Summer Sunscreens


I am obsessed with practicing safe sun all year round, but especially when the sun is so blazing hot that you feel like the heat itself could give you a sunburn, I believe a pair of awesome shorts and sunscreen are more essential than ever. 

I may be a California girl, and home may be where the sun is, but sun damage ain’t pretty. Neither are chemical sunscreens containing ingredients like oxybenzone, which scores an 8 on the Skin Deep Database for biochemical or cellular level changes and endocrine disruption. Luckily, there are physical sunscreens containing ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are much safer for the skin. While Prevention Mag says sunscreen is the ultimate anti-aging cream, and Rose Marie Swift of RMS beauty prefers the sun sunscreen-less*, I will slather on my SPF 30’s just to be safe and balance sun exposure with sun protection the best I can.

Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30
The name sets it up too well because this is a perfect sunscreen. It’s hydrating without leaving any white cast, irritation, or greasiness. It has a slight aloe scent and a slight tint–just enough to barely even out skin tone, but not too much to feel heavy or classify it as a tinted moisturizer. On good skin days, I have gone out of the house with just this and the beautiful Kjaer Weis mascara–a very natural and glowing look. As far as application goes, one pump dispenses enough for my face and neck post-moisturizing and pre-makeup. I’ve used sunscreens from Badger and Devita before, both of which had their upsides and downsides, but this one from Consonant is my favorite–every point about it is lovely! Also, I bought two more during their recent flash sale celebrating their newly redesigned site to give to my mum and sis.

Star ingredients: non-nano zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, aloe juice, rice bran oil, grape seed oil.

Badger Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
While I am zealous about applying sunscreen to my face, I am not as responsible with my body, even though, ironically, a larger amount of skin covers my body than my face. When my watch tan started becoming obvious and even my manager commented how I was getting tanner**, I knew I had to get on a proper, daily body sunscreen. I’ve used Badger sunscreen on my face and body in the past, and while the ingredients were stellar, I had to take more time with application to pat pat away the white cast. Their newer formulation with aloe makes the formula much more manageable with minimal to no white cast. I still find that if I’m not properly moisturized, I will look a bit flaky, so I manage that by mixing the sunscreen with a moisturizer, rosewater mist, or body oil (coconut is my favorite). I apply to all the body areas I know will be exposed once I take off my long-sleeve layers after work–it’s fall/winter all year long in there–and try to reapply after I get in the car to go home. The chamomile and calendula scent isn’t too overwhelming, and I’ve heard the orange and vanilla scent smells like orange creamsicles. I have the baby version since Whole Foods was out of the normal version at the time, but hey, I want baby-soft, protected skin too!

Star ingredients: non-nano uncoated zinc oxide, aloe juice, sunflower oil, calendula extract.

Tl;dr Not a burn in sight with these two sunscreens. What sunscreens are you loving this summer?

* See EWG’s “9 Surprising Facts about Sunscreen” and NaturalNew’s “7 Surprising Things You’re Not Supposed to Know About Sunscreen and Sunlight Exposure” if you want more on the sunscreen debate.

** I replied it was from driving the car to work. Who goes to the beach? Also, my left side is slightly tanner than my right side. Awkward.

June Empties


Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands
My post-shower, hand and foot massage balm while winding down for bed with some Sherlock Holmes. It may seem greasy at first, but the moisture settles in and smooths away any rough, wintered patches.

Heritage Rosewater & Glycerin
This has been my inexpensive tone-when-I-don’t-have-a-toner (great), set-mineral-makeup-or-any-makeup (great), and my-face-is-so-dry-in-my-cubicle-help-me spray (not so great). I’m working on another bottle of this that I discovered in my bathroom (bless you, past Jade, for leaving behind goods), and while I won’t rush out to repurchase it, I’d pick this up in a pinch.

Vered Botanicals Herb-Infused Toner
I’ve missed this so much since I shook out the last drop. It’s sexy-smelling, it’s refreshing, it has loads of beneficial herbs, and its counterpart, the Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil, feels lost without it. I’m taking a break from the cotton round ritual for spray toners, but I’ll come back to this one for its balancing, blemish-banishing powers for sure.

Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+
It’s a sunscreen but with the texture of a moisturizer? Brilliant. My qualms with it? Sometimes it leaves behind strange white flakes (Lonely Kiwee has witnessed it as well) and my face feeling a bit too matte and dry. I’ve massaged it in, patted it in, worn nothing underneath, worn oils underneath, same results. The white flakes are no big deal–you can just wipe them away–but being dry is no fun. If you’re not too dry and don’t mind random white flakes, this is your wonder I-can’t-believe-it-doesn’t-leave-a-white-cast sunscreen.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts?

Treating the Rudolph nose

You would think that after Spring Break everyone would come back well-rested and ready to face the last 6 weeks of school. I myself was hoarding all the rest I could get…and then I caught a bug. This past week of back-to-school? A bit of a blur, I’ll admit, what with explosive coughing and now my sinuses are having a field day. My nose, much to its indignation, is pretty raw because I am apparently too cheap to buy softer Kleenex in favor of the harsher toilet paper courtesy of my school’s bathrooms. (I just want to save money for skincare…ha.)

This is my lip balm collection and I am not ashamed…Note: I would not recommend using tinted lip balms around the nose!!!

My recent Rudolph-y undertones have reminded me of a trick my mother taught me as a child. When I would be blowing off my nose like an elephant, my mom would tell me to put chapstick on, around, underneath, and in my nose to soothe the redness and irritation post-nose-blowing. People thought I was ridiculous! I thought I was ridiculous!

While I’m not certain of how green those chapsticks were back then, now that I generally know what kind of ingredients make a chapstick awesome, it makes total sense! My mother was a genius! She was harnessing the multitasking powers of balm moisturizing!

When you look at the ingredients in the lip balms of Burt’s Bees, S.W. Basics (formerly Sprout), and Hurraw!, you see plant oils, beeswax, some extra essential oils over and over again–and no wonder.

While I think lip balm serves as a valid trick in a pinch (and you should try to be as hygienic as possible with your chapstick around your running snot or use a clean finger), I’ve also been repurposing my favorite hand moisturizers as my nose soothers.

Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands: You can see I’ve hit pan on this and I am feeling simultaneously sad and victorious about it. I love massaging this into my hands post-shower, and now I’ve added rubbing it around my poor nose and upper lip. It’s super concentrated with moisturizing heroes extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and aloe; and it calms down the rawness. It’s also got a fresh wintergreen scent (from the essential oil itself, of course). One thing, make sure your paws are always clean when you dip into this so you don’t contaminate the goodness!

Weleda Skin Food: You can also see I am squeezing out the last bits of this one. Since this thick cream is the product that I take on-the-go in my backpack for convenience’s sake, I take the smallest dab and pat around my nose in class or after a grueling nose-blowing session. And done, nose well-moisturized until the next time the mucus creeps up…Beware: Skin Food is mega thick so blend thoroughly or else it’ll look silly. This baby is orange blossom-y, as I’ve been told countless times (“What is that orange blossom smell?? Jade, is that you??”). And no surprise, this is also packed with plant oils, beeswax, and extracts from essential oils.

Have any special tips for when you get sick? I’ve also been having a teaspoon of apple cider plus raw honey in warm water once a day for digestion/general health/immunity, and it’s growing on me.

Winter, don’t badger me ft. Badger Balm

East Coast winter is a bit of a shock for a California girl, and that combined with extreme dorm heating and hot shower temptations has made my hands a bit unhappy. While I keep Weleda Skin Food in my backpack for on-the-go moisturizing, Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands has become my desk standby for calming down rosey, crackly hands pre-bed as well as moisturizing cuticles (fingers and toes) and rough elbows. A rub into the balm, a rub into the skin, and I’m ready to continue taking silly pictoral notes for Music History IV.
Ingredients: *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Extract, and Essential Oils of Betula Lenta (Birch) and *Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen).

Badger Sunscreen

This is a great sunscreen that I’ve used in the summer and now transitioning into the fall. It starts out pretty thick, but once you pat it gently into the skin and let it sink in for a minute or two, it is a good base for makeup and it’s awesome for your skin with lovelies such as aloe (redness calming), shea butter (mega moisturizing), and seabuckthorn oil (nourishing/regenerative/restorative). Great for the rest of the body as well (0 sunburns this summer!). However it does kind of emphasize any flakiness so do make sure you are adequately exfoliated and moisturized beforehand. ($15.99 – 2.9 oz)