Summer is right around the corner which means it’s time to think about protecting our skin during those hot, sun-intense months. Growing up, I never once thought about protecting my skin during the summer (even sunscreen was optional, not required), but now, in my late 30’s it’s something I’m particularly careful about. Everything from breakouts to body odors to hyper-pigmentation can stop by to say “hello” during the summer months. And as someone with aging skin (and who also had surgery to remove a cancer spot on my skin a couple of years ago), I’m also very particular about protecting my skin to prevent against premature aging, wrinkles, and sun damage. All of this to say: let’s talk about my 8 natural skincare essentials for summer.
No matter your age, this list is for everyone. Everyone should be thinking about protecting their skin during the summer months when the sun is extra intense. The following “essentials” are tried-and-true favorites that I have spent my hard-earned money on. I suggest these products because they work well for me. I’ve found these products through lots of trial and error and also suggestions from my esthetician (if you’re local I go to Beauty Bungalow–Denise is amazing and has helped my skin tremendously over the years) and other skincare professionals.
8 Natural Skincare Essentials for Summer
1. Whole Body SPF by Suntegrity
I live in Florida, which means the sun is particularly intense here (scorching). When we’re out and about for long hours, on a walk, doing yard work, or at beach or park, I always use this sunscreen stick. It’s the perfect travel size for my bag and easy to apply throughout the day. This particular brand is non-toxic and rates incredibly well with the Environmental Working Group who puts out a non-toxic sunscreen guide each year. (Check out the other sunscreen options I like in this post.)
2. Tinted Sunscreen from W3LL People
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: it doesn’t matter the season, this is my go-to daily makeup/sunscreen. A few years ago, my favorite esthetician, Denise, told me, “The best thing you can do to prevent premature aging of the skin is to wear sunscreen. It’s a must, an essential!” Ever since, I’ve been diligently wearing this sunscreen on my face every single day. I love that this sunscreen is tinted and feels thick like a foundation but doesn’t feel thick once on the face. I don’t wear any other makeup with this, except a translucent setting powder, a bronzer, and some blush on days when I want more of a “finished look.” (Check out my natural makeup favorites in this post.) Fair warning, this stuff tends to run pretty dark and orange. I use the lightest shade, even during the summer (I tend to have a lighter **read pale** skin tone. It’s the Swedish coming out).
3. Hats from Tula
I’ve become a summer hat girl. Not only does a good hat add great style to a summer outfit and covers up my 5-day old hair (I do eventually get around to washing it with my favorite non-toxic shampoo and conditioner), it also protects my face from the sun. I found this brand of hats from a farmer’s market vendor last year and I’m obsessed. The hats are great quality, are stiff and easy to clean, and have an SPF 50 rating.
4. Natural Deodorant
No one can live without deodorant during the summer. Deodorant should do two things: allow the body to sweat and keep icky odors at bay. If deodorant doesn’t allow your body to sweat (a very important detox path for the body–I recorded a whole episode on detoxing here), it’s time to ditch what you’re currently using and embrace the sweat without the funky odors. I love and use Schmidt brand (I like lavender), it works best for me and is easy to find. Piper, my 11 year-old, is getting near the deodorant phase and he’ll be using the same brand. I wrote a whole post on the best non-toxic deodorant options here. During the summer, you’ll probably need to reapply natural deodorant a couple of times to keep things fresh. It’s just part of the natural route. Embrace the sweat and reapplication this summer, your body will thank you!
5. Masks for Summer Breakouts
Sweating can equal in an increase in breakouts but so can harsh cleaners and exfoliators that strip the skin and disturb the skin’s natural microbiome and barrier function. I love this exfoliator/mask from Josh Rosebrook and this algae mask from OSEA (I have a coupon code for OSEA, live simply takes $10 off $90. I am obsessed with their face cleanser as well which I share about below.). If you want to go the DIY mask route, a simple betonite clay mask or yogurt mask are perfect for a summer skincare routine. I mask once a week during the summer months. I find this works best for my skin and keeps breakouts away and my pores clear.
6. Laurel Sun Serum for a Daily Moisturizer
A few years ago, I switched from using lotion to an oil for my daily moisturizer, and I’m obsessed. My skin loves the richness of the oils and no, oil doesn’t make you breakout (well, some oils will make you breakout, like coconut oil, so this is why it’s important to use quality, nourishing oils that won’t make your skin breakout). I love True Botanicals True Radiance Oil and Laurel Skin. I use Laurel mostly these days and during the summer exclusively use Laurel’s Sun Serum as my daily morning and evening moisturizer as it “addresses the symptoms of overexposure to the sun.” All of Laurel’s skin oils are amazing. Just a couple of drops is all you need so one bottle will last all summer long.
7. Homemade After Sun Spray
There’s definitely a theme going here: the sun is not your skin’s BFF. The sun is amazing and has so many benefits but spending time in the sun can also lead to some unwanted skin situations both right now and in the long-term. When we’ve been in the sun too much, whether from a lack of sunscreen or forgetting to apply a sunscreen a few times in the day (after a long day at the beach), this homemade after-sun spray is soothing and takes away the sting of red skin.
8. OSEA Ocean Cleanser (or a good natural cleanser)
Wash your face daily during the summer, before heading to bed. We all need to be doing this all year long, but particularly during the summer when we spend more time outdoors in the heat and tend to sweat with makeup or sunscreen. I love this ocean cleanser from OSEA (pair this with the algae mask above and my coupon code live simply takes $10 off $90), it’s hands down the BEST face cleanser out there. It gently exfoliates and cleanses, without stripping the skin. The seaweed in the formula provides essential hydration for “clear, radiant skin.” If you want to go the homemade route, try this honey cleanser. And I share more natural cleanser options in this post.