Natural ways to take care of your skin outdoors

Being outside all the time, no matter if it’s long days of glacier travel or long ones on the beach, means that the elements are constantly bombarding your skin.

Being outside doesn't mean you have to be sunburnt and wrinkly. Photo: Lea Dubedout
Being outside doesn’t mean you have to be sunburnt and wrinkly. Photo: Courtesy of Lea Dubedout
That’s good in a lot of ways — hello, Vitamin D — but it can also take a toll over time. And, if you care about the environment in any way, you probably don’t want to slather yourself in unnatural chemicals.
You need to stay protected in the elements. Photo: Courtesy of Julie Caeser/Unsplash
You need to stay protected in the elements. Photo: Courtesy of Julie Caeser/Unsplash
Here are some all-natural options for skin care that are good for you, good for the environment and will hold up to some outdoor exposure.

Manda Organic Sun Paste ($18)


Most sunscreens contain chemicals that are bad for people and for the environment (both in how they’re absorbed into our bodies and in the world), as well as how they’re extracted — zinc mining, for instance.

That’s why the surfers and climbers behind Manda Sun Paste decided to make a physical sunscreen out of organic and natural ingredients like beeswax and shea butter that won’t put anything toxic in your system (you could eat all the ingredients if you like), and that also won’t wash off in the water and do harm to coral reefs and other parts of the environment. The sun protection comes from thanaka, a tree bark ingredient that Burmese people have been using for sun protection for centuries.

Maak Lab Soap ($10)


Portland-based Maak Lab makes soaps that draw on ingredients the founders find in their natural surroundings, like Douglas fir and rose. They make bar soaps and a line of wet soap, “which is a castile-based liquid soap with unique natural scents, from our more gritty Streetside scent (think pine tar, smoke, asphalt, wet cement and herbaceous lavender), to our more woodsy Labside scent (think pencil shavings, resinous balsam wood, magazine pages and white cedar),” says Maak Lab’s Anoria Gilbert.

Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant ($18)


All-natural deodorant is a hard thing to get right. You don’t really want to be putting aluminum straight onto your sweat glands, but, for the sake of social graces, you also don’t want to be smearing crystals into your armpits and hoping for the best.

Vermont-based Ursa Major, which had been gaining acclaim for their unisex line of skincare products, hits the balance with their fresh-smelling, bacteria-fighting version that uses hops, aloe vera and kaolin clay to fight stank and keep you dry.

Juniper Ridge Trail Soap ($30)


The perfume and soap makers behind Juniper Ridge practice what they call “wild harvesting” to get ingredients for their goods. That means that they’re hiking around the mountains of the Sierra and the Cascades gathering things like sage and pine in small batches.

Those scents show up in their trail soap, like Sierra Granite. Sounds hippie dippie, but is actually a highly crafted process that turns up suds that smell really nice.

SW Basics Cream ($32)


Adina Grigore started S.W. Basics in her kitchen, because she didn’t like the way her skin reacted to the ingredients in most beauty products. She mixed together a line of super simple products with minimal ingredients. The Cream, which was her first project, blends shea butter from a Fair Trade women’s cooperative in Ghana with coconut and olive oil. Super simple and super good.



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