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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • September 2018
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Ask Nature's Pathways — September 2018

“I just found out there are different kinds of sunscreen, like powder. Do they stay on as well as lotion? Should I use one over the other for my kids?”

—Michelle M., Sturgeon Bay

Sunscreen efficiency comes down to two main factors. The first is how you apply and the second is the SPF rating. There are several different forms of sunscreen but it always comes back to these two issues. You must apply enough of the sunscreen to get the rated SPF. Dermatologists always say one shot glass size for an entire body. Most of us don’t even come close to that amount. If you apply half of that, you can cut the SPF number in half. For powders and other types of sunscreen, I often find my patients do not apply enough or as evenly as they would a cream, thus the SPF rating decreases.

Always look for a sunscreen that you will use (not too greasy, etc), you’ll put enough of it on, uses the word “broad spectrum” and has an SPF rating of at least 30. Reapply every two hours and after getting wet, as no sunscreen is truly waterproof. I find that with my own kids I can tell application range better with the creams and thus I use cream rather than powders, sticks, etc.

—Betsy Wernli, M.D., Forefront Dermatology •


“Where should I start incorporating natural products into my life? I want my home to be chemical-free as much as possible but I can’t spend a huge lump sum right now.”

—Jenni B., Appleton

This is a great question — but not an easy one to answer! Online you’ll see lots of recommendations to use white vinegar or baking soda. While these are great for some purposes, they can cause problems. For example, baking soda and sodium carbonate are alkaline, and can scratch granite or marble. DIY cleaners, such as those with a high percentage of white vinegar, can strip wax from hardwood floors, and damage aluminum or cast iron.

Start simply; if I could only do two things, it would be these:

1. Use water-dampened microfiber cloths: these are great for dust and dirt, especially on windows.

2. Buy some Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Baby Unscented Pure Castile Soap. It’s certified under the USDA National Organic Program, and is a wonderful all purpose cleaner – you can use it for laundry, handwashing, dishwashing, bathing (even safe for babes), rinsing vegetables, etc. It may seem expensive, but it is highly concentrated, so a very little bit really does go a long way!

—T. Heather Herdman, PHD, RN, FNI, Sweet Willow Naturals •



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The above content is not medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of information you read in this column. Nature’s Pathways Magazine does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, please call your doctor, go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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