cloudy days or in the winter.
  • Choose the right sunscreen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and should protect against both UVA and UVB rays.5
  • Use the right amount of sunscreen. According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, most people apply only 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. When out in the sun, it’s important to apply at least one ounce (a palmful) of sunscreen every two hours. Apply it more often if sweating or swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof. 6
  • When planning outdoor activities, information about how much sun protection is needed is available at the Environmental Protection Agency’s UV index, which measures the daily intensity of UV rays from the sun on a scale of 1–11. A low UV index requires minimal protection, whereas a high UV index requires maximum protection.7

Our True Elements® collection of organic skin care and hair care products is the perfect solution for long-term safe and healthy skin care.

1 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection.html

2 https://www.britannica.com/science/ozone-depletion

3 https://www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection/international-actions-montreal-protocol-substances-deplete-ozone-layer

4 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/what-is-uv-radiation.html

5, 6 https://www.va.gov/QUALITYOFCARE/education/UV_Safety_Awareness_Month.asp

7 https://voice.ons.org/stories/raise-awareness-in-july-for-ultraviolet-safety-and-skin-cancer-risk

 

Summer Hair Care: Conditioner is Crucial

Virtually everyone knows that ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun can burn and damage skin. But did you know that UV rays can practically “fry hair?” According to dermatologist Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH, UV rays actually “cook the hair shaft.”1 She explains that damage is most obvious when color-treated “hair becomes faded, bleached and brassy.” Hair that is not color-treated also suffers from “sun-induced stress. UV rays dry out hair and rough up the normally smooth cuticle, or outer layer, of the hair shaft.”

Fortunately there are certain simple precautions to take for summer hair care:

  1. Keep hair trimmed. Snip off any split ends. Since hair grows faster in the summer months, pay attention to straggly ends.
  2. Wear hats. This will not only protect your hair but will also shield your scalp from sunburn. Regardless of skin type, it is important to prevent sunburn.
  3. Use a moisturizing shampoo to help keep hair from drying out. Follow with a moisturizing conditioner. Using conditioner is crucial, even with short hair, because it helps to seal in moisture. Conditioner helps “maintain the natural nourishment of your hair even after doing treatments such as straightening, coloring, perming and other hair enhancers.2
  4. Try air drying instead of blow drying hair. The heat from dryers tends to take the natural moisture out of hair.
  5. Use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush. Wide-tooth combs are gentler for detangling hair while brushes may pull and tear snags.

Although both men and women shampoo their hair regularly, not everyone uses hair conditioner, even though it’s recommended. According to men’s image consultant and stylist Aaron Marino, “Certain people don’t need to condition quite as often, such as those with oily hair and if you buzz your hair under an inch in length (condition once every two weeks). Guys with regular hair should condition once or twice per week. A quality conditioner, free of paraffin, keeps your hair looking good and healthy longer.”3

Trichologist (scientist trained to deal with hair and scalp issues) David Kingsley, PhD, also recommends using conditioner regularly. He says, “You can have greasy roots but fried ends, so even if you’re afraid conditioner will make your hair greasier, apply it to your ends to prevent sun-related dryness and damage.4

Many hair care brands use harsh and harmful ingredients, such as sulfates, parabens and PEGs that are irritating and damaging to the scalp and hair. In contrast, True Elements® contains quality, natural ingredients.

In fact, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (aloe vera) is second only to water in the True Elements® Conditioner formula. Aloe vera provides lectin and amino acids that can be absorbed into the cortex of hair to add structural integrity to the hair. Aloe vera is known to benefit the hair by improving detangling, moisture-retention, scalp restoration of pH levels while decreasing frizz and inflammatory action. It enhances cellular regeneration for hair growth.5

If you’ve never used conditioner before, now is the time to get started and help improve your hair quality. Currently we have a special offer for our Consultants and customers on True Elements® Hair Care. Buy or sell two Shampoo and receive a Conditioner FREE! Your free Conditioner will be added to your order after checkout. This offer applies to retail or wholesale orders, excluding Autoship, through the end of 2017. This offer cannot be combined with other promotions.

1 Archives of Webmd.com

2 http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/12627/1/Why-Is-Conditioning-Your-Hair-Essential

3 www.iamalpham.com

4 www.prevention.com/beauty/hair/

5 www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/ingredients/the-science-of-aloe-vera-gel