the best sunscreen

Every summer, I search high and low for a good sunscreen to protect my pale, freckled skin. After reading the Environmental Working Group's report on sunscreens a few years ago, I've been determined to find a natural option that works. Did you know that most sunscreens are loaded with questionable chemicals, many of which don't even do a good job of protecting you from the sun? It's pretty scary stuff. 

I've tried a whole range of natural sunscreens looking for a safer option. My biggest complaint about most natural sunscreens is the milky white film that can leave you looking like you're ready to join a mime troupe. Some of them are so thick and sticky that they're impossible to rub in. A few that are more sheer turned out to be ineffective and left me with a sunburn. I like Erbaviva sunscreen for everyday use on my face, but the tiny tube isn't practical for trips to the beach. 

Not to fear, I have finally found a sunscreen that lives up to all my requirements. Goddess Garden Organics' Sunny Body is the best! 

Goddess Garden is recommended by the EWG in their guide to safer sunscreens. The 92% organic, mineral-based cream is not too thick and rubs in well with no ghost face residue. Most importantly, it works! 

After using it on a recent camping trip, neither me nor my husband got a sunburn. I usually burn fairly easily, so I was shocked to not be the least bit pink after two days out on a river in full sun.  It also lived up to its water resistant claims despite my failure to reapply after two hours. 

Though not cheap, Goddess Garden is actually relatively inexpensive for a natural sunscreen. The 8oz spray bottle is $24 and large enough to get me through the whole summer.  For something that is safe and will actually protect your skin, it's worth it! I bought mine locally from Pharmaca.

[Top photo from Found, Sunscreen photo from Goddess Garden]


found photos

I just came across National Geographic's incredible tumblr Found and had to share. It features a curated selection of images from their 125-year history, many of which have never been published before. They have posted such a breathtaking and diverse collection of photos, I had a difficult time narrowing down the dozens of photos I wanted to include in this post.


the status of my statice

Here I present to you a rather unremarkable vase of flowers. 
But what if I told you this bouquet was OVER A MONTH OLD!?! 

You may recognize this bunch of Statice from this post  I did way back on May 6th:

As you can see from the two photos, the stems have yellowed, but the flowers have held up beautifully.  Had I known I was going to keep them this long, I may have hung them up and dried them properly. As it was, I just left them in the vase and they dried themselves. They never really got gross, though I think it helps they are in an opaque container, as the stems aren't looking too pretty. The flowers held up so well, I didn't even realize how long I'd had them until I went back to check the date of that post. 

Statice come in a whole range of pretty colors. Apparently they are one of the most popular flowers for dried arrangements (though I did not realize that when I dried mine accidentally). I've never been a big fan of dried flowers, I usually think of them as being brown and shriveled, but this bright pink dried Statice might change my mind. It's so nice to have "fresh" flowers that last for more than a week!


bike hair

I've been riding my bike a lot lately, and let me tell you, my hair is not happy about it. I have a hard enough time doing my hair under normal circumstances, so the addition of a bike helmet makes things pretty much impossible. I'm sure all you bike riders out there feel me (because you always wear your helmet, right???).

I usually just end up putting my hair in a ponytail when I'm riding my bike, but Refinery29's round-up of helmet-friendly hairstyles has inspired me to get a little fancier. I think I might try the Twist this week, but I don't think even the world's best tutorial could help me do the Modern Princess Leia without assistance. I don't really understand how anyone can french braid the back of their own hair, but maybe I just need to practice more? And maybe grow an extra set of arms?

One thing I have found to help combat helmet hair is dry shampoo.  I cannot sing the praises of dry shampoo enough, I think I may be developing an addition. Its the only way I can get away with not washing my hair every day, whether or not I'm biking. Not only does it absorb oil on my second-day (and even third and fourth day) hair, it gives my fine hair more volume and body. I like to use a little after a bike ride to absorb any sweat and help fluff up my hair so it doesn't look plastered to my head.

I've been on a quest to find the best dry shampoo and I think I may have finally found it:

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo is amazing. I'm hardly the first to sing it's praises (Allure gave it a Best of Beauty Award), but I was initially hesitant to try it because of its relatively high price tag. After going through many bottles of cheaper brands that were sticky, too strongly scented, and ran out after only a few uses, I finally gave it a try. I only wish I had bought it sooner! It's unique application system is non-aerosol, but still easy to apply. Plus, you only have to use a little at a time, so the bottle will last long enough to easily get your money's worth. And most importantly- it works! After a few sprays of this magic powder, no one has to know I slept through my alarm this morning and was just huffing and puffing up the hill on my bike. Take that helmet hair!

[top photo via Little Miss Fashion Blog, second photo from Refinery29, Klorane photo from drugstore.com]