Sunday, July 24, 2016

Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreens

It's the peak of summer and we all know the sun can be intense and hot, so it's important to protect our skin. The majority of us just want to focus on slicing watermelon, making a batch of fresh lemonade, and how in the world do I get all the sand off of my feet before getting back in the car... I've forgotten the sunscreen many times on our outings, then I find myself running into the store only to be completely overwhelmed by all the options in front of me. My go to sunscreen resource is the Environmental Working Group's Guide To Sunscreen, but if you don't want to be doing ingredient research right in the aisle of the store a really quick tip is to think, do I want a physical sunscreen or a chemical based sunscreen?

Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens reflect the sun's rays with ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, there is no waiting for it to kick in it works on contact as it is a physical barrier. Physical sunscreens often leave a white glow on our skin, we've grown accustomed to this! Chemical sunscreens (conventional brands, the spray you smell even 20 feet away from someone at the pool when they are applying it) work by seeping into your skin and they absorb the sun's rays. Chemical sunscreens are recommended to apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Chemical sunscreens have been linked to toxicity in aquatic life and endocrine disruption in our bodies.

I choose physical sunscreens for my family, of course if there is no other choice, I always choose to protect our skin with a chemical sunscreen over no protection. My go to brand choices are Badger, California Baby, and Garden Goddess. Over the years we have just honed in on what works best for our sensitive skin. I also recommend keeping an eye out for the Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care seal. The standards Whole Foods Market has adopted prohibits chemical based active ingredients and they also screen for particle size, so they do not contain any nano-particles. I greatly appreciate the work Whole Foods does to maximize my confidence when buying safe skin care products.

Disclaimer, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as a WFM Ambassador for this post. Content is purely at my discretion. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cancelled Flight, Check

Right now, I'm not doing laundry or haphazardly packing for my trip tomorrow. A few hours ago, I cancelled my flight to New York. I've never cancelled a flight before, a check in my first time for everything column. You may be thinking two trips to NY in a month after not visiting in 4 years? I know right, don't worry I'm thinking the same. My dad was scheduled to have surgery this week, but it's been postponed. There's so much more to the story, but now isn't the time.

Shortly after the credit appeared in my account, my mind began instantly wandering off about all the places I could travel to before I go back to work in August. How about California? Yes, please. We've spent the last three summers traveling to California and well, it feels like something is missing not dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean. Travel daydreams are fun, but alas my airline credit is reserved for a trip to it's original intended destination, New York. I'm quite possibly too practical, but couldn't possibly imagine cancelling another flight so please, someone book me a ticket to California stat.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The First 25 Miles In Vasque Skywalk GTXs

On Mother's Day a clunky wrapped box was placed on my lap in bed. It felt a bit too heavy for shoes, but I wasn't anticipating a new dish set, so my curiosity was instantly piqued. Alas, the reissued Vasque Skywalk GTXs I had been swooning over for months now were inside, they weigh in just under 3lbs for the pair. The Skywalks were really popular in the mid-90s when I was living in the Adirondacks and just the sight of them takes me back. I could not wait to get them on and out on the trails!

First I think it's important to share, I hike in Brooks running shoes. I have a light weight pair I love in the summer for hikes shorter than 7 miles and I own a worn out pair of Scarpa low cut approach shoes. I haven't owned proper hiking boots in years. When I put on the Skywalks they were as expected pretty STIFF, but not uncomfortable. I booted up and set out for my first hike, which turned out to be about 4 miles. I had a tiny hot spot on my right heel, mainly due to lacing adjustments, but overall I was happy with how my feet felt when I got home. The major adjustment for me on the trail was the height of the sole, I have to be more conscious of lifting up my feet. The trails I hike are rocky, so rocks that really stick out sometimes catch the sole of my boot. The ankle support has proven to be a major plus to me and I am almost embarrassed that I have spent so many years just hiking in sneakers.

At this moment in time, I've put about 25 miles into my boots in less than 2 weeks. The boots are still firm, I have developed one blister, but nothing that even irritates me when I am out on the trail. The Gortex construction does make your feet heat up in the summer and also makes taking them off even sweeter. I look forward to hundreds and maybe if I'm lucky, thousands of miles on the trails in these boots. Oh the places we'll go.


If you want more details on the technical aspects of the boot, check out the Vasque site. This is not a sponsored post, I'm just a happy customer.