So I wanted to share a funny-but-not-so-funny story with you guys. This past Saturday I went on a hike with some friends in the San Gabriel Mountains, about an hour outside of Los Angeles. The hike was incredible, taking place mostly along a beautiful rushing river which we had to cross back and forth over—I mean in—about 100 times, making for happy hearts but heavy hiking boots.
Anyways, the sun was blazing and, because of said river crossings and a generally unpredictable terrain, what we thought was going to be a four hour hike actually turned into eight hours. Not a problem except that this girl (yours truly), being not always the smartest when it comes to sun protection, did not have any sunscreen with her. She had a hat though.
Around hour five I realized that what I could still barely call a tan on my arms was about twenty minutes from a painful red burn, and so I swallowed my pride and asked to share in the bottles of spray-on sunscreen being passed around. I’m talking about the dirtiest, most chemy stuff on the market—so much so they probably still use CFCs in their aerosol cans.
What a trip to spray this crap on my skin, though. While a few years ago I wouldn’t have given it a second blink, it felt so counterintuitive in that moment. First off, it smelled chokingly of hairspray. Secondly, when it hit a tiny little scrape I had it actually made me yelp in pain—it killed, like insta-eyes-welling-with-tears type of sting. Which then made me laugh because it hit me how I used to take that sort of thing as par for the coarse. You know, don’t get that product near your open skin because it’s toxic and will burn the dickens out of you but let’s just not think about the fact that it’s seeping into our pores!
The stuff I use these days would actually help heal the cut and protect me from the sun. I love those kind of marker moments when you realize just how much your paradigm has shifted for the better. Had any lately?
Happy memorial day, les amies! What are you going to get up to? (See above for my plans.) As you prepare for a weekend of frisbee and barbecue, may we remind you, as always, that sunscreen is a good idea for all outdoor activity, and that chemical sunscreen is the devil and should be avoided at all costs, no exceptions? And if you don’t believe us, you can ask Gisele.
If you are new to this stuff, or need a refresher, please revisit our piece called “How Safe Is Sunscreen?” which took the nets by storm last summer (just kidding, but it was a hit!). And…
If you aren’t compelled to avoid chemical sunscreens for your own health and the health of your children—whether they’re born or still in the ideas stage—then do it for the planet: Coral reefs, which are home to countless species of aquatic life and are a crucial piece of ocean biodiversity puzzle, are imperiled by the chemicals in sunscreen, which wash off our bodies when we play in the water, and down the drain when we shower. No, you can’t see the damage happening, but trust us: It is.
Back to the topic at hand: A while ago we asked you if you wear sunscreen every day, and the comments (which are still coming in!) were amazing. We also told you about some screens we love for face, and now the EWG has released its annual guide to their top sunscreens in terms of their low toxicity and effectiveness as a broad spectrum sunscreen. What they don’t cover—and bless their hearts, they can’t do it all!—is how cosmetically desirable these products are, so that’s why we’re counting on you guys. Since we’re just two people, we can’t try them all, either!
You can find the complete EWG list here, and remember the list is alphabetical, not in order of their preference. We recommend mineral sunscreens, and advise against non-mineral ones.
Let us know which ones you’ve tried, and what you think about them, in the comments!
Finding any excuse to run a picture of Brigitte, via
Sad we didn’t do a deal last Friday? Well, we’re making it up to you with a brand new partner and a really killer one today. Let’s meet Futurenatural, shall we? We love the look and feel of this site, and we dig the attitude too: “We’re not anti-science, we’re not blindly for nature, and we don’t profess to be perfect.” While the store carries many of our favorite staples—Kahina, RMS, Intelligent Nutrients, John Masters and so on—they also have some brands that we haven’t seen anywhere else. And this week’s deal will introduce you to something awesome!
Before we get to that, just one more thing: Futurenatural sells Scotch Naturals, our new favorite nail polish line. If you’re looking for an exciting color for the spring or summer, we HIGHLY recommend you throw one of these into your basket. Okay, that’s it! Onto the good stuff…
Here’s the deal: We’ve been on a face sunscreen kick lately, so with any order over $25 Futurenatural is offering you a free brand-new face sunscreen by ECO (Logical) (from the people who brought you Soleo Organic Sunscreen which—spoiler alert!—is one of our favorites). UPDATE: APPARENTLY THEY ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH SOLEO–OUR BAD! SOLEO IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL AS A BRAND. This puppy — ECO Logical All Natural Sunscreen Lotion, FACE (SPF 30) — is water-based, is not oily (for those of you who don’t like the slickness of some other screens), absorbs amazingly with no white cast, and wears like a dream under makeup.
Simply enter the promo code ECO checkout to get your freebie.
Recap: Spend $25, get a FULL SIZE free face sunscreen. Boom!
Note: The free product will ship automatically with anyone using the code even though it won’t show up during checkout.
Here’s the complete and awesome ingredient list:
Active Ingredients: zinc oxide 20%
Inactive ingredients: Purified water, Isoamyl laurate, capric/caprylic triglyceride, sorbitan stearate, sucrose cocoate, caprylyl glycol, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, polyhydroxy stearic acid, xanthan gum, cucumis sativa (cucumber) seed extract, rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil, camellia sinesis (green tea) extract.
Happy trails, and have a great (and hopefully sunny) weekend!
P.S. Futurenatural ships to Canada for a flat rate of $20 up to five pounds.
It’s true: I have said nice things about this sunscreen before, but our site was much smaller then, and our book wasn’t even out, and I still love it, and it’s under-covered in the naturals world, so without further ado:
In my hunt for the perfect sunscreen, I’ve tried a lot and found only a few I really like. I am pale, I am pink, and I am pitta, so sun protection, especially in summer, is a bigee for me. I’d been hearing good thing about Vive Sana Solar to Polar Ultra sunscreen, so I was thrilled when I got my hands on a tube from Spirit Beauty Lounge last summer.
Vive Sana, which has an SPF of 40, calls itself the strongest all-natural sunscreen on earth. Bold! But does it live up to the promise?
Sure seems to. I’ve been using it on and off all year and can say that it stays put under makeup, offers great protection, hasn’t given me any problems (by which I mean zits), and is loaded with skin-friendly ingredients. My beef, if I have to pick one, is that it takes a while to sink in, which means you have to wait a little while when you’re doing your face in the morning, but that’s a concession I’m more than happy to make for a product this clean.
The actives here are zinc and titanium dioxide, it contains free-radical-eating antioxidants like green tea, soothing chamomile, beeswax and some skin-compatible oils. Here’s a complete list:
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 8.5%, Zinc Oxide 3.5%
Ingredients: Organic Soybean Oil, Organic Safflower Oil, Beeswax, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Alumina (natural mineral), Stearic Acid (natural fatty acid), Organic Apricot Kernel Oil, Organic Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sunflower Seed Oil, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Oat Kernel Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Chamomile Extract, Raspberry Seed Oil, Natural Green Tea Fragrance.
Have you tried this screen?
It’s part two of our series! A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Natural Products Expo here in So-Cal. This giant trade show is like Disney Land for health buffs—virtually every natural (or so-called natural) brand under the sun has a booth there, where they dole out their samples all day long.
While it was primarily devoted to food, the natural beauty presence at the show has grown a lot. So you can imagine that I got a little excited and a lot overwhelmed as I searched for new brands!
But of all the products I saw at the Natural Product Expo, this sunscreen from an Australian company called Grahams made one of the biggest impressions. Here’s why: This super-clean sunscreen is made up of more than 25% zinc oxide, and yet it leaves NO FILM. Like, none.
First of all, I adore the texture. While it looks like it cream, it applies like a natural oil—which means it’s a little shiny at first, but it absorbs super fast. It feels so hydrating and I’ve worn it a few times now under makeup and for a girl who rarely wears sunscreen (eeks, I know!), I’m feeling like a convert.
Active ingredient: 25.9% Zinc Oxide
Ingredients: Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Rose Hip Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Vegetable Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Coconut
Now, a few important notes: Do not use this product if you don’t like coconut oil, or the smell of coconut (both things I happen to love). That’s what Caprylic Triglycerides are, and the addition of actual coconut at the end imparts a decidedly tropical smell—though it’s a very natural one. This ain’t Hawaiian Tropic, I promise. Also, the formulation they sell in Australia contains phenoxyethanol, but the U.S. formulation—which is the one we are recommending—DOES NOT (and the product does not contain water so there are no bacteria concerns). Just don’t get confused when you see phenoxyethanol listed on their site.
Another note: This product is not marketed solely as a face product, and it comes in a fairly large bottle. It is all-purpose, and would be great as a body block and perfect for kids too!
So, where can you buy it here? For now it looks like you can get it on Amazon, but we recommend you call Evolue (310-289-1560) instead, and Jean will send it to you. We were together at the Expo and discovered it together—and she immediately decided to carry it at her shop.
So now you’ve read about two of our favorite screens. What’s your favorite?