Summer is a time for being outdoors, taking in the sun, and enjoying the water. Unfortunately, many summer body care products are extremely toxic. A recent study found that the chemicals in common sunblocks are absorbed into the bloodstream the same day they are applied. This is concerning because sunscreen chemicals are known endocrine disruptors and are carcinogenic. They’ve also been linked to the death and decline of reefs around the worldAluminum in antiperspirants have been found linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Then there’s bug spray. No one wants to be eaten alive by mosquitos or get lyme and it’s co-infections from ticks but many chemicals found in bug sprays are neurotoxic and kill aquatic life. Wait, there’s more! Body care products are the biggest source of parabens and phthalates which are known endocrine disruptors and have also been linked to increasing the risk of breast cancer.
It’s frustrating to navigate through it all, so today I’m going to share with you my favorite products. There are many great products out there, these are the products I’ve tested personally and have gotten great results. If you’d like to look up the products you use, and find options to buy, the EWG’s Skin Deep Database is my go-to resource.
While I have an entire blog post dedicated to it here, I’m going to share with you my favorite today. Pacifica is a brand sold widely in mainstream stores (like Target) and is my latest favorite mineral sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are not absorbed which is great for our bodies but usually leaves us looking like we covered ourselves in white paint. Not the most attractive way to go to a pool party. Pacifica has a couple of different sunblocks they call bronzing sunblocks. Instead of turning you white, they give you the appearance of a tan. They aren’t artificial tanners though. The bronzer washes away in the shower. I love being well protected and not looking like a ghost. Here’s a link to more information.
We are avid campers and normally bugs love my son and me. There’s no way I wanted conventional bug spray for us though. Not only do I not want to be covered in potentially harmful chemicals, they don’t work! At least not for me. This past summer I tested out a few different brands and one was the only winner: Burt’s Bees All Natural Outdoor Herbal Repellent. It smells great and it WORKS. I watched mosquitos fly up to me then what looked like hitting a wall and turned and flew away. The kids also loved the smell of it. Another fun trick I learned is burning sage in our fires. We do this in the evenings when the bugs are the worst.
If you are trying to switch from aluminum-based antiperspirants to deodorants, summer isn’t the best time to do it. Your pits have a lot of detoxing to do and detoxing equals a whole lot of sweating. The heat will only make it worse. However, if you’ve made the switch to deodorant and find the one that has worked up until it got hot now isn’t, I would try Schmidt’s. I’ve tested this against those super strength antiperspirants with aluminum and this one came out on top.
I’ve tried a lot of natural lotions and found they left my skin feeling, and looking, parched. Dessert Essence is one of the only brands that leave my skin looking and feeling moisturized. According to their website, they are also: Vegetarian/Vegan. Wheat and Gluten Free. Cruelty Free. Recyclable. Renewable Sources. Biodegradable Formula. Contain no: Parabens. Sulfates – SLS/SLES. Phosphates. Phthalates. Artificial Fragrances or Dyes. Silicones. EDTA. Glycols. PEGS, PPG, MEA, DEA or TEA. Petroleum Compounds: Mineral Oil, Petrolatum or Paraffin. Animal Derived Ingredients. Animal Testing. A winner in my book.
The worst thing about natural body washes is that they don’t always clean you well. I know I’ve run into this more times than I can count. It’s disappointing! The only one I’ve tried that’s truly natural and works is Dr. Bonners. The best part is that you can trust the brand because it’s third-party tested and heavily credentialed. Credentials include USDA organic, Fair for Life fair trade, NSF, Leaping Bunny, Vegan, and Kosher.
Chlorine is rough on hair, and if you’re blonde, it can turn green if you’re not careful. While colored hair is trendy these days, if you pay for the blonde, you don’t really want it changing. Well, at least I don’t! My hairstylist told me to apply virgin coconut oil to my hair before swimming. It works great and leaves my hair soft and smooth. The best part is you can use it for everything from cooking to toothpaste and even on your skin. Talk about cost effective!
That’s The List!
I know there are many more great products out there and I would love to hear from you what you have tried and loved. Leave a comment below and share with me your finds!