Safer Summer Essentials for the Family

Summer is here and with that comes the need for summer essentials like sunscreen, bug spray, after-sun lotions and more! Just a few years ago I had no clue what potentially harmful ingredients were lurking in my personal care products and you can rest assured that all the products below are some of the safest and also highest performing options on the market.

I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorites and what our family will be using this summer and likely year-round because let’s be honest- it’s Texas. With Texas comes hot temps and bugs throughout the year, am I right?

Safer Summer Essentials

Sunscreen 101

Is higher SPF better?

Yes and no. Yes, in that you want to be higher than SPF 4, 8 or 15. No, in that SPF 30 is really the most you need! SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, so there is no need to spend more money on higher SPFs. What’s just as important is making sure you reapply every 2 hours!

Why is a non-chemical sunscreen important?

Non-chemical sunscreens (or physical barriers) like zinc or titanium oxide are your safest possible options on the market. Although many folks have known this for years, fortunately the FDA also backed this up in February 2019. When hearing the words “zinc sunscreen”, you might flash back to horrible memories of thick zinc paste your mom spread on your face as a child or perhaps you still choose to use a thick zinc paste that doesn’t rub in because you value the protection. Either way, you’ll be happy to know there are actually physical barrier sunscreens that DO rub in and still offer the protection you’re looking for!

KISS Tip: Look for zinc oxide or titanium oxide (both mineral sunscreens) versus chemical sunscreen. Beautycounter’s non-nano zinc oxide sunscreens do not absorb into the skin, rather they sit on the skin’s surface to reflect the sun rays to keep your skin safe from aging and burning.

Do I need to wear sunscreen daily or if I'm not going outside?

Yes! A a thousand times, yes! Did you know we can get damage from blue light rays (i.e. from our screens)? All of Beautycounter’s zinc-based sunscreens block UVA, UVB and HEV (blue) light rays without leaving a chalky cast. So if you’re wondering if you need to apply sunscreen every morning even if you’re not going outside, you absolutely do! My go-to for the past year and half has been Dew Skin– a tinted moisturizer with SPF and this goes on every morning after I’m finished with my morning skincare routine.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a safe daily sunscreen for your face without tint, the Countersun Sheer Defense is the latest and greatest addition to Beautycounter’s sun protection lineup! It layers seamlessly over your daily moisturizer and is lightweight, fast absorbing and easily blends into skin. Plus, it’s ideal for ALL skin tones!

If you really want to do a deep dive on safer sun protection, the EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens is a great resource!

KISS tip: Did you know? Sun damage is the leading cause of aging! Applying sunscreen daily, even if we don’t leave our home, is important to protect against UVA, UVB and HEV (rays from screens) rays!

What is the best product to use for a sunburn?

Sunburns happen to us all. Whether we forgot to reapply or forgot to put any on in the first place, it seems like a few sunburns in the summer months are often unavoidable. I used to use a cleansing balm on any burns, but now my go-to is this after sun cooling gel! I might still kick myself for getting a burn in the first place but at least it will be gone and safely soothed in no time with this gel. Even if you only have a slight burn or glow, water and sun can deplete the skin so doing an after-sun treatment is wise. With aloe and California poppy extract, it cools on contact to help soothe skin post UV exposure and boost hydration. Plus, the tube lasts forever!

It’s no coincidence that all the sun protection and after-sun product recommendations are from Beautycounter. They hands down will out perform any other physical barrier sunscreen on the market and the products last such a long time! If you’re curious about learning more about Beautycounter, check out my blog post here.

Other Safer Summer Essentials

What are some safer bug sprays?

My two personal favorites are Babyganics Natural Insect Repellant and Primally Pure’s Nature Spray. Babyganics seems to be slightly more oily and leave a thicker layer whereas Primally Pure seems more like an oil mist that absorbs a little more into the skin vs sitting on the surface. I honestly haven’t noticed any differences in efficacy, but I think it’s important to note the Babyganics is going to feel more greasy. 

KISS Tip: Use code KISS on your first Primally Pure order to save 10%!

Does natural bug spray really work?

My answer is going to be wildly unscientific on this one. I honestly think it depends! The same way that mosquitoes just seem to eat some people up vs completely ignore others, I’m convinced that natural insect repellants can be a little hit or miss in terms of if they turn bugs off enough and in my experience, I think it depends on the person. For example, I think both of these natural insect repellants mentioned work much better on my two year old daughter than they do for me. I still opt for the natural options because I really don’t love the “real stuff”, but that’s a personal decision for everyone. This article from the EWG is really helpful for insect repellants. Surprisingly, this article doesn’t only support natural repellants- check it out for yourself.

I hope you found this resource helpful! Please reach out if you have any questions on sunscreens, bug sprays, after-sun products, or others. I’d be happy to help make any recommendations to help you choose the products that are best for you and your family!

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One Response

  1. This is so helpful, thank you!! I love the Beautycounter Mineral Sunscreen Mist and the Primally Pure bug spray. They both work so well!

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