A few of my favorite sunscreens

It’s been a long summer and since I work outdoors most of the time, sunscreens play a vital role in my daily routine.

My "office" at Seaport Village in San Diego

My “office” at Seaport Village in San Diego

Here are a few sunscreens that I have used all summer:

Some of the sunscreens I have used most often this summer.

Some of the sunscreens I have used most often this summer.

Banana Boat Baby Tear-Free, Sting-Free Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50

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The active ingredients are: Titanium Dioxide, 3.1% and Zinc Oxide, 4.0%

This lotion is cheap, cheap, cheap at Walmart.  It’s goopy, very water and sweat resistant, and seems to last forever.  This is my go-to body sunscreen when I work outdoors.

Sunology SPF 50 for Face
Sunology sunscreen

Sunology sunscreen

Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide 10.0%, Titanium Dioxide 7.5% Inactive Ingredients: Aluminum Hydroxide, BIS-PEG-12 Dimethicone Candelillate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Feruloyl Soy Glycerides, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrated Silica, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Tocopherol.

When it’s hot and humid, this is what I wear.  Yes, it looks greasy and goes on greasy, but that oil absorbs quickly and protection lasts and lasts.  It’s also non-irritating and reef-safe if you happen to be snorkeling or diving. Just a little goes a long way — if you try to glob it one, you will get white streaks.

Another perk of this sunscreen, my skin has not been as dry and irritated at the end of a long day at the park as it was last year when I used a different daily sunscreen. I like to think of it as a sun shield.  Our local drugstores no longer carry this product, so I found it on Amazon.

Mineral Fusion untinted mineral beauty balm, spf 30 all-in-one BB
Mineral Fusion Untinted BB Cream

Mineral Fusion Untinted BB Cream

Yes, it’s called a BB cream, but since it’s untinted, it’s really a glorified sunscreen.

Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20% Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Sorbitan Stearate, Castor Oil, Polyglycerol-10 Laurate, Mineral-Peptide Blend (Magnesium Asparate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Rosa Canina (Rose) Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

It is supposed to leave a matte finish, but I find that I get a more dewey look.  The tinted formulas only have an SPF of 9! And both shades are too dark for me.  I use this to lighten other BB creams that are too dark or I just use it on its own as a daily use sunscreen for non-outdoor days.  I am not sure how it stands up to sweating, so I don’t use it when I exercise or work outdoors.

Supergoop Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum, SPF 30
photo from Supergoop.com

photo from Supergoop.com

Active Ingredients:
Homosalate (Sunscreen) 8%, Octisalate (Sunscreen) 4%, Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene 2%

Inactive Ingredients:
Purified Water (Aqua), Cyclomethicone, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Polypropylene, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Xantham Gum, d-panthenol, Octanohydroxamic acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, Triacontanyl PVP, Cetyl Dimethicone, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, PEG-40 Stearate, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA , Pentylene Glycol, Panthenyl Triacetate, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Serine, Urea, Sorbitol, Sodium Chloride, Allantoin, Oleyl Alcohol, Ethyl Linoleate

This was included in Sephora’s Summertime Crushes collection. It goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly.  I like to use it as a first layer of sunscreen underneath a physical sunscreen like Sunology or Mineral Fusion.  It is packed with moisturizers (glycerin, urea, sorbitol) as well as vitamin B5 and vitamin E. It is like a skin treatment with the added bonus of sun protection.

Murad Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35

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from Murad's website

from Murad’s website

This is another gem from the Sephora Summer Crushes collection.  It’s a cute little stick that is non-greasy and very easy to carry anywhere.  Although it’s a completely chemical sunscreen, it’s still a useful tool to have in your purse or workout bag.

Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46

EltaMD_sunscreenHand1

Active Ingredients: 9.0% Zinc oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lactic Acid, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane

I discovered this product last year and still am in love.  It’s broad-spectrum, has a physical sunscreen, and actually calms my skin when it’s feeling red and stressed. It is not water or sweat resistant, so it’s definitely not something I wear when I’m exercising or working outdoors. But for those days when I’m just running errands or doing a lot of indoor gigs, this is the sunscreen I reach for.

These are a few of my favorite sunscreens this summer.

Have you tried any of them?  What are your favorites?

We have winners!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Hooray!!

I decided to choose 2 winners for my birthday giveaway!

Jenna from Turku, Finland!!!

and

Natalie from Raleigh, North Carolina!

Congratulations!

 

It’s my birthday and I’m hosting a giveaway!

Woo hoo!  Happy birthday to me!

This year’s birthday wasn’t as spectacular as my 50th birthday last year.  Last year I was in Hawaii and went snorkelling with turtles on my birthday.

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Hard to top snorkelling with turtles!

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This year, I worked at Seaport Village. And although I was working, it was about as perfect a day as you can get at work… clear skies, slight breeze, happy vacationers… and I found a package of googly eyes and drew this panda on a little girl who was also celebrating her birthday!

A great day at the office!

A great day at the office!

So I decided to share the love on my birthday with a lucky winner:

My gift to one of you!

My gift to one of you!

In the bag:

  • A full-sized Makana Artisanal Soy Candle in a yummy Grapefruit/Lychee scent.
  • A Mineral Fusion Mini Nail Polish kit in the hot summer colors of Trinket (a red-purple cream), Lagoon (a carribean ocean green) and Blaze (a glorious red-orange cream)
  • A sample bottle of Acure Pure Organic Argan Oil
  • A sample of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap
  • Two teabags of Yogi Tea
  • Other stuff as strikes my fancy between now and the time a winner is chosen.

To enter, just tell me about your best birthday celebration.  You can enter more than once, but I’d appreciate a different answer per entry (just coz I read them all!)

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

When the spouse is away….

I shall have a spa day!

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It has been ages since I had a whole day off all by myself!  Hubby is in Tucson at a meeting, and I had a surprise cancellation.  Woo hoo!

My spa day actually started yesterday evening with an hour-long massage from Nell at Spa 33, followed by a half hour in the sauna.  Then I had a spa dinner of stir-fry over quinoa and read magazines with the cats.  Heaven!

This morning I got up at my usual time and slathered my hair with a mixture of coconut oil and camellia oil (available on Amazon and at Asian groceries) — and covered it with a plastic bag.  Then I went for my walk.  You would never know that my hair was getting beautified underneath my walking hat!

WalkingGirl2

Doing the hot oil treatment and getting fit, too!

Having the kitchen to myself for a few days seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a new diet.  I saw this book at the library and could not resist the title: Happy Hormones, Slim Belly: Over 40? Lose 7 lbs the First Week, and then 2 lbs. Weekly – Guaranteed. by Jorge Cruise.  The premise, in a nutshell, is that women start craving sugar (meaning sugar in a global sense — everything that breaks down into sugars in the digestive system, so sugars, fruit, carbs, etc.) to help boost their serotonin levels which are going haywire during peri-menopause. The result is weight gain and difficulty sticking to diets which make us miserable.  Jorge’s answer: what he calls carb-cycling.  It sounds like a modified marriage of the Atkins Diet and the Fast Diet — 2 days a week, you avoid all “sugars” (eating as much meat, dairy and vegetables as you want) and then the other 5 days you eat a sensible Mediterranean diet.

My hormones certainly are going haywire… and my weight is currently plateaued at 20lbs more than what the Dr. considers healthy…

So I’m on the second day of the Diet which has 2 “Slim Days” and 5 “Happy Days”  Today is a “Slim Day” — and it’s going well.  I have some fruit cravings, but have almonds instead. And the avocado with lunch really helped fill me up.

Tomorrow I get to have tortillas again!  It seems fairly easy to work around the spouse.  He will be happy with the increase in bacon consumption… All I really have to do is not eat the carbs on my slim days, but in practice, I’m not sure I can watch my husband eat bread without having some myself….

I am dubious about the losing 7 lbs in one week part…. and I’m pretty sure the guarantee won’t apply to me since it was a library book… but we’ll see how it goes.

So, back to the spa part….

I made a simple scrub by adding some Hawaiian red salt to Alba’s Coconut Milk Facial Wash.

 

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Ingredients: Aqua (Water), C14-22 Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract*, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil*, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Panthenol, Polysorbate 60, Potassium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alcohol*, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol , Coumarin, Fragrance (Parfum) * Certified Organic Ingredient

Then followed that with the Honey Girl Organics Rejuvenating Mask (which although is clay-based, has enough oils and honey that it is actually not drying at all)

Honey-Girl-Organics-Rejuvenating-Mask-718122334988

Ingredients: Raw Pupukea Honey, French green clay, organic diatomaceous earth, Hawaiian blue green algae, Royal Jelly, propolis.

Then washed the oil out of my hair with Whole Foods 365 Lavender Shampoo — which has no sulfates or other nasty stuff. It left my hair soft and clean, but not squeaky and stripped.  This was one of the freebies I got from the Whole Foods Blogger event last month.

365 Shampoo for dry and normal hair "lavender blend": water, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium cocoamphacetate, wheat germ amidopropyl, betaine, sodium chloride, benzyl alcohol, glycerine, citric acid, dehydroacetic acid, burdock root extract, panthenol, vitamin E, hydrolyzed soy protein, rosemary, lavender, tangerine

365 Shampoo for dry and normal hair “lavender blend”: water, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium cocoamphacetate, wheat germ amidopropyl, betaine, sodium chloride, benzyl alcohol, glycerine, citric acid, dehydroacetic acid, burdock root extract, panthenol, vitamin E, hydrolyzed soy protein, rosemary, lavender, tangerine

I also tried the Whole Foods 365 French Milled Organic Lavender Soap (also a sample freebie from the Blogger event) — and it was delightful!  Nice lather, and a fresh lavender scent. Definitely a keeper!

Wholefoods_LavenderSoapAlas, being at home is not the same as being at The Golden Door, so there were still chores to be done.

But my hair and skin feel fantastic, and after a bowl of hearty soup, there is a Disney Princess movie marathon (on the couch with the cats in a pile) on the agenda…

I feel ready to face the next 5 weeks (without a day off)!

Natasha’s Thai-Inspired Spa Chicken Vegetable Soup

In a soup pot:

Sautee
1 tbl coconut oil
1 chicken breast, chopped
1 tbl (or so) of fresh chopped garlic
1 tbl chopped ginger (I like the ginger cubes that I found at our local Asian market)

Then add:
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbl chopped ginger (I like the ginger cubes that I found at our local Asian market)
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 cup frozen spinach
1/2 yellow squash, chopped
2 chopped fresh tomatoes
1 celery stick, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas

Sriracha sauce to taste

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Happy 4th of July!

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Wishing you and yours a joyous and fun-filled holiday!

 

A day at the Del Mar Fair

The Del Mar Fair -- the theme this year is: The Fab Fair, showcasing the Beatles.

The Del Mar Fair — the theme this year is: The Fab Fair, showcasing the Beatles.

I had the wonderful opportunity to work for the lovely ladies of Skin Tight Body Art in their henna booth at the Del Mar Fair today.

Skin Tight Body Art's Henna Booth at the Del Mar Fair

Skin Tight Body Art’s Henna Booth at the Del Mar Fair

The fair is a place of sensory overload:

The fairway

The fairway

The Gingerbread House

The Gingerbread House

Oh myyyy...

Oh myyyy…

As the County fair, there are livestock and plant exhibitions and contests in addition to the booths that sell silly things you can’t get anywhere else and fun stuff, like henna tattoos.

DelMarFair5

DelMarFair7

Prize flower

Prize flower

Healthy fare was hard to find -- but the Pineapple Express had several delightful options: this is the Maui Chicken Pineapple...

Healthy fare was hard to find — but the Pineapple Express had several delightful options: this is the Maui Chicken Pineapple…

I hadn’t worked the fair in 6 years — and hadn’t gone to visit in 6 years, either!  After the initial overwhelm, I got hooked… and signed up to work a few days for Skin Tight Body Art at the Orange County fair in a couple weeks…

Glutton for punishment…

Probably…

A super fun design.  I love the creative vibe at both the fair and this booth!

A super fun design. I love the creative vibe at both the fair and this booth!

Cetaphil Gift Basket: We have a winner!

Congratulations to Julie Ruamthong of Alexandria, Virginia for participating in the Cetaphil Gift Basket giveaway!

The Cetaphil Gift Basket of full-sized goodies!

The Cetaphil Gift Basket of full-sized goodies!

Her name was selected at random by Rafflecopter, which offers a range of plans and giveaway packages from free to $60/month. (I use the free version and it is super easy to use!)

Stay tuned for more giveaways — I’ve got one in the works for the middle of the month!

And thanks again for reading my blog!

 

Last few hours to use the Whole Foods Coupon!

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This coupon is good until closing time TODAY. Only at San Diego locations.  I apologize to my out-of-town readers.

Friday Fitness: Hit restart again

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It’s been a sobering week for health and fitness.  I saw my regular physician last Friday with a list of concerns… and other than finding out that I don’t need a Pap smear for another 3 years due to revised guidelines, the news was not pretty.

I have a heel spur and plantar’s fascititis in my left foot (I had PF in my right foot last year).  The prescription: wear orthotics (already do), rigid night splint and gel heel cups.  Long term solution: lose at least 20lbs to reduce the stress on my feet and joints. If that doesn’t work, see a podiatrist for custom orthotics…

The spots on my face that I thought were just recurring hormonal breakouts on my chin are actually pre-cancerous spots of interest: pre-actinic keratosis.  The prescription: keep an eye on them; increase sun protection.

Sobering.

The heel spur is pretty easy to deal with — although I am not happy about the prospect of pain lasting for several months.

I knew I was 20 lbs overweight, but now I have more incentive to lose that extra baggage.

The spots of interest have got me worried. I am a diligent sunscreen user.  I wear hats and scarves and uv sleeves when I walk… and I wear spf 50 on all exposed skin as a matter of course — even when I don’t think I’m going outside. That has probably prevented a lot of spots of interest… but I can only speculate about why I have two on my chin…

WalkingGirl2

My usual walking gear — SPF 50 hat with back veil from Columbia Sport (it’s vented for heat management), an SPF 50 scarf from Coolibar, SPF 50 Hi-Tec UV sleeves, and Banana Boat Baby Tear-Free Sting-Free SPF 50 Lotion (it’s got zinc and Titanium Dioxide and is really cheap at Walmart)

Skin cancer runs in my family — which is no surprise since I come from pale Irish stock.  I know it’s very treatable, if caught early.  My sister-in-law went through treatment last year; it wasn’t pleasant.  An uncle declined treatment… and ultimately died from complications… this is serious and scary stuff.

My doctor is a young thing who probably just graduated last year and has been trained to speak in “plain English”… which is probably why after I left the office, I was confused by a lack of specific terminology.  I sent a message asking for clarification, but have yet to receive a reply.

So in the meantime, I am wearing gel heel cups in all my shoes.  They really help with the pain, although not being able to wear sandals in the summer is a sad thing.  I ordered a heel-gel sock thing from Amazon which, if it works, would let me wear sandals again… hope it arrives soon… and hope it works as the product description claims.

AND, I have added stick sunscreen to my regimen; it’s waxy and hopefully more sweatproof than the sport sunscreen I have been using.  I layer the stick (right now I am liking Badger unscented Face Stick in SPF 35) on top of my regular facial sunscreen (CeraVe SPF 50 Sunscreen for face) and after applying a thin layer of tinted BB cream (SPF 20-30, depending on the brand), I dust everything with Mineral Fusion SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense. I am wearing a hat more often, even when I’m not working or walking.

And I am trying to stay calm as I wait for more information. My brother-in-law, the doctor, suggested vit D supplements for both the heel spur and the skin condition.  He feels we are chronically deficient in vit D which leads to poor metabolism of calcium (creating “bone” spurs) and also makes us more vulnerable to certain kinds of cancers.  He prefers supplements over an hour of sun exposure per day during 10am and 2pm…. so I have added 1000 IU to my vitamin pile.

And we shall see.

Beauty Bonanza at Whole Foods

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post at the invitation of Whole Foods and their Summer Fun promotion. All views and opinions, however, are my own.

Last week, Whole Foods in La Jolla, CA held a beauty blogger’s dream event — an open house that showcased product lines carried in their stores — and also a goodie bag of delights!  The sparkling sodas and salad mixer with other bloggers was an added bonus!

There were four product line stations.  I started at Evan Healy‘s station.

Evan Healy discusses her philosophy of skincare.

Evan Healy discusses her philosophy of skincare.

Evan Healy, the founder of her eponyous skincare line was actually right there to explain her products, how to use them, why they work, and her philosophy of treating the skin and body gently to encourage balance. All of her products use the highest quality plant and mineral materials, many of them organic.

Each blogger got a quick assessment of primary skin issues and was given a skincare kit with 2 weeks worth of products. As a mature person dealing with hormonal breakouts (two of which I have since learned are actually pre-cancerous objects of interest and NOT breakouts — more on that in another post…), I was given the Rose Treatment Kit since its key ingredient, Rose Geranium essential oil encourages hormonal balance and is also good for aging skin.

The Rose Treatment Kit contents: Cleansing Milk, Rose Hydrosol,

The Rose Treatment Kit contents: Cleansing Milk, Rose Geranium Facial Tonic Hydrosol, Roship Treatment Facial Serum, Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer, French Rose Clay for weekly treatment masks.

All of the kits feature a treatment serum which consists of a special blend of oils and essential oils.  The key is to put a few drops of the serum oil into your palm, then spritz a few sprays of the hydrosol on top, mix quickly and massage onto your cleansed face.  The combination absorbs almost instantly, leaving the skin super-refreshed.

I am currently testing this group of products and so far I love it!  My breakouts have calmed down significantly and I no longer get dry patches by the end of the day.

The next station featured Aura Cacia Products.  I was already familiar with this line since I use their lavender and eucalyptus essential oils in my henna paste.  They have a high standard of quality at very affordable prices. Their environmentally friendly farming and packaging policies are also a plus.

Aura Cacia Bath Salts

Aura Cacia Bath Salts

The Aura Cacia representative gave out full-sized sample packets of aromatherapy Mineral Bath salts.  He also demonstrated that you can make your own therapeutic bath salt mix by adding several drops of essential oils to either Kosher Salt (shown in the tin above) or epsom salts.  He also recommended massaging a drop or two of peppermint oil on the soles of your feet before going for a run to increase circulation.  And a drop of peppermint oil rubbed in the palm and then inhaled gives a quick caffeine-free boost.

Next up, Dr. Bronner’s station.

One of the Bronner clan discusses the many benefits of the classic liquid soap.

One of the Bronner clan discusses the many benefits of the classic liquid soap.

Dr. Bronner’s All-One Magic Soap is practically a hippie institution.  I remember buying the classic peppermint soap at our local health foods store in Nashville (run by the good hippies from The Farm, a utopian community). The scent was a blast of peppermint and it made everything tingle when I used it in the shower.  But it wasn’t just for showers… it was (and still is) the jack-of-all-soaps — dish soap, floor wash, window wash, hand-wash soap, shampoo (albeit a bit harsh), flea-repellent dog wash, eco-friendly bug spray for garden plants… the list goes on and on.

Now the company makes much more than just liquid castille soaps — there are lotions, hard soaps, baby products, hand sanitizers (made from natural coconut alcohol), lip products, and natural cooking oils.

The 4th and 5th generation descendents of the original German soapmaker immigrants have taken the All-One transcendental philosophy and applied it in their practices of partnering with Fair Trade farmers and promoting organic integrity, the reintroduction of industrial hemp production in the U.S. and fair trade practices.

I still love the liquid jack-of-all-soaps — and make sure I have a bottle on hand both at home and when we go camping.

The final station was the Mineral Fusion Booth.

I am already a big fan of Mineral Fusion — but had not tried their nail colors. They are Formaldehyde, toulene, camphor and dibutyl pthalate free — and come in 61 gorgeous colors!  Whole Foods in La Jolla had the full range of nail products as well as their acetone-free nail polish remover and treatment products.

a small selection of Mineral Fusion Nail Products

a small selection of Mineral Fusion Nail Products

The representative had 2 gifts for us:

Mineral Fusion Mini Polish Trio

Mineral Fusion Mini Polish Trio

and

Mineral Fusion Lip Sheer Pencil

Mineral Fusion Lip Sheer Pencil

The nail polish colors are perfectly yummy — the sea green is now my favorite summer shade…. and the Sheer Moisture Lip Tint is exactly what it says it is: a sheer wash of super-moisturizing color.  It is totally goof-proof and not only makes your lips feel amazing, it smells good, too.

If that weren’t enough fun for one evening, Whole Foods gave each of us bloggers a reusable shopping bag filled with full-sized body care items for us to try.

The goodie bag...

The goodie bag…

My husband immediately took the Desert Essence Coconut body lotion… reminds him of Hawaii… and it takes care of the chapping he gets from working in the garden.

Some of the items in the gift bag.

Some of the items in the gift bag. Reviews are in the works.

Squee!!! I suppose not many people get a thrill out of cotton balls… but as someone who uses them all day long to prepare skin for henna, I truly appreciate a quality cotton ball… these are made from organic cotton — so you know there’s no nasty pesticides used in growing the cotton (better for the planet, and the birds, bees and other beneficial insects).

Organic cotton balls are just a small item that shows the company’s commitment to lessening harmful environmental impacts from unnecessary (and toxic) chemicals — and its investment in the future of the planet.

Another way Whole Foods shows its commitment to a healthier planet is its stance on not allowing microbeads in any of the products they sell.  Microbeads are very small plastic beads used as exfoliants in soaps, body washes, body scrubs, facial scrubs, and some toothpastes.  These beads are plastic which means they never biodegrade, but just accumulate in our fresh and saltwater environments. Illinois has already banned products with microbeads; Hawaii and  New York are currently debating the issue. Microbeads are a serious problem in the Great Lakes, causing malnutrition in fish who see them as food and cannot digest or get rid of them. In addition, the beads absorb toxic chemicals and are a haven for bacterial blooms. According to NPR, “Lake Ontario’s levels are highest, with counts of up to 1.1 million plastic particles per square kilometer.” Pretty scary stuff.

In addition to being committed to caring for the planet on a large scale, Whole Foods also has stringent quality standards for its beauty and body care products.

  • They only sell personal care products that have not been tested on animals
  • They are committed to high-quality products with a proven track record.
  • They promote products with naturally-derived and plant-based ingredients, pure essential oil fragrances, gentle preservatives and non-petroleum ingredients.
  • They carefully evaluate each product they sell.
  • They aim for products with minimal environmental impact in both manufacturing and packaging.
  • They make sure their personal care products are accurately labelled, have established safety data and are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergies.

I had sort of known about the standards but was very impressed when I checked out the website to see the full measure of their policies and the practical ways these are implemented. It makes me even more impressed with their own store brand, 365 — to know that their own products are also made with strict standards of quality. (Which I knew empirically through use, but it’s nice to see it in print.)

Whew!  That was a lot to cover in one post!  Thanks for hanging in for the duration!

As a special gift for my San Diego readers, Whole Foods has given me a coupon good for Friday, June 27, 2014 only — at any of the San Diego Whole Foods locations: Del Mar, Encinitas, Hillcrest, and La Jolla….

(I love you, Whole Foods, but can you please open a store in East County? Thanks!)

WholeFoodsCoupon_June27