Summer is here! It’s time for beaches, pool parties, and BBQs. Give me all the sun, right?
When I was younger, my girlfriends and I would lay out for hours soaking in the sun. And sunscreen? Ha, more like tanning oil. I used to think, “I’m black, my skin was made for this. I don’t need sunscreen!” Boy, was I wrong!
Once I became a mom, my perspective shifted about so many things. I was busy worrying about keeping my daughter out of the sun, and it dawned on me – why wasn’t I taking better care of my own skin? Ever since then, I’ve been really vigilant about my sun care regimen.
When you know better, you do better, and it’s never too late to make changes.
My real shift towards taking care of my body and making better, cleaner swaps came a few years ago when I was introduced to Beautycounter. My eyes were opened to the horrendous truth of what’s going on in the beauty industry, especially when it comes to women of color. You can read more about that here. Suffice it to say, I was outraged and disgusted with what’s going on in the beauty industry, so I decided to join Beautycounter and work to overhaul the products in my life.
I did a lot of research and continue to discover more products that are harmful to me and my family, so I’m always on the lookout for new, clean products. Here are five of my favorite, easy swaps that will help clean up your summer self-care:
1. Beautycounter – I was first a Beautycounter lover before I ever became a consultant, and that’s because I love the products, the company, and the mission. You can learn more about Beautycounter here, but part of why I’m so passionate about it is that there’s something for everyone. Makeup, skincare and more for women, a full line of men’s Counterman products, and baby and kid products, too!
When it comes to summer products, the Beautycounter sunscreen is a true powerhouse. It protects from UVA, UVB, and blue light. It’s reef safe, water-resistant and SPF 30. There are a few different options for application – a mist, a traditional lotion, and a stick. Oh, did I mention there’s a tinted sunscreen mist, too!? It comes in two different shades and it is ah-mazing.
My favorite is the Countersun Mist in Medium/Deep, Rodger uses the stick, and I use the spray on the kids because they’re wiggly and it’s a super fast application. If I feel like I really need to make sure they’re extra covered, I bust out the lotion. If you saw my Instagram Stories the other day, you’ll know that sometimes the kids like to uh, help each other keep the sun’s rays off of them (see below). Ha! But, I guess if kids are voluntarily lathering it on, it’s gotta be good!
2. Lola – this is a female hygiene company, created for women, by women. It’s a swap I recently made when I learned about how traditional tampons and pads are full of toxic chemicals. The cotton in tampons is usually treated with bleach and we’re putting in our bodies? What?! And many pads have a considerable number of phthalates and VOCs (volatile organic chemicals, something we don’t even like using in our home’s paint, but it’s on our sanitary pads!?). When I learned this nonsense, I knew I had to make a swap. Enter Lola!
It’s a super convenient, online subscription for period essentials. Never again will you need to run out last minute before that time of the month (or, heaven forbid, send your husband to inevitably get the wrong product!). They just come right to your door, right on time. Genius.
The Period Essentials is a really great pack that gets ya through your whole cycle – and it’s totally customizable. I’m all about making easy, clean swaps that make my life easier. One less thing to think about? Sign me up! (Something I already did, ha!)
3. Drunk Elephant – this clean beauty brand (female CEO and founder, represent!) is so popular for a reason. I’m fairly new to the Drunk Elephant products, but I’ve found two winners so far.
Their Sunshine Drops are game-changing. It’s a super concentrated tint to give you a natural “I just got back from vacay” look without actually going anywhere or risking any harmful sun damage. Just mix a little bit into your serum and people will be asking how your vacation was! Not only does it look great, but it’s good for your skin, too. The formula boosts your skin’s defenses against pollution while giving you a bronzy glow. It just might be magic in a bottle!
Another new fave from this brand is their Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. They describe it as rehab for your skin, and they’re not wrong. My skin looks and feels younger, bouncier and just fresh. I’m working to go more bare-faced more often, and this is definitely helping me out! Plus, it’s free of essential oils, fragrance, and silicones. It’s a winner.
4. Kopari – my quest for cleaner self-care products would not be complete without making a deodorant swap. Guys, deodorants/ antiperspirants are freakin’ horrrrrible for you! Horrible. The typical active ingredient is aluminum. A metal? NO thank you. Plus, aluminum has been linked to all sorts of awful health ailments including breast cancer and Alzheimer’s.
The problem is, they work. And often times natural deodorants don’t. Plus, the sound of “natural deodorant” often conjures up an image of a smelly ol’ hippie, which I am not (thank you very much!). I work out hard, I chase my kids around, I live in sunny LA. I need a deodorant that works but doesn’t poison me. Luckily, I found Kopari deodorant.
If you don’t believe me, you don’t have to take my word for it. Allure named Kopari Best of Beauty, and the internet loves it. Not only is it aluminum-free and free of parabens, it actually blocks sweat, smells good, and is super easy to apply. I love it. My only objection or disclaimer for you girls is that it does have a fragrance, which isn’t looked highly upon in the safe beauty industry. So, a heads up. It might not be perfect, but I do love it, and it’s definitely a much safer option than the other deodorants and antiperspirants I’ve used in the past.
5. Summer Fridays – in my never-ending quest for a natural glow, I’ve fallen in love with this r&r MASK by Summer Fridays. Ladies, the hype on Instagram is real. There’s a reason it has a solid 5-star review. The mask is a 2-in-1 and it exfoliates the skin and then replaces the oils we all need in order to glow from the inside out. I love, love, love it. Plus, it smells like a dream and really works!
Overall, I adore the Summer Fridays brand. I have yet to be disappointed in a product of theirs, and I think it’s super cool to know the co-founder is a fellow blogger, Marianna Hewitt. I’m excited to try more of their products soon, too!
These are just a few of my favorite summer go-to products that have helped me clean up my act, literally. When I started this process, I have to admit that I felt overwhelmed. The sheer volume of products I use on my face, on my kids, in my home… and the fact that so much of it has toxic or questionable ingredients. It can stop you in your tracks and make you afraid to even begin to tackle making changes. But don’t.
Do not be overwhelmed. What I’ve learned is just take it one product at a time. Small changes can make a big impact. When you’re out of one product, replace it with something better. And soon enough, you’ll be stocked up on clean products that you can feel confident in for you and your family.
If you need help making the switch, I’m your girl. I can help you with Beautycounter and would be honored to help you clean up your makeup and skincare act!
I’d love to hear what clean products you’re loving this summer so I can make some more changes, too! Drop them below in the comments.