Summer means more than bathing suits and baseball games — it also signals the time to change up your skin care routine. This year, you’ll find a variety of great eco-friendly formulas that are perfect for protecting and boosting summer skin. Here’s how to keep the Earth in mind as you ready your skin for the warm weather.
- Sunscreen. Sunscreen is an essential for every summer skin care routine and it might be time to update your arsenal. Take a minute to peek at your leftover sunblock and consider how long you’ve had it. According to Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., of Mayo Clinic, toss any sunscreen that’s over three years old. To play it safe, you might want to pitch your sunscreen after a year. If you’re using the right amount of sunscreen, you should actually need to buy a new bottle every year – or sooner. Also, make sure that all of your sunscreen products are broad-spectrum (meaning the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays) and have an SPF of 15 or greater.
Updating your sunscreen is the perfect opportunity to choose a formula that’s more eco-friendly. Robyn Grinn Lawrence of Natural Home recommends looking for sunblock that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — natural minerals that safely shield skin from UV rays.
- Product picks: For sun protection that’s all natural, slather on Jurlique Sun Lotion SPF 30+ from head to toe. This lightweight, broad-spectrum sun lotion contains titanium dioxide and is free of potentially irritating ingredients like parabens.
For eco-friendly face protection, reach for Coola Face SPF 30 Cucumber. This oil-free formula also includes zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to shield your delicate skin from the sun as well as healthy organic extracts and antioxidants to boost the overall look and feel of your complexion.
After-sun aloe. While it’s best to avoid sunburns all together, it’s also important to arm yourself in case you get the occasional burn. Aloe is a top skin-soother, relieving minor sunburn, rashes, bug bites and blisters. On top of calming the skin, aloe is also great for effectively hydrating dry skin. The most eco-friendly way to keep aloe around is to grow it yourself. Jessica Root of Discovery Channel’s Planet Green explains that aloe vera is one of the easier houseplants to cultivate.
- Product pick: Don’t have a green thumb? That’s OK — there are plenty of great, green products that offer the skin-soothing benefits of aloe vera. Keep Ole Henriksen All Purpose Aloe Vera Gel on hand to relieve summer skin irritations — including sunburn, rashes and dryness.
Hair protection. While you may love the summer, you may not love what it does to your hair. The heat and sun can cause damage to your locks including split ends, faded color and dryness.
Protect your hair from summer weather with an SPF spray. For an at-home option that’s easy and eco-friendly, Kendra Aarhus of About describes how you can make your own hair SPF spray. Simply blend two tablespoons of your favorite organic sunblock with one cup of water, and pour into a small spray bottle. Spritz on damp hair before stepping out into the sun. Reapply throughout the day.
- Product pick: If you’re not up for all that mixing, there are plenty of products available that are specially formulated to protect hair from the sun. For an all-natural option, mist your locks with Phyto Protective Sun Veil, which features an advanced blend of photo-protective plant extracts including sunflower, marigold and sweet almond.
Self-tanner. If the fear of unpleasant odors and orange streaks make you hesitant to try an at-home self-tanner, then you’ll be happy to learn that these do-it-yourself products have come a long way in recent years. For a gorgeous glow that doesn’t compromise your complexion or the planet, you’ll find eco-friendly formulas that can provide a deep, streak-free color in the comfort of home.
- Product pick: For effective, environmentally-friendly skin care, Pevonia Botanica is a trusted source of products that are free of mineral oil, lanolin, artificial fragrances and artificial colors. Pevonia Self-Tanning Emulsion helps you achieve a natural, streak-free golden glow without the harmful effects of the sun.
Nail polish. It’s officially sandal season, so it’s time to spruce up your toes. Toss aside the dark, moody hues of winter and celebrate with cheerful summer shades. When shopping for an eco-friendly nail color, Alexandra Zissu of The Daily Green recommends choosing one that’s free of chemicals like phthalates, formaldehyde and toluene.
Foot scrub. Before you slip on your favorite flip-flops, pay some special attention to your feet. Foot scrubs help to remove dead skin, revealing newer, softer skin. For an eco-friendly foot scrub, find a formula that incorporates natural or organic ingredients.
- Product picks: Transform your feet with Melvita Bioexcellence Hand and Foot Gentle Scrub. This organic cleanser is fortified with nourishing fruity extracts and exfoliating salts. Simply apply to dry skin and massage thoroughly to reveal smooth, healthy sandal-ready skin.
If your feet need extra-special TLC, tackle tough calluses with SpaRitual Let It Go Callus Remover. This all-natural formula features fruit extracts and green tea to dissolve even the roughest calluses.
Hair removal. In a society where smooth, hairless skin is treasured, more than two million disposable razors are thrown away each year. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice soft, shaven skin to be more eco-friendly. Reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills by considering one of the following alternatives.
- Product picks: Say goodbye to disposable plastic razors for good with the Emjoi Emagine Epilator. This premiere epilator is built to last, featuring 72 tweezer heads to remove hair quickly and comfortably.
If you’re not ready to toss aside the traditional razor, you can reduce how often you have to shave with Whish Lemongrass Shave Savour Hair Inhibiting Gel. Just smooth on this oil-free gel after shaving to slow hair re-growth and extend time between your shave sessions. It even goes beyond hair inhibition to help tone, soothe and hydrate freshly-shaven skin.
SPF lip protection. Our lips lack melanin, which makes them especially susceptible to sunburn. Get into the habit of applying an SPF lip balm every time you go outside — during all seasons.
Elizabeth Seward of Planet Green points out that many lip products are teeming with chemicals that aren’t so nice to the environment. Look for eco-friendly formulas that feature all-natural or organic ingredients.
- Product pick: For a terrific, multitasking lip treatment, try Coola Liplux - Vanilla Peppermint. Formulated with USDA certified organic and active ingredients, this SPF lip protectant soothes, hydrates and nourishes with aloe vera, avocado butter and other natural ingredients.
Healthy skin, healthy planet
From sunblock to lip balm, summer is the perfect time to update your beauty routine. By choosing organic or all-natural products, you can achieve healthy, gorgeous skin from head to toe — without compromising the integrity of the Earth.
Learn everything you need to know about natural skincare in our Natural Beauty Handbook.