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Get Ready for the Summer Sun: Eat Some Collagen!


What do gelatin and bone broth have to do with your fun in the sun? To understand the connection, it's important to consider the layers of the skin and the interaction of these with the UV rays of the sun.

Your skin is composed of the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin; the dermis, directly beneath; and the hypodermis, located beneath the outer and middle layers.

When UV light collides with the epidermis, most of the UV (95 percent or more) is blocked. The remaining 5 percent (or less) is absorbed by the collagen which is located in the second layer, the dermis.

What exactly is collagen? Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body. Derived from the Greek word kólla, or glue, collagen keeps our bodies from falling apart—literally. Collagen makes up 15 percent of our total dry weight.

The problem is that collagen production begins to decline in our mid-20s, and by the time we hit 40, our collagen levels have fallen by up to 30 percent.

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Summer Sun Protection

Andrea FabrySummertime brings increased exposure to the sun. What precautions should we take? Can we avoid the use of chemical-laden creams and lotions? Are there any potential health benefits in sun exposure, or should we do our best to avoid it?

Humans get most of their vitamin D directly from sunlight. For those who live in darker parts of the world such as Norway and Alaska, it's necessary to get vitamin D indirectly by consuming oils from fish and other animals that have been exposed to sunlight. For this reason, we need not avoid the sun—we simply must be wise about it.

Maintaining a healthy dietary balance of omega-6 and omega-3 oils is one of the first natural lines of defense against sunburn. Avoiding sugar and pro-inflammatory industrialized oils can also help. The less inflammation, the stronger the skin's natural protective abilities.

Let's take a look at other safe, natural ways to care for your skin this summer. Armed with a little knowledge and a bit of creativity, you'll be ready to enjoy plenty of fun in the sun!

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Summer Bug Protection

MosquitoSummer is breeding time for bugs, which brings increased exposure to mosquitoes, ticks, and various stinging insects. How do we avoid the use of harsh chemicals and still protect our skin and our health?

With proper precaution and preparation, there's no reason you can't enjoy the great outdoors this summer!

Practical Tips

Before we look at applying and spraying, let's consider a few helpful tips for dealing with bugs:

  1. Do not wear fragrances. Bugs are already drawn to hormones, pheromones, and chemicals released in our sweat. No need to add any extra scents to attract them!
  2. Eat garlic and drink 1-2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, as insects are repelled by these.
  3. Wear plenty of clothing. Keep well covered. Pull socks over pant cuffs. Avoid bright clothing.
  4. Shower quickly after exposure to bugs, especially ticks.
  5. When camping, throw sage, rosemary, and/or lemon balm leaves on the fire to reduce bugs.

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"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

This site is dedicated to a true friend and mother — Barbara Dell Kessel (1929-2009)