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Entries Tagged as 'sunscreen'

July 14, 2014

beauty secrets | the ultimate guide to natural sunscreens

No matter where you are in the “Should I Be Wearing Sunscreen?” green beauty discussion, I think everyone can agree that protecting your skin is imperative to keeping it youthful and soft, be it through mineral sun protection, shade, clothing or avoiding the sun at high-exposure times.

I’m in the “use natural sunscreen” camp, and I’ve tried several natural face sunscreens over the years.

I will admit that I haven’t found a natural body sunscreen that I love and do use conventional sunscreen sprays on my body to keep it burn-free.

However, I’ve found several wonderful natural sunscreen options for my face and neck and am excited to share my faves (and the duds) with you in this ever-growing post!

Keep this bookmarked to see what other natural sunscreens I add to the lists, and don’t forget to check out my other guides to natural deodorants and natural mascaras.

A Note About My Skin: I’m half-Asian, so I have olive / yellow undertones and can easily look very Casper-ish with natural sunscreens that don’t blend well.

Another Note: This little asterisk* indicates I received the natural sunscreen as a PR sample. So, yes, free stuff as well as paid-for-on-my-own stuff gets honest feedback around here!

best natural sunscreens

Natural Sunscreens I Will Repurchase

*Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Cucumber Matte Finish

New to me in summer 2014, Coola’s Mineral Face SPF 30 Cucumber Matte Finish has everything you’d want in a makeup primer — including a high SPF! Dimethicone gives it that slip, though, so if you’re avoiding this ingredient, you’ll want to pass on this natural sunscreen. I use this as a base if I’m wearing heavier-than-normal makeup so that my skin doesn’t feel like it has a billion layers of product on it.

Pratima Neem Rose Face Sunscreen

Pratima’s Neem Rose Face Sunscreen is my absolute favorite that I recommend over and over again. I discovered this natural sunscreen in 2011 and have been a fan of its silky formula and subtly scent of rose, neem and licorice ever since. I can’t rave more and more about this sunscreen — it’s a deserted island staple for sure.

*Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer

Though it feels a bit sticky at first application, Suntegrity’s Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer blends beautifully into your skin and smells of fresh citrus. It’s perfect for those with oily skin that want a sunscreen whose texture feels like it’s “mopping up” excess oil. It’s also one of those fabulous multipurpose products thanks to its primer properties; no shine here!

Natural Sunscreens I Will Repurchase But Only Wear in the Winter

Badger Damascus Rose SPF 16 Face Sunscreen Lotion

Badger’s Damascus Rose SPF 16 Face Sunscreen Lotion is clearly a winner, but it stays in this conditional, in-between category because of its lower SPF rating. If your sunscreen’s not SPF 30, it’s kind of pointless to wear unless it’s not really sunny and you’re inside all day. Badger is reformulating all of its sunscreens for release in early 2015, so I’m crossing my fingers for this one to re-debut as an SPF 30.

*Consonant 100% Natural Matte Finish Sunscreen

I fell in love with the creamy, smooth texture of Consonant’s 100% Natural Matte Finish Sunscreen, but it suffers the same fate as Badger above. SPF 15 just won’t cut it. Consonant does, however, make a “Perfect Sunscreen” that’s SPF 30, so onto the wish list it goes!

Natural Sunscreens I Will Repurchase But Only Wear At the Pool or Beach

*California Naturel Sunscreen SPF 30

California Naturel’s Sunscreen SPF 30 took a bit to rub into my skin (and I feared the white cast for a bit until I really massage it in), but after one application and several hours in the sun, this natural sunscreen performed! I didn’t redden or burn, and though re-application was a bit of a pain (again, massaging it in), I didn’t feel like it immediately slid off my face when I sweat or took a dip in the water.

With that said, I reserve this for outdoor activities only because it feels kind of thick and does take that extra time to apply to the skin.

*California Baby No Fragrance SPF 30 Sunblock Stick

I’ve noted how cute California Baby’s No Fragrance SPF 30 Sunblock Stick is in my previous review, but for me, this cuteness is designated for summer beach bags only. It’s not an absolutely necessary product for year-round use. Instead, it’s a great addition to your beach bag that encourages you to remember to cover your ears, exposed moles and other random body parts with SPF.

Natural Sunscreens I Will Not Repurchase

*DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+

After this post went live, a lot of you asked about DeVita, and I totally forgot that yes, I have tried it, and no, unfortunately, it’s not a repurchase for me.

The texture was fine, and it didn’t leave that white cast, but I found that as I massaged it into my skin, the formula would “ball up” and these little white particles, similar in texture when you use a pencil eraser and the little nubby things would deposit onto the paper, would appear on my skin.

I do not like little white nubby things on my face. It kind of cramps my style and makes makeup application a nightmare.

*Eminence Tomato Sun Cream SPF 16

Besides the SPF being lower than my preference, I’m just not a fan of the packaging of Eminence’s Tomato Sun Cream SPF 16. A jar? No, no, no. When I’m outside, sweaty and reapplying sunscreen, the last thing I want to do is stick my fingers into a jar of sunscreen. Pumps, squeeze bottles or sprays only, please. If Eminence could re-evaluate the packaging, this one could move up to the “natural sunscreens I will repurchase but only wear in the winter” category.

*Sunday Riley Cashmere Mist SPF 30

I truly adored this sunscreen (read my review), but to be blunt, it’s just too damn expensive at $125 for 50 ml. My beloved Pratima sunscreen costs $28 for 60 ml, if that gives you some context.

November 25, 2013

beauty scoop | mvo everyday coverage spf 30

As a skin care junkie, my ultimate dream is to be able to go foundation-free.

That day has come and gone a few times during good skin weeks, but the majority of the time, I need some help evening out my skin tone, covering blemishes and hiding dark undereye circles.

MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30 has been helping me out in all of those areas and has been providing SPF 30 for me — something we tend to let slide during cold-weather months (the sun still gets through those clouds and zaps your skin, y’all).

kimberlyloc without makeup and wearing mvo everyday coverage spf 30 medium tint

{My friends at OpenSky sent me a sample size of MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30 in Medium to review and share with you. The full-size bottle retails for $40 for 2 ounces.}

You can see my before (left) and after (right above). I took these pics two weeks ago and was in the middle of chin-breakout-recovery (it’s almost healed now).

MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30 easily slid across my face and offered a light coverage and a supershot of moisture thanks to a concoction of oils high up on the ingredients list.

You can see the nice coverage it gave without “masking” my skin; it’s not a heavy-duty foundation, and it’s not supposed to be. My skin could breathe, yet looked even and healthy.

MVO Everyday Coverage SPF did, however, feel a bit too oily on my skin because of all these oils combined with my normal pre-makeup oil primer.

If you get MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30 and have oily skin, you can easily skip your usual pre-makeup facial oil. This stuff has you covered. I would definitely recommend setting it with a loose powder / setting powder to help keep it from slipping around on your face.

Let’s look at the ingredients list:

Non-nano zinc oxide 20% Camellia sinensis (green& white tea), non-nano zinc oxide, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel) oil, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, emu oil, tocopherol (vitamin e), vegetable glycerin, elaesis guineensis (red palm) oil, rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil, lecithin, potassium sorbate, allantoin, polyaminopropyl biguanide*, xanthan gum, mica, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, calodendrum capense (yangu) oil, rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary) oleoresin, pearl powder, daucus carota (carrot) seed essential oil, cistus incanus (cistus) essential oil, helichrysum italicum (helichrysum) essential oil, iron oxides

Final verdict on MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30? I like it. This is an ultimate, all-in-one product: SPF, oil, color. Talk about a time-saver!

I think it’s one to reserve for those good-skin days, though — you don’t need much of it to even your skin, but if you’re looking to mask blemishes, it’s not going to do much there … it will just help them look a little less intense.

Oh yeah! This is another opp to shop via OpenSky and redeem a $10 credit or 20 percent off coupon, max of $10 if you join as a new member — and no, I don’t receive any compensation if you shop through OpenSky … just sharing a good deal with you!

Have you tried MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments section!

 

August 14, 2013

beauty scoop | suntegrity natural moisturizing face sunscreen & primer

I’ve been in Las Vegas since Sunday and wow has it been a departure from the overcast, mid-80s and 90s days we’d been having in Kansas City.

Though I knew I’d be spending most of my time working at a conference indoors, shaded from the sun, I still brought my sun protection A-game for the days where I was able to get out and enjoy the pool and walk down the strip, sun beating down on my skin.

Thanks to my lovely Goodebox subscription, I had a stash of Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer samples for my trip (I love taking mini products during travel!).

Using Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer throughout the week has solidified my love for this product (and I mentioned it here, too), which I will be ordering a full size of for year-round use.

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer, Broad Spectrum Spf 30

{I got to experience Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer because it was included in a recent Goodebox. I pay $16 a month for Goodebox and highly recommend it! Photo Courtesy Suntegrity}

Upon first application, you’ll notice that this sunscreen feels a lot thicker than what you may be used to. This alarmed me at first — I was sure I’d experience the dreaded “white cast” that many zinc-based natural sunscreens deliver — but after massaging it into my skin, I looked like my normal self. My skin also felt soft and smelled great, like a light bouquet of citrus fruits.

The primer effects that this Suntegrity sunscreen boasts are legitimate. The natural sunscreen doesn’t leave skin sticky or gummy; instead, it has a smooth finish that is ready to receive a perfect application of minerals or whatever makeup you choose to dress yourself in each day.

Beyond a glowing recommendation from me, Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer is an EWG/Skin Deep top-rated face sunscreen, earning honors in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Now that is legit.

Here’s the entire (clean!) ingredients list:

Active ingredient: Zinc oxide 20%

Other ingredients: Water, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Coconut Oil Extract, Sorbitan Stearate (Plant Derived), Glyceryl Stearate (Plant Derived), Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate (Plant Derived), Hexyl Laurate (Plant Derived), Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Cetyl Dimethicone (Mineral Derived), Epsom Salt, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Cucumber Fruit Extract, Astaxanthin (Algae Source), Hyaluronic Acid (Plant Derived), Red Algae Extract, Organic Green Tea Leaf Extract, Organic Pomegranate Oil, Grapefruit Essential Oil, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Tangerine Essential Oil, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Ethylhexylglycerin

As I continue to attempt to streamline my natural beauty product collection (good luck with that, right?), I’m doing double takes on multi-use products. Suntegrity’s Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer definitely fits the bill! What sets it apart for me is its primer effects and SPF 30 rating (my SPF 15 sunscreens get very little use, sadly).

What are your favorite sunscreens? Do you wear sunscreen year-round? How do you layer your daily skin care products? Tell me in the comments section!

 

May 22, 2013

beauty secrets | how to find the best natural sunscreens

With area pools opening in the coming weeks, most of us are thinking about our bikini bodies — but are you thinking about how to protect the delicate skin under your swimsuit?

Besides wanting to look fit and chic in our swimsuits, we want our skin to stay naturally beautiful and burn-free — and that means finding healthier sunscreens that protect us head to toe.

Here’s what types of products and ingredients to look for and avoid when seeking out natural sunscreens for the summer (and year-round!).

Sunscreen Products to Avoid:

Sprays, Powders, SPFs Higher Than 50

Why:

  • Spray and powder sunscreens increase your risk of inhaling toxic chemicals (ever wonder why the instructions say to apply in well-ventilated areas?).
  • SPFs higher than 50 tend to give you a false sense of security about how long you can stay in the sun and may discourage you from reapplying.

Sunscreen Products to Choose:

Creams, Broad-spectrum Protection, Water-resistant for Beach, Pool and Exercise; SPF 30+ for Beach and Pool

Why:

  • Creams eliminate the risk of inhaling potentially dangerous sunscreen ingredients.
  • Broad-protection sunscreens keep your skin shaded from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Sunscreens that are water-resistant for beach, pool and exercise allow you to have a little more fun in the sun before having to reapply.
  • SPF 30 means you can stay out in the sun and be protected 30 times longer than without any protection — but you will sweat and towel off, so you may be more aware of the fact you may need to reapply.

Sunscreen Ingredients to Avoid:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)
  • Insect Repellent

Why:

  • Oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that may actually lead to skin cancer, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and other toxicology experts.
  • Retinyl Palmitate, or vitamin A, is a wonderful antioxidant in skin care products made for use indoors, but may increase the risk of skin cancer when used on sun-exposed skin.
  • Insect repellent should be applied just once a day, not reapplied the way sunscreen should be, because it can cause skin irritation and other more serious skin concerns.

Sunscreen Ingredients to Choose:

  • Zinc Oxide
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Avobenzone
  • Mexoryl SX

Why:

  • Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are both natural mineral sunscreens that provide a physical barrier to the sun’s rays.
  • Avobenzone and Mexoryl SX both provide sun protection with low skin penetration risk.

Now that you know some do’s and don’ts, it’s time to dig into a few sunscreen options.

You can find more sunscreen reviews in the archive and look forward to more this summer!

best natural sunscreens kimberlyloc better kansas city

{Here’s the array of natural sunscreen options I took on set with me for “Better Kansas City.”}

Makeup with SPF

Just because it’s finally sunny outside doesn’t mean you should just now be pulling out the sunscreen.

Make a commitment to wear sun protection every day — it’s as easy as finding makeup that already includes SPF 30.

A Few Favorites

Face Sunscreen

You can choose separate face sunscreens if your skin is particularly sensitive or if your favorite makeup just doesn’t include SPF. I prefer SPF 30, but general recommendations call for at least SPF 15.

You can find face sunscreens anywhere in-between, and even ones that include matte finishes.

A Few Favorites

Hand Lotion with SPF

They say that your hands tend to give away your age no matter how beautiful and youthful the face.

The way to get around this sneaky giveaway is to regularly use hand creams that have SPF!

A Favorite (Do you have any other recommendations?)

Sunscreen Sticks

Sun sticks may seem a little frivolous at first, but these catch-all protection sticks are wonderful for spot-applying and reapplying to ears, noses, lips and other tricky spots.

They’re also pretty easy to find in a crowded beach bag or purse!

A Few Favorites

Body Sunscreen

Regardless of whether you’re lying around the pool or actually swimming and playing water volleyball, you need at least an SPF 30 for your body and you want it to be water-resistant.

A Few Favorites

What are your sun-care protection tips? Which sunscreens do you use? Tell me in the comments section!

 

October 18, 2012

natural beauty buff | paige padgett, celebrity makeup artist

As I continue my search for cleaner cosmetics, my No. 1 source for green beauty inspiration is celebrity makeup artist Paige Padgett.

celebrity makeup artist and green beauty expert paige padgett

{That skin. That hair. That smile. Is she a model or a makeup artist? Photo Courtesy Paige Padgett}

I’ve been lurking on Paige’s webpages for a while now, trying to soak up as many of her makeup application tips as possible.

See, when it comes to natural beauty, I geek out on skin care — makeup is a bit of an afterthought for me. I just try to keep it simple.

Paige, a licensed aesthetician, proves that makeup can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Her hands have painted the faces of Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and Anna Kournikova for television shoots, magazine covers and the like.

But, you’ll notice in her product picks below that she loves multi-purpose products and makeup that doesn’t require a lot of fuss.

I can dig that. But I probably still need Paige to show me the ropes of simple-yet-perfected clean makeup application. Here’s to hoping I get on her client list soon! :)

Until then, I’ll continue poring over her “green the look” features on her fabulous revamped website and combing through her product recommendations on her new OpenSky pop-up shop she curated with two of my other favorite clean beauties, Siobhan and Alexandra of No More Dirty Looks.

Have fun peeking through Paige’s beauty bag!

As usual, I’ve starred the items in Paige’s list that I also use and love.

Inside Paige’s Beauty Bag

what's inside paige padgett's beauty bag

{A green girl loves her Gucci. Photo Courtesy Paige Padgett}

“I carry these in a vintage Gucci cosmetics/toiletry bag. I store it in my bathroom and in my carry-on when I travel.”

Lulu Organics Hair Powder

“This saves my life everyday. It refreshes my hair instantly”

Vive Sana Polar to Solar Ultra

“I love how hydrated skin feels when I wear this and it doesn’t turn me ghostly white.”

Terra Firma Airbrush Mineral Veil

“It really does look like airbrushing. It gives me a flawless finish”

Primitive Pearl Lip Treatments

“I wear these alone and over lip liner. They are super hydrating.”

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner

“This liner allows me to create the sexiest cat eye.”

Dr. Hauschka Illuminating Powder

“My newest obsession. It brightens my eyes and makes me look fresh.”

W3ll People Narcissist Stick Foundation

“It gives me a softly illuminated finish like I am ‘lit’ from within”

Vapour Organic Beauty Multi-Use Blush Stick and Lip Plump Gloss

“It creates a flush so feminine. I always wear it on the first date.”

*Eco Lips One World Lip Balm

“Organic and fair-trade. Love that!”

*Jane Iredale PureGloss for Lips

“The most gorgeous shine and colors. My go-to gloss.”



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