As we move into the peak weeks of summer, those outdoor activities continue to beckon. We welcome the warm weather and fresh air of beaches, parks, and walks around the neighborhood. With social distancing still in effect, we’re opting for open air spaces as often as possible.

But more time outside means sun and bugs and expended water. Let’s take a minute to refresh on the skincare tips that help us fend off free radicals, avoid mosquitoes, and maintain the hydration that allows us to function.

Sun Exposure

Although the best way to improve your vitamin D level (optimal: 50-70 ng/mL) is from small doses of daily sun exposure, you still have to be aware that 9,500 people receive a skin cancer diagnosis every day in the US. Yes! That’s EVERY DAY! In the last fifty years, melanoma cases have tripled, and non-cancerous sun damage grows increasingly pronounced as we age.

But before you lather on the sunscreen for protection, read the label and be mindful of its content. For optimum defense, find sunscreens that offer UVB protection — not simply UVA. Avoid products with oxybenzone (most toxic), octocrylene and homosalate. These common sunscreen ingredients have damaging side effects — altering birth weight, interfering with male sperm function, and acting as a potent estrogen and androgen hormone disruptor. 

Instead, look for an organic mineral-based formula (not a spray that can irritate eyes, nasal and lung mucosa) containing zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is my favorite way of protecting my sensitive skin without the harmful chemicals found in typical sunscreen formulations. Don’t forget to apply it frequently during your outdoor events, especially after water sports such as surfing and snorkeling, as well as if you’re excessively sweating during your afternoon run or hike. 

BTW, did you know there is a big difference between sunscreen and sunblock formulas? Sunscreen chemicals such as oxybenzone and octocrylene absorbs the UVA and UVB rays and scatters it before the rays can penetrate and damage the skin, whereas sunblock agents such as zinc oxide actually sits on top of the skin as a barrier and protectant, directly blocking the harmful rays by reflecting them.

Stay mindful of the environment as well, and don’t use products with petrolatum or titanium dioxide, which is known to hurt marine life. Hawaii has already passed a law banning products with coral-bleaching oxybenzone and octinoxate. It goes into effect in 2021. Mahalo!


You definitely want to keep those blood-suckers at bay. One minute you’re enjoying the peaceful mood of a beautiful sunset, the next you’re maniacally scratching a cluster of fresh bites. 

People think of mosquitoes as an unavoidable summertime pest. An annoying presence that simply forces us to make do. But keep in mind, just because they’re commonplace doesn’t make them less dangerous. 

Mosquitoes might be a nuisance, but their bites can often be harmful to your health. Mosquitoes can carry deadly pathogens which enter the bloodstream and cause mild to severe symptoms or even disease. Mosquitoes are vector insects that can spread viral infections such as West Nile, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya disease, Zika infections and more. Mosquitoes can also carry blood parasites causing diseases such as malaria and babesiosis which comes with its own bundle of acute and chronic complications.

A solid repellent seems like an easy solution, but remember, perhaps more than sunscreens, many insect repellents on the market contain extremely detrimental components that are harmful to your skin, lungs and major organ systems. 

The chief ingredient in most repellents is N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide aka DEET — a chemical that won’t stop the mosquitoes from landing on you, but does prevent them from biting you. My concerns with using DEET are the studies indicating how it affects your ability to break down a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, triggering movement and neurological disorders. Another older study connected DEET to childhood seizures and brain toxicity. 

Although many scientists and doctors consider DEET to be relatively safe, just the smell of it makes me think it’s toxic in some way! I am a mosquito magnet, and for years I have tried the all-natural approach of lotions and potions that include herbal ingredients such as citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, clove and more, but nothing…nothing works as well as magnesium oil! Really!

I found this amazing secret by accident 7 or 8 years ago, on one of my many trips down to Mexico.  Every vacay I would come back with at least 5 to 7 or more mosquito bites, even after using a mosquito net over my bed. One day, my muscles were really sore after working out hard with push-ups and beach sprints, so I put magnesium oil all over my arms and legs several times a day for the pain and stiffness. And as my muscle soreness dissipated over the three days of application, I noticed I didn’t have any mosquito bites either! 

My theory is that mosquitoes have a strong aversion to the taste of magnesium chloride oil because it’s super bitter. So ever since, I have been using magnesium oil as my all-natural alternative to the toxin-filled sprays. It delivers excellent results on top of your daily magnesium dose. Try it out and tell me if it works for you too!

There is one other natural solution if the magnesium oil isn’t an option for you…and that is cedar oil. That’s right, it comes from the cedar tree and actually kills and repels all types of insects including mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, flies, ants, mites, chiggers, noseeums, cockroaches and more. It’s for people, pets and can also be sprayed indoors. BTW, cedar oil will not harm the bee population, which is good…we need more bees on our planet! I get the cedar oil spray from, and I have also used the lawn spray to get rid of ticks and fleas in the yard to protect my little pup Lola!

One more thing: be practical about your attire. If you know you’re going into intense bug infested terrain, look into broad-brimmed hats with mosquito netting, and wear long-sleeved thin cotton shirts and pants that provide you a stronger defense, although some mosquitoes have been known to bite you through your clothing! 


We all sweat or glisten, depending on the verbiage you prefer. But sometimes our hydration levels can sink imperceptibly throughout the day as we fail to keep up with our water needs. You don’t have to be outside running marathons in the heat. You can dehydrate in the coolness of your air conditioned office simply from long periods of talking and interaction. 

Your body’s water should be continually replenished and replaced — and more often during the warmer months. Drinking half your bodyweight (pounds) in ounces of water is a good rule of thumb for your minimum daily intake. Make sure you’re opting for drinking purified water rather than tap water that’s been chemically treated and contaminated with chlorine, fluoride, chloramines, lead, arsenic, MTBE (methyl-t-butyl ether) and more. 

Be cautious of mineral water or spring water — both of which may contain minute levels of toxic metals (arsenic and nickel) or other “natural” metals such as thallium, titanium and silver that you might not want mixed into your system. Definitely ask the water company for the 3rd party water analysis test. Fresh water bodies across the US have tested positive for mercury, so that spring water you think is so untouched actually may harbor its own share of trace contaminants. 

On that note, if you are interested in digging deeper into the health benefits of water, hold on tight…my next blog will be all about my favorite natural healing element: water! 

In the meantime, take advantage of every outdoor opportunity while you can! This time of year can be extremely soul-nourishing — a small reprieve from the stressors of the pandemic. With a few slight adjustments to your purchases and routines, you can count on a summer of good health, great skin, and a thriving lifestyle.

Bathing is as essential as anything we do as humans, yet baths frequently get overlooked in any list of healing habits. When prepared for and taken properly, a bath can relieve your toxic load — as well as mental and emotional stress — easily and at very little expense. The bath is your missing tool to better health.

As a longtime practitioner in the field of wellness and longevity medicine, I’ve found that empowering people to take conscious care of their physical bodies helps to ensure that their health care program succeeds. Yet there is one area, as essential as anything we do as humans, which frequently gets overlooked in any list of healing habits: bathing. I don’t mean merely washing your face, underarms and private areas; but more specifically the act — and the art — of total cleansing, by soaking and renewing the skin in the bath.

I come to the wisdom of bathing culturally as well as medically. I am Korean by birth. In Asia, the bath has an ancient heritage as a purification rite that is both practical and remedial. Growing up in Korea, my first experiences of bathing were of going with my grandmother to the local communal bath house. She had no bathroom of her own, and wouldn’t have thought that she needed one. I learned about bathing and hygienic skills from her at two years of age, with all the ritual attached to that journey: carrying my own bucket, towel and scrubbing cloths; the stages of cleansing; and the beautiful act of generations coming together, without vanity or inhibition, helping to take care of each other.

The key steps of traditional Korean bathing are easy to adopt, but they change the bath completely. The norm today, or at least the standard, in many Western countries, is to wash our bodies a lot — and not in the bath at all, but in the shower. Past the age of childhood, taking a bath is typically seen in terms of indulgence more than hygiene. A bath is virtually a psychological act. It is about stealing time away from the daily rush, for the sake of relaxation, solitude, sensuality, retreat or luxury. Still, a really phenomenal amount of health benefit gets lost in the migration from bath to shower, and from the spirit of cleansing to the behavior of clean.

The medical truth is that bathing is one of the most systemically corrective things that you can do for your body. When prepared for and taken properly, a bath can reduce real toxic as well as mental and emotional stress. The warm water in which you submerge gently stimulates detoxification through the skin and other organs of elimination (the kidneys, liver, colon and lungs) by inducing lymphatic flow, improving circulation, calming inflammation and encouraging sweating. Add scrubbing to the process as your dead skin layers naturally slough off in water, and you remove innumerable pollutants and metabolic waste products that have been collected there. Remember, the skin is the largest organ for detoxification and therefore a first line of defense for your body.

And we need to purify our skin more than ever in modern life. Toxins that are found in the skin include, but are not limited to: benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, styrene, deodorant, car exhaust, hydrocarbons, smog, household chemicals, perfumes, cosmetics, heavy metals including mercury, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic, lead, and nickel, dust mites, dust mite droppings, fungus, mold, bacteria, virus, parasites, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and hormones. It makes sense to rid the body of these elements as regularly as possible, in order to manage the toxic load we all carry to varying degrees.

Bathing has always helped our bodies do that, easily and at very little expense. In effect, a proactive bath once a week can replace certain types of doctor’s treatments, spa visits or other more invasive detox modalities.

I’d like to share some basic principles to help you transform bathing into a healing resource. All you need at home is a bathtub, a scrubbing mitt or cloth, a bucket and gentle, organic soap. Another option would be to find a local Korean sauna/bath house to visit on a regular basis, where you can soak and be scrubbed by an expert in the traditional manner. I’ve visited wonderful Korean bath saunas in many cities, and many offer hot rooms and pools of different temperatures, to intensify the ritual of cleansing. Following custom, these are communal places where you will have to let go of modesty. Most offer different sessions for men and women. Check your local city guide for information, or, you can visit my website for a list of reputable, classical Korean bath saunas across the country that I personally have experienced and highly recommend.

One note of caution: Bathing in this way is a form of mild detoxification, which involves raising your body temperature and increasing your metabolic rate through the steps of skin purification. For any bath or detoxifying regimen, get your doctor’s approval first if you have a physical condition or you are in a weak state. Contraindications may include, but are not limited to, diabetes, low or high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney or liver disease, adrenal exhaustion, recent illness, pregnancy, nervous system deficiencies and severe fatigue. Also, if you have just been out in the sun and gotten a burn or even a tan, scrubbing is not recommended.

1. Wash your body first. This is when to take that shower! It doesn’t make sense to enter a clean bath with dirty feet and a sweaty body. The bath is not for washing, but for soaking in fresh pure water in order to open the systems of the body and exfoliate old layers of skin. Plus, in order to exfoliate properly in your bath, all oils and creams need to be completely removed from your skin first. Washing first can also reduce contamination and prevent possible bladder infections when in the bath. Not cleaning before bathing is a major omission in the Western concept of the bath.

As part of a general skin care regimen, I recommend that my patients use a probiotic soap for best cleansing. Like oral probiotics and cultured foods for your digestion such as Korean kimchi or yogurt, this type of soap is naturally anti-microbial and works on the skin in a similar way: The presence of good bacteria helps to diminish the ill effects of the bad. In his book, “Life on Man,”bacteriologist Theodor Rosebury estimates that 50 million individual bacteria live on the average square centimeter (5×107/cm2) of human skin! Probiotic soap will optimize healthy skin flora and help remove harmful pathogens as well as dirt and sweat.

2. Make sure your bathtub has been cleaned with natural, nontoxic products. Draw your bath at a comfortably hot, but not scalding temperature. You want to feel very warm, to the point that you may be perspiring from your face, but not so hot that you want to get out of the tub to cool off. If you have a Jacuzzi tub with jets, you can use them for soothing muscles.

3. Stay in the bath for at least 20-30 minutes. You can stop here after your soak, and still derive beneficial, passive healing from the bath. Dry yourself vigorously with a clean towel to add a light amount of lymphatic stimulation.

Do not scrub after 8 or 9 p.m., as it may keep you awake. If you do choose to exfoliate, check your skin after about 15 minutes of soaking. Can you feel some debris sloughing off? If so, your skin will be ready soon to be scrubbed, to remove all the toxins which are embedded in the dead outer layers. Sweating also brings these toxins to the surface.

4. To begin exfoliating, finish your bath and jump back in the shower. Keep your body wet; the room should still be warm enough from your bath that you should not feel chilled or uncomfortable. If you do not have a separate shower, drain your bathtub and sit inside the tub to scrub there. It is best if you have a stool to sit on. You should have your small plastic pail or shallow bucket to fill with fresh hot water, a scrubbing mitt or cloth, and your mild or probiotic soap at hand.

5. Scrub each section of your body and then fill the bucket with hot water and splash it clean. However, do not scrub: all genital and rectal areas, eyelids and lips, or your whole face if you have sensitive skin. You can start from your feet and go up or from the arms and work down. Use linear strokes, back and forth: do not make circles. Practicing will show you how much pressure you need to use. Notice areas where you will always find dead skin, such as the back or inside of your forearms. Be aware that rinsing in the traditional way with a bucket is gentler on your skin and body than using a shower spray. Never use cold water before or during scrubbing. This will cause the skin to tighten so that it will not slough off, and may cause pain. You may be perspiring during the scrubbing process, or you might feel a bit of energy releasing. This is all normal. It just means your body is at an elevated metabolic state to aid in the detoxification process.

6. After one sweep over the entire body, you can go over any area again with a lighter touch to ensure you have removed all the dead skin. Your skin should feel baby soft, slightly pink with color, and vitalized. Wash your body one more time with soap, and rinse. Dry yourself well, and liberally apply a nourishing moisturizer to both body and face.

7. Lay down if you can for 15 minutes to relax and return to your regular temperature and heart rate. You will feel invigorated, clean, fresh and ready to go!

I often prescribe additional types of bath therapies for specific health conditions, using different medicinal salts, herbs and detoxifying agents. In future articles, I will discuss how to create bath programs for healthy and preventive skin care, chronic illness, injury, heavy metal toxicity and other ailments, as well as ways to assure that your bath water itself is pure and clean.

Happy bathing!


As our weather gets colder, and the day gets shorter, the last thing on our mind is to apply sunscreen to protect us from the harmful sun. Most people feel that sunscreen is akin to a summer accessory that simply isn’t necessary during the cloudier months. While it makes sense, this is not true. Ultraviolet rays during the winter will definitely damage skin and cause premature aging.

There are three types of ultraviolet (UV) rays- UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is the strongest of the three and most dangerous. UVC is not one that we need to worry about since this type of radiation is blocked by earth’s atmosphere; it never reaches the surface of our planet. UVB is much stronger than UVA, more damaging to skin causing premature aging and possible cancer. It is most powerful during the summer and especially between the hours of 11 AM to 4 PM. UVB is completely blocked by glass (windows) where as UVA radiation penetrates through glass and windows and will cause most damage to the skin during cloudier days.

Taking care of your skin all year long is essential. Every time we step outside during prime time hours (11 AM to 4 PM), the harmful UV rays can affect any area that is directly exposed to sunshine including our face, hands, arms, and neck, causing premature wrinkles, fine lines, and brown spots.

Luckily, there is a wonderful solution in the form of a topical mineral formula. Zinc oxide sun block works well with the skin because it acts as a barrier, and it literally blocks out both UVA and UVB rays. My second choice of sun block is titanium dioxide. If you are a highly sensitive person, zinc oxide is the least irritating.
My least favorite is the chemical sunscreens that may contain some of the following toxins: oxybenzone, aminio benzoic acid, avobenzone (parsol 1789), diobenzone, menthyl anthranilate, benzophenone, ecamsule, meradimate, octocryline and octisalate. These chemicals are made to penetrate the skin and neutralize either UVA or UVB rays. They have the ability to enter the bloodstream and generate free radicals in the body, causing irritations as well as allergic reactions.

My favorite daily sun block for the face and body is made by Epicuren; Zinc Oxide SPF 20. I find that it is gentle, blends well and will not create any white streaks on my skin. Now if I am outside stand up paddling, snorkeling or snow boarding I won’t go without my PURGLO Element Protection Stick (EPS). It is formulated with zinc oxide, comfrey leaf and jojoba oil- all naturally blended to create a SPF of 27. It is waterproof, windproof, snow proof and also a great sun block! It will not sting or bleed into your eyes and the large stick makes it easy to apply without getting your hands sticky. Perfect for chapped lips and young athletes love it too!

Please Note: During the winter months I do recommend everyone to go outside in the morning (low in radiation intensity) for thirty minutes for some direct sunlight to help with the winter blues and prevent a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (please check out last Monday’s blog on this condition). At the same time you may be producing plenty of Vitamin D, a very important nutrient that is essential to optimal health!



Did you know that your body’s largest organ is your skin? Looking young and feeling good are all things that we want and can obtain. In order to achieve this, we need a holistic approach that includes proper rest, eating well, keeping an active lifestyle, thinking positively and looking good! Yes, looking good plays a significant role in your health, emotional, physical and overall well being and it all starts with the skin.

For my first beauty and skincare feature, I would like to introduce you to the PURGLO Skin Care System by PURIGENEX. I created this skin care system as a natural alternative to invasive surgery, injections and harsh chemical applications.

Watch the video below to find out more about this wonderful product line and check out the website for more info. Here’s looking at you, Kid!

Purigenex Featured on Good Day LA with Jillian Barberie!