Celebrating Summer Naturally: Be Cool, Healthy & Green
We are still celebrating independence day with a family get together this weekend (outside, oh boy!), and I’m trying to celebrate my independence from toxic summer skincare while I’m at it. Green Diva Juliette did a wonderful post with some great ideas for natural and non-toxic ways to avoid damaging sun AND pesky insects! Here’s an excerpt from her post:
Safe & Sunny
Of course, the best way to block out the sun besides creams and lotions (that can put nasty chemicals onto our skin) is to stay in the shade or wear sun-protective clothing, like a hat or a shirt. But what most people don’t know is that a regular cotton shirt only has a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of around 5. And, to boot, sun-protective clothing may not be the most stylish clothing for a Green Diva’s wardrobe.
That’s why there’s Mott 50, a fashion-forward apparel company whose garments all have a UPF of 50 and are all about being smart in the sun without sacrificing style. Their clothing line is endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation and also meets the standards of the IUVTL (International UV Testing Laboratory) and the AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists).
If you’re not on the market for a new wardrobe and prefer to stick to sunscreen, the Environmental Working Group has a great, comprehensive list of the best sunscreens that are rated for their broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and for their use of hazardous chemicals.
a LOT more detail and links in the full post . . .
Repel Those Pests Naturally
Many commercial insect repellents contain chemicals that can be toxic to humans when they are not washed off the skin after a few hours or if they are by accidently ingested, such as the powerful repellent DEET. There are some more natural ways to ward off the mosquitos, wasps and other summer critters that don’t require as many chemicals.
Put your clothes on! - For starters, a great way to repel bugs from your skin is to wear clothing at dusk (when the bugs are out in full force!) that provides a lot of cover, like a long-sleeve shirt or pants.
Citronella – Then there is always a good old citronella candle or citronella incense, which may not be the most effective insect repellents on the market but do mean no chemicals are applied to the skin.
Make your own, Naturally! If you’re looking for a contact repellent for the skin, there are a few DIY recipes for natural, plant-based repellents that are non-toxic but do need to be used still in safe quantities. These recipes use what are called essential oils mixed with an alcohol or a ‘carrier oil’ to dilute the essential oils so they’re safely applied to the skin.
for GD Juliette’s easy recipe for natural insect repellent