There’s nothing fun about sunburn, bug bites and heat rash, but thankfully, there are so many safe and effective products available. Summer is in full effect and for many of us, that means more time enjoying the great outdoors. This should also mean adding a few key items to our self-care and beauty stash. Whether you are at the beach, the park, your backyard or the city streets, you will want to be prepared for the elements. Skip the commercial stuff and stock up on these green beauty must-haves… and relax knowing you are protecting, healing and caring for your skin in a natural way.
Sunscreen: protect your skin by wearing sunscreen when you’re out and about
Trust me, I love being warmed by the sun’s rays and getting a golden glow as much as the next glam gal. However, let’s face it, there’s nothing pretty about the possible side effects, like skin cancer, sun damage and premature aging.
You may have heard that some commercial sunscreens have been found to actually contribute to skin cancer (read our article on the sunscreen controversy). So it’s important to choose one wisely and based on your lifestyle requirements. Check out The Environmental Working Group’s Summer 2012 Sunscreen Guide, to see their reviews and ratings based on safety and effectiveness. They even have an app called the EWG Sunscreen Guide you can reference while shopping.
Sunless Tanner: Get your glow on with a plant-based sunless tanner
A harmless, easy and quick way to get bronzed skin this summer is by using a sunless tanning lotion. I’m a big fan of Chocolate Sun’s Cocoa Glow Sunless Tanning Cream made with nourishing, organic ingredients like shea butter, sweet almond oil and aloe vera gel. The active ingredient is actually beet sugar, and it gives skin a subtle, yet noticeable tan without all the chemicals and that strong smell associated with sunless tanners. The addition of anti-oxidant rich cacao and green tea extract will actually make you smell quite delicious!
Undoubtedly, mosquitos are a warm weather nuisance… and since we had a mild winter in much of the country, chances are there will be a lot of them buzzing around this summer. While you may be tempted to spray down with DEET in order to stave off these buggers, know that you can get protection from a natural alternative like Buzz Away by Quantum Health.
I tested out this one on a 2 week trip to Southeast Asia, in the middle of summer, and remained virtually bite-free. Essential oils like lavender, lemon balm, peppermint and cedar wood are responsible for keeping the bugs at bay.
First Aid Kit: Keep a holistic first-aid kit close by so you can heal naturally, with no side-effects
With all the extra adventure, there’s always a chance for some scrapes and bumps along the way. One of my long-time staples is tea tree oil, because it has so many amazing antiseptic and anti-fungal benefits. It’s helpful for rashes, athlete’s foot, acne, minor cuts and much more. Be sure dilute its potency by mixing it into a carrier oil (like jojoba, almond) as it can be irritating at full strength. A new favorite this season is CVskinlabs Rescue & Relief Spray, a refreshing herbal mist infused with a blend of turmeric, alpha-bisabolol and reishi mushroom. Other key ingredients such as chamomile and cucumber help to cool and soothe inflammation from sunburn, shaving, rashes and any other skin issues.
Now that you have your green beauty checklist, get out there and celebrate summer!