Prep for Summer Fun With the Best All-Natural Sunscreens

After bundling up all winter, many of us eagerly await the chance to shed some layers during the summer. June means it’s time to relish the feeling of a warm breeze or sun on your skin. The well-documented benefits of Vitamin D as a major mood booster make outdoors time even more alluring. It all sounds a bit idyllic, no? It’s all fun and breezy summer games until you accidentally brush up against poison ivy mid-hike, have itchy bug bites or max out on sun exposure on day one of that weeklong Outer Banks rental. We’ve written before about all natural ways to stay healthy during the summer, but today warrants a new focus: all things skin related, including the best all-natural sunscreens. 

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to prevent sunburn, bug bites, and rashes from plants such as poison ivy. We’re also sharing some remedies should you have a run-in with one of these pesky foes.

The best all-natural sunscreens for 2019

At Rebecca’s, we make a concerted effort to only source sunscreen that the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Sunscreen Guide rates as “low hazard.” We annually confirm that the sunscreens we carry make the cut. Over 1,400 sunscreens are annually tested by the EWG, only 5% meet their standards, and almost half were listed as potentially able to contribute to skin cancer. In other words, let’s not use something that causes skin cancer in an effort to prevent skin cancer. The harmful ingredients in most popular sunscreens also damage the environment in addition to our skin. We carry many of the best all-natural sunscreens and pride ourselves on having one of the best regional selections. 

One of our favorite brands is Badger, whose easy to apply sunscreen is also water-resistant for at least 40 minutes. Badger’s sunscreen is free from anything artificial, including fragrances, dyes, GMOs, petrolatum, and other synthetics. You can swim guilt free knowing this product is reef-friendly and biodegradable. Badger’s new Clear Zinc products are another highly effective option that truly goes on clear with the same, effective mineral protection against sunburn. Don’t forget to reapply!

Other brands we love and stock include Goddess Garden and Babo (a gentle favorite for babies and kids). We also carry several SPF products just for faces, including Andalou BB SPF facial creams and Cannacell hemp stem cell-based SPF 30. Another favorite to carry in your purse for easy application is Derma-E’s Sun Protection Mineral Powder SPF 30 which includes a built-in brush for easy application. These are for face, neck, and ear sun protection as well as fighting that sweaty, summer shiny face.  

Repel pests

Don’t let bugs keep you from spending time outdoors! It’s not only a matter of being bugged, but also a matter of health, as Lyme Disease cases continue to increase in Virginia.

Our two long-term, best-selling insect repellants are made by Quantum Buzz Away Extreme and Ticks N All, which was formulated by a Lyme’s Disease Doctor. We also have BugBand Tick Plus spray and B&T Sting Stop gel for itchy bug bites.

If you prefer a DIY project, you can also make your own all-natural insect repellent. Choose a carrier oil, like grapeseed or almond oil, then combine with quality essential oils that we carry such as rose geranium (great for tick prevention), citronella, lemongrass, and lemon eucalyptus.

Aside from protecting your skin, you can prevent critters in your space with peppermint essential oils, which helps repel summer pests such as stink bugs and mice. Pantry Pest makes pantry or closet moth traps, and Terra Ant traps are popular and very effective. In general, do what you can to avoid standing water, where mosquitoes breed.

Treating poison ivy

Feeling the itch that drives you crazy? Try Washington Homeopathic Poison Ivy pellets internally and topical spray to soothe the skin. We also carry All Terrain Poison Ivy Soap to wash with after gardening or hiking and Rustic Remedies Jewelweed “Lotion” (which is more like an oil) to apply the first day of poison ivy itchiness. These are safe to use for all ages.

Stay tuned, next week we’ll share a deeper dive into all things Lyme disease related, from how to recognize Lyme to how you can treat it homeopathically.