Stuff We Love: Fran’s Summer Cosmetic Essentials


I’m on vacation at the beach! So it’s appropriate that I tell you about some of my favorite natural summer sun-friendly products….

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been researching and hunting for effective, chemical-free sunscreens for kids.  Well I’ve also been on the lookout for great products for adults.  So I thought I’d share a few of my summer cosmetic/suncare picks, which I’ve personally tested on me or my family and am pleased with.  Since I am the most sensitive-skinned individual I know and a stickler about all-natural products, I will only ever recommend products that are natural, chemical-free, fragrance-free (or scented with essential plant oils), and suitable for sensitive skin. This year I’ve also relied heavily on the Environmental Working Group’s Skindeep Cosmetics database, which rates products on a scale of 0-10 (0 being best, as in zero concerns) based on ingredient safety and product effectiveness.  Not sure why I think this matters? Check it out.

Ok, all that said, here they are:

SanRe Organic Skinfood Sparkling Aloe Day Cream SPF 30

I was looking for a light everyday moisturizer with at least a 30 SPF to wear under makeup, and after reading lots of reviews, this is the one I settled on.  So far I’m quite pleased with it, except for the price, which is a bit steep for such a small jar of product.  It gets very good ratings from the EWG, and good reviews from users.   It seems to do well for my combination skin and the dry Texas climate.  I don’t think I’d recommend it to someone with oily skin in a humid climate – it might be a little heavy in that case.  It’s completely safe, completely natural, and the US-based manufacturer seems to have good ethics.  This is not a waterproof product, so you’ll need a different sunscreen for water and sports….such as…

California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30

I’ve used this for a couple of summers now.  It’s a physical barrier sunscreen (titanium dioxide in this case), so yes, it’s a bit white when you first put it on.  I’ve found that is pretty standard for non-chemical sunscreens, and worth it for a superior sunblock with no potential allergens or unsafe ingredients.  This is a good standby sunscreen for babies and adults, very water- and sweat- resistant, although you do have to reapply periodically.  EWG doesn’t have a rating on this particular product, but California Baby’s other sunscreens are rated with a 1 (mainly for potential allergenic ingredients like lanolin), and I think the Super Sensitive is even better. Our whole family uses this.

Giovanni 2 Chic Leave-in Conditioner and Styling Elixer

I’ve been using this elegant leave-in product every morning to keep my curls hydrated and relatively frizz-free in the dry Texas climate.  It contains argan oil and keratin, and I’m very happy with the feel of it – it’s light and not oily, and doesn’t have a strong smell (I hate smelly products).  I put it on my dry-to-damp hair, concentrating on the ends.

Loving Naturals Clear Body Sunscreen Spf 30+

I actually like this sunscreen better than the CA Baby, but it’s slightly more pricy (only slightly).  It’s super smooth in application, doesn’t go on white, and has good water resistance.   Another major plus for me is that it’s got the #1 rank among sunscreens from Skindeep.  You’ll be able to recognize and pronounce every ingredient on the label. I’m pretty excited about this whole line of products, including…

Loving Naturals Clear Lips Sunscreen Lip Balm

I am allergic to chemical sunscreens, particularly on my lips.  If I accidentally use a lip balm or lipstick with chemical sunscreen in it, I wake up the next day with lips twice their normal size, blistered and cracked.  No fun.  So for years, I have stayed away from lip balms containing sunscreen.  Until I found Love Naturals, which contains natural zinc oxide, and doesn’t have any ill effects on my pucker.  It does apply a bit stickily, but it stays on forever and protects against chapping as well as sunburn.  I’m sold on this little tube, and have it tucked away in my beach bag.


I’m still looking for a relatively harmless waterproof mascara.  This one gets a ’2′ from Skindeep, which is prolly as good as it gets for waterproof, but I haven’t tried it yet…

Do you have summer products you rely on?




fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.