Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Summer Skincare & Sunscreen

Podcast Episode #295: Summer Skincare & Sunscreen

Diane Sanfilippo Featured, Paleo and Primal, Podcast Episodes 6 Comments

Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Summer Skincare & Sunscreen

  1. News and updates from Diane& Liz [2:05]
  2. Follow-up comment from previous podcast [14:34]
  3. Shout out: Genevieve Howland from Mama Natural [17:17]
  4. Using sunscreen and headaches [19:24]
  5. Showering after sun exposure; washing away the vitamin D [23:27]
  6. Safer sun exposure and protection [29:38]
  7. Removing dark spots [38:14]
  8. Diane and Liz's top products for summer [42:21]

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Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Summer Skincare & Sunscreen Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Summer Skincare & Sunscreen Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Summer Skincare & Sunscreen

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 295.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a farm in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award winning podcast for 5 years and counting. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at http://blog.balancedbites.com.; or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram account for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to http://www.NutritionalTherapy.com. There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:05]

Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! It’s me, Liz. Here with Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, hey.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, hey. How are you?

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m good. You can see I’m in a new little setting. What we actually did; we have not moved. But we rearranged the dining room. So just not in our typical place.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t like it.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I’m also not next to the window, where there would be all kinds of dog noises and sirens outside and all kinds of stuff. You don’t like this?

Liz Wolfe: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because you can’t see my whole house anymore?

Liz Wolfe: I just see one picture coming out of the top of your head that’s hanging on the wall. I liked it when Scott and I could make funny faces behind your back. He would walk up behind you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sorry.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Sorry. Really.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sorry.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} Alright, so what are your updates?

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. So this week, I wanted to remind folks I’ve got the Diane Direct vlogs that are coming out. I never remember where we are. I think what you guys will see; actually, as of the airing of this show, I want to say all three parts. And who knows, maybe there will be more than three parts, of my keto vlogs are out. So if you’ve not seen those yet, check them out. Last weeks’ episode here on the show I was talking with Jimmy Moore, so we were obviously talking about keto a whole bunch. So if you want more information, make sure you check out those episodes over on YouTube. It’s just www.youtube.com/DianeSanfilippo.

What else? We’ve got the 21-Day Sugar Detox coaches program opening up; pretty much in a minute. So the initial airing of this episode is on May 11. So if you're listening to this when it’s pretty new, the coaches program is probably opening up in just a couple of days, or it is already open. It will be open from May 15th until the end of the month, and then that’s it. We’ll kick off that program starting in June.

So if the 21-Day Sugar Detox has been a program that you’ve really enjoyed doing. If you’ve at least completed it one time before, and you work as a health or nutrition coach, or you work as a personal trainer who also advises folks on nutrition. That’s all obviously going to have different jurisdiction all over the country, depending on what you can talk about with your clients and where. But if you are somebody who works with people, and you would like to have a program to be able to coach them through, and lots of business tools as well as a community. Really, it’s just kind of a coaching program in a box, in a sense. Where everything is really done for you. We tell you exactly what to talk about each session. If you want to follow that, you’re welcome to kind of march to the beat of your own drum within that. But we know that sometimes it’s easier, especially to start out, with some guided topics and that kind of information so you know kind of what to cover with people week to week. So that’s coming up. Make sure you check out my website. There’s a place to sign up for notifications, or you can go to www.21DaySugarDetox.com. I’m sure we’ll have a big flashing sign somewhere there or at the top of the site, and you’ll be able to check that out.

What else? Well. I guess {laughs} we’ll probably talk about it once we get back. But we’re recording actually a little ahead of time. Which, I’m air-high fiving. Go us for being ahead of schedule with the whole recording situation. But we will have been to the Beautycounter event in Dallas the next time probably we talk. So we’ll talk about that when we’re back. That will probably be super fun. Maybe we’ll do an episode while we’re there? I don’t know, if we’ve got time.

Liz Wolfe: We could try it. No, I’m not looking. I forgot you can see me right now. Just sitting over here picking goobers.

Diane Sanfilippo: Remember when we sat in a hallway at PaleoFx several years ago.

Liz Wolfe: That’s what I was just going to refer to! We can find a hallway to sit in.

Diane Sanfilippo: And then that one time, at band camp. No, that one time at the Poliquin Cert that we did an episode. This is for our legit long-term listeners, where we talked about the charcuterie facial.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And if you have not listened to that episode, find it in the archives. I’m not going to say anything more about that facial. But the charcuterie facial is one for the record books.

Liz Wolfe: Phenomenal. I mean, we love vitamin C for skin care, but we really love vitamin cured meats. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} So anyway. I think that’s pretty much it. So what’s up with you?

Liz Wolfe: Oh. Well speaking of skincare. Well first of all, I’m sitting here eating a cricket bar; an Exo bar. Have you tried those?

Diane Sanfilippo: I think; do they all have nuts in them?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, they might.

Diane Sanfilippo: I may have tried one at Expo West recently. I think they had at least one flavor that didn’t. I was ok with it. There are a lot of bars like that that are kind of sticky to me, and I’m a little bit of a texture snob.

Liz Wolfe: What would be appropriate texture for a bar? According to the Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: Something a little dryer and a little more crunch. But a lot of the ones I’ve tried; you know, a lot of people love them. But I’ve tried Rx bars recently, and I was like, “This is a glorified Power Bar, in terms of texture.” Like Power Bar; nobody really liked those, but people ate them because. I don’t know. They just wanted a bar. I have no idea why anybody would eat that. But anyway, I just don’t care for the texture of them. I feel that way about a lot of bars.

Liz Wolfe: They are very sticky. The Rx bars are quite sticky and chewy.

Diane Sanfilippo: it’s just not my jam.

Liz Wolfe: I actually loved those the first time I had them. But then I actually don’t like crunchy bars.

Diane Sanfilippo: So there you go. I don’t really like a lot of the meat bars, either. It’s just a texture thing. It’s not like the quality is bad or the ingredients are bad. We all have our thing. But you like it; ok cool. So what’s your skincare update?

Liz Wolfe: I mean, I like it better than going hungry. But I’d rather have…

Diane Sanfilippo: So is this a snack because you forgot your meal, Liz. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. Look. Let me tell you what it is like for me. {laughing} What are you doing?

Diane Sanfilippo: My thumbs are going to go down.

Liz Wolfe: Your thumbs are so fast. But let me tell you what a day in the life of me is when I’m recording a podcast. I’m getting up in the morning, packing food for the entire day for a toddler. Getting the toddler to a caretaker that I trust; and there are not many. And then finding a place to sit down and use the internet, which is my sister’s house. And I just literally am like; you know what? I’ll eat like 6 bars today. I’ll just eat the convenience foods. It’s terrible. It really is. But at least I’m getting a variety. I mean there are some meat bars; there are some cricket bars. Sometimes I take a bunch of clean deli turkey. I mean, we’re seat of our pants over here. Two years in, I still don’t have my you-know-what together. But it’s ok. It’s cool, because I’m here Diane. I’m here with you. Why are you looking at me like that? Stop.

Are you muted? I hate you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally.

Liz Wolfe: Alright. So I’ll give my exciting news. This is me just fitting in work where I can. So, very exciting. The Primal Life Organics vitamin C serum that I collaborated with Trina from Primal Life Organics on; it’s called C-ex was featured in Dr. Oz’s magazine, The Good Life, which is really, really exciting. It’s going to get a ton of exposure that way, and I’m really thrilled. I know vitamin C is kind of the ingredient of the day, which is great. But this is really the only whole foods based vitamin C rich serum that I know of that’s on the market. And the fact that it’s getting a little bit of more mainstream exposure is really exciting for us. It means that people are really loving it, and it’s having an effect, and it’s working. So if you are curious about the C-ex serum, it’s at www.PrimalLifeOrganics.com. C-ex. And there’s a ton of information there about the oils that we chose to put in there. It’s something that I use every day. I love it. So that’s really cool.

Another thing I wanted to shout out and let people know that I was doing is I’ve signed up for membership to Master Class with Masterjohn; Chris Masterjohn is one of my favorite people to follow. He’s somebody that’s really good at translating information from the scientific nerd world and bringing it to a level that I can grasp. He’s put together some courses, for example, on energy metabolism that are really, really cool. I would think that these would probably be mostly targeted towards practitioners. So folks who are looking to learn a little bit more, to take their practices a little bit more in depth. But if you’re also just a total lay person and wanting to nerd out on ATP and the electron transport chain, this would be great for you. So Master Class with Masterjohn; highly recommend it. Excited to see all the work that he’s putting out for folks.

And I also had another note here. RA? And I have no idea what that was for. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I didn’t write it so I have no idea what that means.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, you know what I was going to tell folks? I got permission from my operation/project manager to tell everyone her identity. To reveal her identity.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: She really is doing cool things on Instagram. It’s Diane; it’s another Diane. Which is crazy. My life is filled with Diane and Diana’s. And she’s DITEA on Instagram. She’s an NTC student, and she’s super awesome.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. For the record. For people who are like, “How do I make a career out of this?” Just be out there, and doing your thing. Because we just totally stumbled across each other and ended up connecting. And that ended up becoming just the right moment in time to be like, “Hey, do you want to do some work over here.” A lot of people email all the time about, do I have openings on the team. And I’ll tell you what; at least 3 or 4 out of the 8 women on my team. They’re not all full time people, just everyone calm down. The team is not that big. But even my right-hand person, Nikki, my assistant and marketing manager. She emailed me a couple of years ago. “Hey! Can I help you with anything?” I was like, actually, yeah. So you just never know when the stars will align.

Liz Wolfe: This is very true. And it helps to have an excellent head-hunter named Diane Sanfilippo, as well.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Who is great at identifying talent. But I’m very grateful for all the Diane’s in my life. Oh, and you know what, I do remember what RA was for. Since I’m on a little hiring binge here. I am possibly thinking about looking into bringing on a very part-time short-term research assistant. So somebody who is really well-versed in the scientific literature world who knows how to use PubMed and Google Scholar who knows the reputable journals and how to hunt down research. It would be a pretty specific position. I’m just toying around with this idea. And it is for somebody who has a scientific background. But maybe that’s a stay at home mom. Or someone who just wants a couple of hours; not that many hours of work per week on the side. I would love to work with a mom with a scientific background who is interested in something like this. So that might be something. If that’s something that sounds like you, you can go ahead and send me a message through the sidebar on my website on http://realfoodliz.com/. Just scroll down, there’s a little sidebar thing that says, “Send me a message.” So just fill out that form if it sounds like you.

2. Follow-up comment from previous podcast [14:34]

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Alright, so we’ve got some follow-up on a recent podcast. It was a comment in the blog post, I believe, for episode 292. Which was on nutrition challenges and mindset. And a comment was from Ina, and she says, “Hey guys! I’ve been trying to figure out how to leave you a review for like 10 minutes.” Which I think that’s really cute.

Liz Wolfe: That’s a long time. I would have given up after probably 30 seconds if it wasn’t immediately obvious.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, as a side note. Leaving reviews is done through iTunes. And so if you’re trying to figure that out; I think it’s easier to do it from your actual computer. But I know so few people are actually on a computer these days. So you can do it through the podcast app, I believe. Or it may be the iTunes app, I don’t know. I digress. She says, “No idea why I was born into the technological age, because I just don’t get it. Anyways, this episode was literally exactly what I needed to hear. I was just telling my mom after my 5th challenge that I started and quit by the third day. My problem isn’t that I keep quitting, it’s that I keep starting. I really like what y’all said. I wrote this down. ‘The point of a reset is to learn something about yourself, and not just to come running back every time you feel out of control.’ Thank you! We eat a real foods diet, and if I eat a bar of 85% chocolate, my morality is not in question. I have two kids two and under, so I need to allow myself some grace and forget about losing weight while I’m nursing. I hear your voice, Liz, when I start to get upset. Focus on what’s important; the nursing relationship. I’ve been pregnant or nursing or both since July 2014, though, so it’s hard not to have control of my body for that long. Now I’ve gone on a tangent. My point; y’all are awesome. I always hear good stuff from your show, and my Primally Pure deodorant kicks booty. Thanks for that recommendation. I’ve been looking for a natural option that actually works. Ok, could go on and on. Last one; I also have both your books, which are awesome too. Basically, y’all are killing it.”

Aww. That was so sweet!

Liz Wolfe: So nice. And also; man, mad props to this mama. I mean, having two kids two and under; I can’t even imagine. That just takes a really special kind of person, and I completely understand not having your body be your body. You literally share your body with these kids for 9-plus months, and then when you’re nursing them, it’s just like you are a conduit. {laughs} You’re almost not a person in the sense that you have been your whole life. You’re just a conduit for nutrition and growth. And it’s taxing. It gets really intense. So I’m glad that we can provide some information that resonates. That’s great.

3. Shout out: Genevieve Howland from Mama Natural [17:17]

Alright, I’ve got a shout out in that vein, actually. I want to give some props to the new book from Genevieve Howland, From www.Mamanatural.com. it’s the Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth. Genevieve did an amazing job with this book. I was really, really excited to officially endorse it. I’m on that list of endorsements there on the website. Along with JP Sears, which I think is hilarious, and just makes me love her that much more.

Diane Sanfilippo: That is amazing.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh, it’s so funny. You guys have to go to this website. You can find what I have to say about it on my Instagram on Real Food Liz Instagram. But really, Genevieve. I read a ton of books on natural baby making and pregnancy and all that. And they were all kind of lacking to me in some way. And Genevieve I feel like really addressed all the pain points with this book. Finally I feel like, for those that are interested in this way of doing things. Because I support all women with all choices; I mean, there are the more medicalized books. There are the more natural approaches. And I think the most important thing is that all parents are going in with full information and full support. So this for folks that are looking for the natural route; this is definitely the one book I would absolutely point people to if people were only going to get one. So this is really awesome. It should be out by the time this podcast airs. But if you’d like a little bit more information, and my quick review on it, you can check out my Instagram.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice seafood and organics. Purveyor of premium sustainably sourced seafood and a certified B corporation. Vital choice offers a wide range of fish, shellfish, humanely raised meat, protein rich bone broths, and paleo friendly snacks like organic dark chocolate, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. As the days get longer and the grilling season heats up, www.vitalchoice.com is your source for real food.

4. Using sunscreen and headaches [19:24]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. So today, as we’re heading into some warmer months here, and the sun is starting to come out around the country. We hope, since it’s mid-May by now. We’re going to talk about some summer skincare, and sunscreen, and questions, and maybe some confusion around that topic. So, I think what we’re going to do for this weeks is maybe I will read questions. Does that sound good; since you are our resident expert on the whole skincare thing?

Liz Wolfe: Sure. Sounds good to me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sounds good to you?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Cool, cool. Ok, so first question we have is from Amanda. And she says, “No matter what type of sunscreen I use; cheap, expensive, clean, etc. I always get a headache when I use it. Any ideas to what it could be?”

Liz Wolfe: So I have no idea. There is absolutely not particular sensitivity that I know of that would cause that. But I have to tell you, I did not Google around on it, because I’m comfortable just saying, ‘I don’t know’ with this one. The only thing I could think of is if this is some kind of mistaken correlation. Where maybe you are always wearing sunscreen of some kind, anytime you go into the sun. But you also tend to squint. Or your eyes tend to get irritated. Or something like that, when you're out in the sun as well. And maybe the correlation is actually between squinting, or frowning, when you're in the sun and getting a headache. Because I really can’t think of any reason why sunscreen of all types would cause a headache for you. Especially if you’ve tried across the spectrum of the chemical sunscreens and the safe-based sunscreens. The ones with no scent, the ones with scent, that kind of thing. I can’t imagine what this could be.

Diane Sanfilippo: I have a question. Do the non-zinc based sunscreens still have a good amount of zinc in them? Because I was thinking the only thing I could probably imagine would be in all of them, even if it’s not the most active or most prominent ingredient, might be zinc or zinc oxide. Could that be giving her headaches? But I don’t know.

Liz Wolfe: That’s interesting. I did not think of that. My first instinct would have been, it would be one of the chemical compounds. Like, I don’t know, avobenzone or oxybenzone or something like that. I’m looking here at the ingredients in one that people use a lot that I actually don’t recommend is the Neutrogena ones. I’m looking at the ingredients here. Of course they don’t make it easy to see. Drug facts. No. So this one does not contain any zinc at all. So I would assume…

Diane Sanfilippo: Probably wasn’t your instinct because you probably knew that they don’t all contain it {laughs}. Whereas I, because I haven’t really dug into this as much, I kind of, I don’t know, I was guessing that maybe they did. But I guess they don’t.

Liz Wolfe: No, that was a really interesting question. I would imagine most of them don’t. This one has avobenzone, oxybenzone; two ingredients that I always tell people to avoid. But I can’t imagine what this would be from. Sorry!

Diane Sanfilippo: Interesting. Or I wonder, too. Like you said. If it’s a different correlation to dehydration; being in the sun. Which could be something that is happening. If you're putting sunscreen on, you're probably spending a significant amount of time out in the sun. I’m not a sunscreen every minute person. I know some people are. And every dermatologist listening is like {gasp}, What!?

Liz Wolfe: I know.

5. Showering after sun exposure; washing away the vitamin D [23:27]

Diane Sanfilippo: They want you to wake up, put sunscreen on. Not my jam. Ok, so then we’ve got a question here from April. And she says, “If you're out in the sun, and then use soap and wash off in the shower or bath, does it negate vitamin D absorption?”

Liz Wolfe: So, this is a really interesting question. I don’t know that it’s really an important question to be asking, because. Well maybe it is. I don’t know. Maybe this is an important question, and something we need to talk about. You see this topic addressed across the holistic health community. And it’s funny, because we have this fear mongering on one side; the conventional community that’s like, “Never-ever go outside without a layer of zinc all over your body.” And then there’s the holistic community that also does the same thing, and is like, “Never take a shower after you're out in the sun! You’ll never get any vitamin D!”

Actually looking at the really; I don’t want to say unbiased resources out there that talk about this, there’s not a whole lot available. I can say with relative confidence that yes, vitamin D to a degree would be washed off if you shower. Especially with soap. Within 24 hours. But not all of it would be washed off; all of your potential vitamin D. Because also vitamin D is synthesized in the epidermis. And there are transport proteins involved that I believe will bring vitamin D into circulation irrespective of your shower status.

So there is one article from the vitamin D council that I thought was really interesting that talked about washing away vitamin D, per April’s question, could account for the lowering vitamin D levels that we see across the board in modern times when compared to traditional cultures. And it’s certainly interesting to think of it that way. However, I don’t think it’s cleanliness primarily causing lowered vitamin D levels; it’s sun phobia. It’s just the fact that we are not outside. So I think there are a lot of things at work here. If you hardly ever get to go outside and get any sun at all, then I would definitely say wait to shower, just so you get the maximum benefit of your time outside and your vitamin D production. But if you get a relatively good amount of sun exposure; or if you’re on vacation, and you’re in Hawaii and you're in the sun all day every day, yeah take a shower whenever you want. You’re going to be getting plenty of vitamin D.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think the other thing that you were mentioning here is also the soap would actually wash more off than just water kind of hitting your skin. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It actually kind of acts a little bit more like a hormone the way that it interacts with our cells. But if you were to just be rinsing, it might not come off. There might be some information on chlorine rinsing it off more; and then also soap, actually, emulsifying on your skin some of those oils. And then washing it off. So it’s kind of like; if you are at all specifically concerned about vitamin D levels, and this is something you feel like, “Wow, I guess every time I’m in the sun, right after I keep coming inside and fully showering, and my vitamin D levels aren’t that great but I seem to be in the sun a lot.” I feel like that’s the only time that this would really be something to worry about. For most people, it’s probably not happening. But it’s like, if you’ve got this specific thing.

I mean, I know there are people out there who are really just pretty diligent about the showers; whereas sometimes Scott and I will be like, “Did I shower yesterday? What just happened?”

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I’m like; “My head is getting itchy, when was the last time I showered?”

Diane Sanfilippo: “Did I shower?” But you know what I mean. Some people are very into lots of showers, or multiple showers a day, and they happen to be dealing with something where they’re surprised at how low their vitamin D levels are relative to how much time they may spend in the sun. And, time that they spend in the sun without for sure toxic chemical sunscreens, or even time in the sun without sunscreen at all. Which we should probably talk about that, just kind of as an aside here.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Let me do another aside before we do that other aside.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: This is just kind of interesting skincare speak. But there are some skin conditions that respond well to topical vitamin D. Which I’ve always thought is incredibly interesting. But generally that positive response to topical vitamin D is incomplete when compared to the same condition responding to sun exposure and UV light. So I suspect there is a synergy between UV light and its action on the skin and the vitamin D produced and then subsequently absorbed in people with things like psoriasis. Which I think is just really, really interesting. So that’s kind of another reason we are so pro-vitamin D from the sun, natural exposure versus supplements. Because there’s always a synergy there. That’s extrapolating a little bit from using vitamin D topically to actually taking a vitamin D supplement, but the idea is the same. And we also see some of the same concerns around vitamin D supplementation absent the photoproducts; which, some haven’t even been identified at this point but we’re assuming their out there. The photoproducts that you also get from UV light exposure at the appropriate time. So there’s a lot of synergy at work here.

6. Safer sun exposure and protection [29:38]

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you want to take a moment to remind folks some of the basics around safer sun protection, and recommendations around that? We’ve talked about it in a lot of previous episodes. I’m trying to see if I can grab some notes on it. Let me see if I can grab some episode numbers. So we’ve definitely talked about it. For some reason, sunscreen and sunblock is not a specific topic. We have a skin health topic on the archives, episode 225 we talked about it. We’ve talked about it in episode 249, 247. We probably had a bunch at the same time. 151, 238. So lots of episodes where we talked about sun exposure and possibly also safer skincare around that. But do you want to just give folks a quick little note on that?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Oh geeze, where do I start? I actually have a whole section on this in my book, Eat the Yolks. Which I feel like I don’t tell people enough that I have a book. {laughs} If people haven’t been with us for 3 or 4 years, they might not know. But I have a book with a whole section about vitamin D. You guys know I have a book. You might not know that there’s a whole section in there about vitamin D and sun exposure, where I talk a lot about this. And there’s a lot of interesting information that I like to call upon when contextualizing this issue for people. So I really deeply believe that it’s very important to get conscientious, regular, sun exposure; unprotected. So actually letting the sun get to your skin so your body can generate vitamin D and associated photoproducts; thinks like that.

There’s a difference between the really deep, extensive damage that the sun’s rays can cause when you are, say, outside tanning all the time or if you're in a tanning booth all the time, that kind of thing. You can certainly cause some deep damage. But I’ll kind of pick that apart here again in a second. But what we’re talking about is moderating your sun exposure, depending on how fair your skin is. Some people can tolerate more time in the sun. Some people can tolerate less. But getting to that point where you’re outside for maybe 10, 15, 20 minutes. Get just that; don’t wait until you have that hint of pink. But you know that moment where you’re like; “Ok, if I stay out any longer than this I think I’ll be beyond my sun tolerance.” That’s the type of exposure we’re talking about.

So, our relationship with the sun is incredibly mixed up, and we’ve spent many, many years manipulating the way we’re exposed to it, and whether we’re exposed to it. And the consequence has been an increase in skin cancers, and a decrease in serum vitamin D levels across the board. For most people. And that’s a problem. And I think what’s happening is not that we need to hide from the sun harder. It’s that we need to have more punctuated natural exposure to the sun, and less interfering with our bodies ability to first of all generate vitamin D, but also to repair itself.

There are two different types of rays that we generally talk about when we talk about sun exposure. There are UVA rays and there are UVB rays. There are also UVC rays, but they’re not really relevant to this discussion. Now, UVB rays are the ones we commonly think of as burning rays. And we’ve generally been taught to think of that as a bad thing. They could burn us, so they’re bad. This is not entirely true. What I would submit is we need to think about UVB rays as the good rays, because not only do they cause that signal that tells your body that you’ve gotten too much; but they’re also the rays responsible for the generation of vitamin D. UVA rays do not do that.

UVA rays not only do not help your body generate vitamin D; but they are also the rays that are responsible for the deep DNA damage that leads to malignant cancers. And we have some literature on this. I talk about it in my book. And what we’re doing when we’re using most sunscreens; most sunscreens that are not based on zinc. You need to look for the ingredient zinc oxide on the label. Most sunscreens, including broad spectrum sunscreens; so-called, use chemicals that block UVB rays but do not block enough of the UVA rays to ensure that you’re actually safe from those really negative outcomes.

So I think it’s really important that we allow our bodies natural signal, that burning signal, to operate as it’s intended. UVA rays do not cause burns. So you have very little way to know if you are blocking UVB rays and just getting a lot of UVA rays. You have hardly any way to know that you’ve gotten too much. So that damage just kind of continues and becomes perpetual. So that’s what to look out for. The difference between chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens is very simple. Chemical sunscreens use oxybenzone, a couple of other chemicals that are escaping me right now, to scatter the sun’s rays so the UVB rays are not absorbed. There are various problems with this, but I would say the biggest problem, the biggest argument for switching to a physical sunscreen that’s based on zinc oxide, which is a physical barrier against the sun’s rays. Almost like clothing. The biggest argument is that when you switch to zinc-based, you are blocking all of those rays. So you’re not getting a bunch of UVA at the expense of UVB. You’re just blocking everything to the degree that you can. And that’s much safer from a chemical perspective, and it’s safer from an absorption perspective. So did I just make that way more difficult than I needed to?

Diane Sanfilippo: Nope.

Liz Wolfe: No? Are you sure?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I don’t think so.

Liz Wolfe: I tend to do that. So anyway, the point is. Get a little bit of sun, what’s appropriate for you. Boost your vitamin D levels during the times of year you have the opportunity, so that would be summer. Pay attention to whether or not your skin type and your ancestry is congruent with the place that you live. So if you’re an incredibly dark skinned person living in northern latitudes and you're getting less sun than you're probably biochemically programmed for, you probably need to pay a little bit more attention to how much sun you get. Because you probably need a lot more. If you are a super pale freckled redhead living in Miami, {laughs} you are going to watch that for the opposite reasons.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So pay attention to that. Get some moderate sun exposure. Boost your vitamin D levels. And then either cover up with clothing, look for some shade, or use a zinc-based sunscreen to cover up and keep your skin safe from deep damage, but also that superficial damage. I mean, photoaging is a thing. Absolutely. It’s a vastly different thing from the really deep DNA damage that UVA rays can cause. But yeah, we want to avoid photodamage to the degree that we can. If anybody is as vain as I am.

But the three zinc-based sunscreens that I like; I changed my recommendations just a tiny bit this year. I dropped one of them, and then I’m just focusing on three in particular. I really like Badger Balm, which is great for kids. It’s a really simple formulation. It’s also very, very white. So it goes on pretty thick and pretty white. For folks who want something a little bit more grown up, I do like the Beautycounter sun stick. I think they do a great job. It’s zinc based. And then I also like the Primal Life Organics Sunup Ultra sun stick. It does have zinc in it. It doesn’t have an SPF, simply because that’s a government assigned ranking, and it’s just… she doesn’t have FDA approval on it. Who cares. But it does contain red raspberry seed oil, which has a natural protective factor that’s equivalent to a pretty strong SPF, I believe. So that’s a pretty cool thing. That’s great for kids, for adults. But some people just want the security of having an SPF assigned to the product that they’re using. So those are the three I really like right now. And I generally recommend people use sticks, just to ensure that the zinc does not separate into the solution. And that’s what I got.

7. Removing dark spots [38:14]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, this one is from Lori, and she asks, “Any thoughts on a natural way to remove dark spots? I use OCM, and have been using a moisturizer made of shea butter and coconut oil. I was thinking of doing more of the same, but maybe adding frankincense essential oil.” And just as a note, OCM is oil-cleansing method.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: So. This is; I actually answer this question a lot in various channels. Yeah, you can totally try frankincense. I’ve heard people have success with that. I don’t know if it has to do with just improving the overall capacity of the skin cells to turn over and recover. I don’t know. You can try it, there’s no reason not to. But the approach depends on what’s actually causing the dark spots. So there’s melanin, and I always say it stupid, lipofuscin; that’s the other one. Then there’s melasma, which is kind of a whole other ballgame. That’s the chronic activation of melanin. Sunspots are melanin driven; that’s a melanin issue. And those are easier to deal with, provided it’s not actually melasma. You can use vitamin C treatments. I’ve actually had some really positive feedback about the C-ex product I collaborated with Primal Life Organics I talked about earlier on dark spots. But you can also use the vitamin C derivative products. Other vitamin C serums that basically provide an exfoliative; not a feel, but basically some exfoliation in the area. Spot peels are an option. I do an at-home lactic acid peel now and then.

And if they’re really, really stubborn and they’re just not going away, there’s an active called tetrahydracurcuminoids that can help, as well, with the really resistant spots. But if it’s an actual, like a liver spot. If you don’t know that it’s definitely sun exposure related, and it might be a liver spot, you’re probably dealing with an internal oxidation issue. And that’s where we’re talking about lipofuscin. {laughs} And I feel like I’ve seen folks have some success with applying vitamin E topically on stuff like that. But also, if that’s the case, you’ll want to support your body from the inside. Make sure your liver health is good. You're not eating too many damaged fats. That type of thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: I recently sat down with Balanced Bites podcast sponsor, Bethany, of Primally Pure Skincare to ask her more about her company and the products that they make.

What sets you apart from other companies?

Bethany: Our products are made with truly natural, pronounceable ingredients. You won’t need to do a lot of extra research, or consult an app, to figure out whether or not our products are safe to use. We take ingredient sourcing very seriously, and use almost entirely organic ingredients, and Fair Trade whenever possible.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I would love for you to tell us about the concept; “Nature is smarter than science.”

Bethany: Well there’s definitely a place for science; we believe that many of the keys for skin health, and overall health, are already available in nature. We use ingredients that have stood the test of time, and combine them in unique ways to create safe skincare products that are also exceedingly effective.

Diane Sanfilippo: Don’t forget Diane’s favorite Primally Pure product is the dry shampoo, and Liz’s favorite is the Everything Spray with magnesium. As a special bonus for you, Primally Pure is offering a free lip balm with your first purchase of one item or more. Simply add a lip balm to your cart along with any one item, and use the code “balancedbites”, one word no caps, during checkout to receive one of their lip balms for free with your order. Head to www.primallypure.com and check out their range of safe and effective all natural skincare products.

8. Diane and Liz’s top products for summer [42:21]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. So I think we have a couple of top products that we’re going to recommend to folks for the summer. Do you want to get started?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So, well of course you mentioned. This is me kind of cheating. But you mentioned the Beautycounter sunscreen sun stick; I don’t remember exactly what it’s called. But that’s a great one. You guys can get links to all of this stuff over in the show notes, or anywhere we share stuff. But we like that.

I’m just going to give two. I'm going to say that, and also for the summer, I’m just obsessed with hats. I think wearing a hat with big floppy brim. I have one from Target years ago that can fold up in my suitcase, which my husband loves. Because when I have a hat that I have to hold when we travel somewhere, he’s like. No. You can’t be holding something from here to two countries from no. He just gets so stressed out by that. {laughs} Because god forbid I just drop it or it gets crushed or I lose it. I mean, anyway. I digress. So those are my big ones for being in the sun, summer, etc. I can’t be without a hat. And that’s it.

Liz Wolfe: Hats, huh? I like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: For my tiny head, yes. Hats.

Liz Wolfe: But at least every hat you ever will find is going to fit you. I’ve got this big old head over here, I can’t wear anything.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, fit is subjective.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: If you say it will go onto my head, yes. But whether or not it fits; not really the same thing.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Alright, so my top three. I could have a top 56. But I'm going to say; well I talked about the C-ex serum. But I also love the coffee bean serum from Primal Life Organics. You can buy the coffee and the C-ex as a package at a discount. But the coffee serum has coffee bean oil, which is actually a pretty well studied reparative agent. It repairs your skin, and it can repair DNA damage. So I think that’s a great after-sun product.

I would also say in my top 2 would be some of the sun protective products from Primal Life Organics. There’s a Sundown, like after sun balm that’s really, really awesome. And then number three; I'm going to say sandals with backstraps. Because biomechanically, flip-flops are just so terrible for your feet. So if you can stick to sandals with some kind of backstrap that keeps them on your feet as you walk, in situations you can’t be barefoot, of course. I would definitely opt for that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I like that. On our recent trip, we did only flip flops when we were just very casually walking around. Not longer distances. And a got a new pair of 5-fingers, finally. Which I had not had a new pair in so many years. And I’m kind of obsessed with them. And I’m just remembering that I should break them out again. Because I love wearing them. And to your point about the biomechanics of how we walk in different shoes. No question, my feet hit the ground differently when I wear a barefoot shoe, basically. I don’t even want to say what I want to call it. But when you put that on your foot, and it’s totally flat, and it’s just basically some protection from nails and glass and what not, the way you walk is so different. To the point where I noticed people look at me kind of funny. And it’s before they even see my feet. Because you actually just move as if you're barefoot. Which is really interesting. So anyway, totally different topic.

Liz Wolfe: So, my kid has been in super flexible, minimalist shoes her whole life. And I’m almost afraid to put her in more regular shoes {laughs} because I’m afraid it’s going to be like Herman Munster shoes on her. She’s just going to trip and fall on her face, and it’s going to be so sad.

Diane Sanfilippo: If you do that, please take a video so that we can see.

Liz Wolfe: Oh man, it’ll be so sad.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thanks.

Liz Wolfe: I think I can get away with never having her wear any kind of cute sandals are anything like that. But you know, grandparents. They buy shoes, they buy cute things, they want to see the kid in them. And I’m just imagining her trying them on and immediately, literally putting them on and falling on her face. Boom.

Diane Sanfilippo: Please take a video.

Liz Wolfe: I’ll try.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so that’s it for this week. You can find me, Liz, at http://realfoodliz.com/ and you can find Diane at http://dianesanfilippo.com. Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, please leave us an iTunes review, if you can figure out how to do it. See you next week.

Comments 6

  1. Hi! I just finished listening to this podcast and had a few questions about sun, skin, vitamin D etc.
    First, is there any other reasons for low vitamin D levels beside lack of sun exposure and low dietary intake?
    I live on a farm, working outside in the sun at least 1-3 hours a day(sometimes the entire day) all year, though granted Northern Climate, and eat a diet that relies heavily on the eggs, meats and dairy that we produce 100% on pasture. So I thought that my vitamin D levels would be good, but when I had a blood test done, my D levels were low and I had to take 5000 IU through the winter to get them back up. I never where sun protection of any kind, get a dark tan and rarely burn. I also make all my own skin care products and only shower about 3 times a week. So yeah, I was a little surprised by my blood work. Granted, I do have PCOS for which vitamin D is indicated, and had some restrictive eating a few years ago. However, my Mom had even lower vitamin D levels and has never had either restrictive eating or PCOS while leading a very similar life style and diet, and only uses a minimal amount of sun protection (usually the Badger brand).
    Also, my sister has in the past few years developed a sun reaction, that gets worse each year, where her skin burns without tanning and she gets irritated bumps. She has research and got a high-quality sun protection that seems to help, but is there anything else she could do. She never had an issue growing up.

  2. Diane – you mentioned that all 3 parts of your keto vlog were posted but I don’t see part three is it named something different?

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  3. Hey Diana and Liz!

    Great podcast and a topic I wanted to review again in the Balanced Bites Masterclass.

    Liz I have a question for you! Now that I understand the correlation between sunscreen and UVA/UVB rays, is it right for me to believe the people who work at tanning salons (who I’m sure don’t know much of anything about this), are wrong for telling people “oh that’s the bronzing bed so it’s not bad bc you can’t get burned?” I get the these beds don’t have UVB rays, but if it is all the UVA rays then this “safe” bed is worse than the beds that contain both rays?

    Speaking of tanning beds, would love to hear your thoughts. I consider myself a “safe tanner” in that I don’t use the crap lotions they sell (I’m the one who brings my coconut oil in! Lol) and I do not allow myself to burn. Although I tan 1x a week just to boost my mood and keep a nice color, I am really trying to kick it by going tanning bi-weekly. However, I would love to know what side of the fence you’re on when it comes to tanning beds. Thanks so much!!

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      Hi Kinsey – since this is my (Diane’s) website, if you have a really specific question for Liz, it’s best to shoot it to her on one of her platforms – her website, social media, etc.


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