With long hot summer days and nights just around the corner, so too are the frizz, grease and other beauty dilemmas that crop up this steamy time of year. And we’ve noticed there are more natural options than ever before rushing to the rescue.
“Thanks to similar movements like slow, local and organic food, we’re at a point in time when people are interested in quality—and the idea that everything is connected, from the food we eat to the makeup we apply on our skin, is no longer such a foreign concept,” says natural and ethical style expert Emma Grady, of the uptick in launches.
We couldn’t agree more. Here are some of our favorite natural picks to feel and look beautiful all summer long.
Please note: The amount of natural ingredients in each product varies; read full labels if you want to avoid specific ingredients.
1Problem: Chipped Pedi
Common polish chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene and phthalates can dehydrate nails, making your fresh mani-pedi more prone to chipping. Sheswai Nail is free of all three additives, and the shades are so richly imbued with glossy pigment that you may even be able to sneak by with just one coat! We love the easy-grip caps that are made from sustainably harvested wood grown on family-owned tree farms.
2Problem: Crazy Curls
Try: Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight, $26 (available on Aveda.com in June)
If you want sleeker strands, skip damaging straightening treatments and instead try this lightweight crème that progressively loosens texture with every application. Naturally derived plant fibers attach to relax curls while a humidity barrier of tapioca starch and maize block out frizz. Air-dry for gentle waves, or grab a blow-dryer to go super straight. The scent leaves strands smelling lovely, with notes of Turkish rose, Australian sandalwood, bergamot and palmarosa.
3Problem: Sensitive Skin
Skin prone to redness often flares in the summer, when factors like UV rays, heat and perspiration can trigger a flush in skin. Keep it simple and remove potential irritants from your skincare routine by trying a gentler made-for-baby option like CeraVe’s new line. Free of fragrance, parabens and sulfates, these ceramide-rich formulas help rebuild compromised skin barriers, and are also a great adult choice if you’re especially sensitive to fragranced products.
4Problem: Bumpy and Ashy Skin
Your favorite way to start the day is now the latest way to get radiant skin. Frank Coffee Scrub features roasted ground Arabica beans (that smell ah-mazing!) and arrive in an environmentally friendly resealable brown envelope; choose from sweet almond and orange or coconut and grapeseed. Pacifica’s Kona Coffee Sugar Scrub loads in sea salt, sugar and coconut for an exhilarating experience. Both use the natural benefits of caffeine to stimulate and enliven skin.
5Problem: Cracked Heels
Barefoot walks on the beach and long days in sandals and flip flops can leave heels looking rough and unsightly. After your shower or bath, massage a creamy foot balm like this pick from Desert Essence that features organic pistachio nut oil, macadamia seed oil and shea butter. Paired with such a luscious texture, the nutty, gourmand scent makes it feel like a luxe treat.
6Problem: Pale Skin
Check out this genius idea from Dr. Hauschka: Blend a few drops of this natural liquid bronzer concentrate to your favorite moisturizer for an instant and believable sun-kissed glow that you can adjust to your liking, or add a few drops to your body lotion or sunscreen to infuse color and minimize the appearance of blemishes, scars and other irregularities when showing some skin. Olive oil, mineral pigments and witch hazel all keep skin feeling fresh and looking beautiful.
Sometimes it’s hard to pick what’s worse: bug bites or the icky chemical-laden sprays that are supposed to repel them. Now there’s a better option. Erbaviva’s Buzz Spray uses biodynamic essential oils of lemon, eucalyptus, cedarwood, citronella and lemongrass for a woody citrus scent that delights humans and horrifies bugs. The adorable bottles spray dry to the touch and are USDA certified organic.
8Problem: Cloying Perfume
Your favorite scent can turn wicked or heady during the summer, as notes are susceptible to souring in high heat. An essential oil rollerball like Finn & Co.’s White Sand skips chemical preservatives for natural oils of jojoba, honeysuckle and apricot that stay true. Founder Meg Spencer was inspired by childhood memories at Nantucket when creating this blend, which captures the sensuality of clean sheets, sand and sea roses off the saltwater coast of Maine.
9Problem: Shiny Face
Instead of blotting with thick powder to set your face and sop up shine, try this whisper-soft universal powder by Ilia that comes packaged in an automatic, refillable brush. The translucent formula blends organic powder with aloe leaf extract and minerals to give skin a supple finish. Passion fruit and rosemary oil are naturally anti-inflammatory and keep your complexion feeling soft and looking vibrant.
Increased sebum production and high humidity often whip up a recipe for that unwelcome visitor: blackheads. Try this organic and purifying clay mask created by supermodel Miranda Kerr, which uses clay to rebalance sebum and draw pore-clogging impurities out in a weekly treatment. Noni extract and lavender sanitize skin and refresh the complexion for a healthy-looking glow. It also works wonders on congested chests.
11Problem: Strung-Out Strands
Between surf, sand and sun, hair can take a real beating. Resuscitate strands with a weekly oil treatment from one of the original organic beauty pioneers, Leonor Greyl. The brand just updated their iconic palm oil hair ritual to be more environmentally responsible, replacing it with copra oil cold-pressed from coconut kernels and mongongo oil from the nuts of the African tree that grows in the Kalahari Desert. A little goes a long way, and the scent and soft hair you’re left with is nothing short of seductive.
12Problem: Suffocated Skin
If you’re using the same products year-round, summer calls for a lightening up. Consider Marie Veronique Organics, which is chock-full of good-for-you ingredients. We’re loving the exfoliating cleanser that’s soap-free and super refreshing, the invigorating antioxidant face mist that replaces toner, the rapidly absorbing and skin-balancing face oil, and the airy coverage of the tinted SPF 30. They all come full-sized in the Everyday Essentials Kit.
13Problem: Itchy Skin
Relentless hair removal methods like shaving and waxing can leave skin especially irritated and itchy in the summer. Next time, try hydrating with a body oil naturally replete in essential fatty acids and vitamin E like this pick from Shea Terra Organics. It replenishes skin with hibiscus oil to more deeply moisturize and has a subtle yet earthy scent that plays well in the heat.
14Problem: Dry Lips
Sunshine may give you a glow, but it sure can dehydrate your lips, too. We’re loving Beecology’s adorable tin set of five natural lip balms that have us feeling safe about licking our lips since there’s only coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, honey and beeswax goodness in these babies. Flavors include two of the original peppermint, orange ginger, lemon lavender and honey. The gender-neutral packaging makes this a great buy for dudes, too.
15Problem: Cakey Coverup
Ease up on the usual war paint routine by reaching for a BB cream that combines sunscreen protection and primer with light coverage. Ava Anderson Non Toxic’s version is free of all common chemicals found in this category, and instead uses a completely natural formula that includes organic aloe vera, green tea, argan and orange peel. Choose from four shades that are super forgiving and yet substantial enough to transition into fall.