Summer is finally here! It’s time to put away your winter gear and break out your sunglasses and sunscreen. In today’s blog post, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite summer essentials.
1. Sunblock. This essential item is the key to preventing sunburn, aging, and skin cancer. Look for a sunblock with at least 30 SPF (sun protection factor) and words such as “broad spectrum” and/or “UVA and UVB” with ingredients that include zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Avoid chemicals such as oxybenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate as they react to the sun’s rays and are harmful to the body and environment. If you prefer using aerosol-like cans, look for ones with words such as “No CFCs,” “CFC free,” or “non-propellant aerosol” to avoid releasing harmful chemicals into the environment. Lastly, don’t forget to reapply!
Brands We Love: Coola, Supergoop, Bare Republic, Shiseido, The Honest Company, Kiss My Face, Sunology, All Good, Badger, Josie Maran, and Yes To
2. Aloe Vera. Aloe vera is a cooling gel that feels amazing, especially in the summer heat. In addition to treating sunburns, cuts, and acne, this hydrating ingredient acts as a natural moisturizer, is packed with vitamins and minerals, and has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. When choosing an aloe vera product, look for the International Aloe Science Council Seal of Approval for authenticity and “Aloe Vera” listed as the first ingredient (not water or a sugary filler, and/or “juice or gel”) which indicates that it is 95% real Aloe Vera.
Brands We Love: Nature Republic, Key West Aloe, Fruit of the Earth, Mill Creek Botanicals, and Aubrey Organics
3. Bug Spray. Bugs love the warmer months just as much as we do and summertime means we’ll likely encounter lots of them. Protect your exposed skin from bites with bug spray. Look for bug sprays that contain 20 to 30% DEET and is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (look for the EPA registration number on the back of the label) as these are less harmful to the environment. Most importantly, apply it properly! Using more spray does not mean it’s more effective. Read the instructions carefully. Click here to look for EPA-approved bug sprays.
Brands We Love: Off!, Repel, and Cutter
4. Facial Mist. A great way to rejuvenate your face after being out in the summer heat is to use a facial mist. It’s refreshing and it contains many antioxidants, minerals, and/or vitamins to help hydrate, replenish, and soothe your skin. Just spritz it on your face every couple of hours and feel the coolness of the mist as it settles onto your face. How relaxing! We suggest avoiding mists with oils since that can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
Brands We Love: Mario Badescu, Herbivore, Caudalie, First Aid Beauty, Peach & Lily, La Roche-Posay, and Avene
5. Reusable Water Bottle. Whether it is summer or winter, you should always stay hydrated. During the summer, it’s especially important to replenish your body as you sweat under the hot sun. The amount of water you drink depends on many factors such as your height, weight, and physical activity. Click here for an estimate on how much water you should drink. Opt for a reusable water bottle that is BPA-free or stainless steel to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the environment.
Brands We Love: Hydro Flask, Nalgene, Klean Kanteen, Thermos, Stanley, Vivid Roots, and S’well
6. Hat. Don’t let the sun toast your face and neck! If you’re going to be in the sun for the majority of the day, wear a hat for full sun coverage.
Brands We Love: Columbia, Coolibar, UV Skinz, and Mountain Hardwear
7. Sunglasses. Sunglasses protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays, eye dryness, and eye aging. Shop for a good pair of sunglasses that block 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB light.
Brands We Love: MILK Eyewear, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Woodwear, Drift, ICU eyewear, and Panda
8. Comfortable Sandals. With the sun not setting until 8pm (or later), you’re likely to be out all day to take advantage of it. Make sure you wear comfortable sandals so you can walk around all day without any soreness or aches.
Brands We Love: Teva, Chaco, ECCO, Birkenstock, The Walking Company, Clarks, Aerosoles, and Keen
9. Portable Charger. Does this item look familiar? It was mentioned in our car camping article. Make sure your phone is never without battery life. Just don’t forget your charging wire!
Brands We Love: Carved, Omaker, Goal Zero, EasyAcc, and Anker
10. Camera. Some of the best memories are created during the summer. You don’t want to regret not capturing those moments and not being able to look back and laugh at them. Bring your camera with you — whether it is on your phone, a nice, slick DSLR, or a Polaroid camera. Snap away like there’s no tomorrow, but also remember to live in the moment too.
Brands We Love: Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Fujifilm