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Protecting Your Skin From the Sun, Naturally!


We love the sun, yet it repays our summer worship with leathering, splotching, wrinkling, and for some, increased risk for skin cancer. The sun has worn away the Sphinx at Giza and even the Acropolis of Athens. It has cracked and crackled Mother Earth. Imagine what the sun can do to unprotected skin.

Yet, Mother Nature is benevolent and has provided a wide range of highly effective sun protectants. For women—as well as men and childrentaking advantage of the protection nature's sun shields offer is essential to good health this summer. What's more, each of the rejuvenators detailed in this report has been shown to help prevent leathering, wrinkling and splotching and even skin cancer in experimental and, sometimes, clinical studies.

While many sun care formulas contain beneficial herbal extracts and nutrients, they frequently utilize ingredients with questionable safety records. The formulas recommended below provide not only protective herbs and nutrients, but also have very clean bases, avoiding most, if not all, possibly toxic preservatives and other ingredients.

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT This powerful free radical scavenger is excellent for helping to maintain healthy collagen (threads and fiber that makeup human skin). It particularly strengthens the many tiny capillaries and vessels responsible for bringing blood to and nourishing the skin.

MILK THISTLE Skin cancer is linked to enhanced activity of an enzyme called tyrosine kinase, which can be caused by overexposure to the sun. Silymarin, a flavonoid antioxidant constituent of milk thistle, provides almost complete protection against several skin tumor promoters by helping to maintain the enzyme's normal activity.

ALOE VERA This ancient natural skin care herb protects the skin's immune cells against the damaging effects of the sun, according to research from the Department of Immunology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. Fresh aloe vera may be applied after any type of sun exposure. Its anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, emollient, and antimicrobial actions make it especially useful for preventing sunburn damage, notes Michael Murray, N.D. in Healing Power of Herbs.

Aubrey Organics Aloe Vera formulas use unrefined and minimally processed organically grown aloe vera without potential problem preservatives, as in other formulas. Unlike other aloe vera gels, Aubrey Organics' aloe formulas also avoid use of triethanolamine and synthetic glycols.

BLUE GREEN ALGAE Blue green algae has long been used as a food source by native peoples for thousands of years. More recently, it appears to provide excellent after-sun protection when applied topically, due to its high chlorophyll content (which makes it excellent for detoxification of the skin); trace minerals and antioxidants; and a protein content with an amino acid profile similar to that of humans.

AUBREY ORGANICS BLUE GREEN ALGAE MOISTURIZER SPF 15 contains organic aloe vera, Canadian willowherb, evening primrose oil, Rosa Mosqueta rose hip seed oil, blue green algae, milk thistle, and grape seed extract, as well as several herbal emollients. Use this formula as a daytime moisturizer and for its sun protection properties.

AUBREY ORGANICS BLUE GREEN ALGAE CLAY MASK can be used daily for drawing out impurities and maintaining silky smooth skin. Like many Aubrey Organics after-sun products, this formula contains many of the sunprotective herbs and nutrients recommended in this report.

COENZYME Q10 Here's a new skin protectant to be sure to use. Also known as ubiquinone and CoQ10, this enzymatic co-factor penetrates into the viable layers of the skin and markedly counteracts damaging free radical activity (oxidation) caused by the sun. Furthermore, a reduction in wrinkle depth following CoQ10 application was also shown. "These results indicate that CoQ10 has the efficacy to prevent many of the detrimental effects of photoaging," say researchers with the Paul Gerson Unna Research Center, Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg, Germany. There's more to the CoQ10 story. One research team says, "Wrinkles around the region of the eyes ('crow feet') could be reduced by long-term application of CoQ10."

AVALON COQ10 WRINKLE DEFENSE FORMULAS including their serum, crème and firming lotion-are very clean formulas that offer excellent sun-protection factors, including mineral ascorbates and emollients.

SEA BUCKTHORN This newly arrived skin rejuvenator holds more promise perhaps than any other commercially available natural topical agent today. Sea buckthorn is capable of rejuvenating the skin. The Guangdong Provincial Institute of Materia Medica, Guangzhou, China, developed several kinds of sea buckthorn cosmetics that have been clinically studied. The results showed that sea buckthorn beauty cream had a therapeutic efficacy on skin discoloration, freckles, prematurely aging skin, skin sclerosis (hardening), scaling or rough skin, facial acne, recurrent dermatitis or chemically damaged skin. The hospital was gratified to find that applications of cream containing sea buckthorn oil made the tested person's skin fair, clear and delicate.

AUBREY ORGANICS SEA BUCKTHORN Silky Smooth Moisturizer with Ester-C combines organic aloe vera, Canadian willowherb extract, Ester-C, sea buckthorn oil, and vitamins C and E, among its ingredients.

AUBREY ORGANICS SEA BUCKTHORN REJUVENATING SERUM with Ester-C combines healing sea buckthorn oil with Ester-C, vitamins C and E and organic jojoba oil as a moisturizer.

ROSA MOSQUETA ROSE HIP SEED OIL Many consumers have turned to rose hip seed oil for their most intractable skin problems. This special healing herb from a rare South American rose is especially rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin C. Although it was initially thought that Rosa Mosqueta's powerful skin rejuvenating properties were due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids (second only to flaxseed) and other essential fatty acids, it is now thought that the component responsible for its remarkable rejuvenation properties is retinoic acid. A derivative of retinol or vitamin A, many readers will recognize its synthetic counterpart, Tretinoin, a topical pharmaceutical drug used against premature wrinkling. As with Tretinoin which has been thoroughly researched for over 30 years, Rosa Mosqueta has impressive skin rejuvenation properties but without the complications.

ROSA MOSQUETA® Rose Hip Moisturizing Cream combines aloe vera, horsetail, coltsfoot, nettle, coneflower, St. John's wort oil, calendula, almond oil and vitamins A, C and E with an essential fatty acid base.

GREEN TEA Whether applied topically or consumed as a beverage or dietary supplement, green tea is a premiere skin protectant. It protects against direct damage to the cell and moderates inflammation, according to research from the Department of Dermatology, Columbia University, New York. Studies suggest that the catechins in green tea are some 20 times stronger in their antioxidant powers than even vitamin E. Men, women and children need to position this super shield on their side against the ravaging effects of the sun.

VITAMINS C AND E Every suncare formula should contain antioxidant vitamins such as C and E. When both of these nutrients are added to your sun formula's sunscreen, they enhance the sunscreen's protective shield.

As researchers from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Raleigh, note, "When vitamin C or a combination of vitamin C and E is formulated with a commercial UVA sunscreen (oxybenzone), an apparently greater than additive protection is noted against the phototoxic [sun] damage. These results confirm the utility of anti-oxidants as photoprotectants but suggest the importance of combining the compounds with known sunscreens to maximize photoprotection." What's more, both nutrients enhance protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.

For use while in the sun, consider Aubrey Organics Green Tea Sunblock for Children. This formula uses a particularly high quality green tea extract. Known as matcha, this is very different than typical green tea extracts because it is so finely powdered and made from the most potent leaves of young green tea. The matcha in this formula is combined with antioxidant vitamins C and E, organic aloe vera, and rose hip seed oil. The formula uses both PABA and titanium dioxide as sun shields.

ZIA ULTIMATE "C" SERUM provides green tea extract, jojoba oil, vitamin E, milk thistle, and many other antioxidants. This is one of the few formulas today, along with Aubrey Organics, that provides a very clean base, free from formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.

ZIA ULTIMATE MOISTURE ANTIOXIDANT COMPLEX with Vitamin C and Green Tea provides green tea extract, vitamin C and other mineral ascorbates, jojoba oil, grape seed extract, ginkgo biloba, and other nurturing herbal medicines in a very clean base.

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