Greetings from the deep trenches of the summer. It’s fitting that our favorite products lately have been decidedly blue-greens that remind us of cool quenching waters. Below is a list of our favorites including an acid mask to breakthrough summer stuffiness, a ultralight Japanese sunscreen, a botanical deodorant that works, and an Ayurvedic herbal micellar water that lifts heaviness right off the skin.
African Botanics: Infinite Resurfacing Mask
The Acid Mask that clears everything up
An AHA+BHA mask that clarifies, decongests, brightens, and exfoliates the skin is perfect for summer when everything easily feels a little heavy and greasy. African Botanic’s Infinite Resurfacing Mask dispenses as a light goopy gel that spreads easily over the skin. You’ll feel it tingle, and get to work right away. We love the mix of good, proven acids like lactic acid (a hydrating, skin plumping, and anti-aging exfoliator), glycolic acid (a powerful exfoliator that also decongests like no other), and phytic acid (a plant-based acid that brightens the complexion). While described as a micro-peel for the skin, there’s also a lot of good stuff. For instance: Vitamin C, Copper Peptide, Niacinamide, work with African botanicals like antioxidant-rich rooibos, and honey bush to round out the ingredients list.
We prefer to keep this chilled. The cool gel feels decidedly comforting after a long day. Use 1-2 times a week. Before long, you’ll notice smaller pores, brighter skin, even pigmentation, and a reduction in breakouts.
Biore Aqua Rich SPF 50
The Japanese Hit Sunscreen
Sunscreen has taken such a hit this summer! There is now more focus than ever on actual efficacy, and contamination. We’ve turned to Japan, where sunscreen has been ahead of the curve. Biore is their top selling sunscreen for good reason. The formula is light, quick absorbing, and does not leave a cast or residue. The protection factor is intensive with specific measurements for different types of UV radiation that aren’t labelled in the US or EU. Also, this is non-stinging, and more water resistant than any SPF you’ll find with zinc oxide. All of this makes it our top summer SPF for performance, and functionality. And at less than $20, it’s priced incredibly reasonably.
H Gillerman Organics Travel Remedy
For Going Back Out
There is no sugarcoating that our global pandemic shows no signs of ending anytime soon. After being cooped up for the better part of a year, going out still feels weird and unsettling. Whether you’re traveling, or just re-entering society, it can feel equally chaotic and unnerving. H Gillerman Organics Travel Remedy is an old school travel favorite that works just as well in our current landscape. The rollerball dispenses an uplifting, and balancing blend of organic plant-based aromatherapy. Lemon Balm, Lavender, Atlas Cedar are a few of the star ingredients that ground, center, and reduce discomfort. And isn’t that what we all need a bit more of these days?
Davids Natural Toothpaste
A minty-fresh new classic
We’re not toothpaste bloggers, but trust us – this stuff is good. The entire presentation feels decidedly luxurious. The toothpaste itself harkens to an old-school European feel with a confidently minty flavor, and enjoyably bodied cream texture since lost to mass commercial production. We could not get enough of this wonderful paste that while fluoride and sulfate free, also manages to whiten, and prevent plaque buildup. Everything about this toothpaste comes together to shift morning and evening toothbrushing from a chore to an experience you’ll enjoy.
Detox Mode Infinite Cream
Next level body care
Okay Detox Mode, we didn’t quite know what to make of you when you first launched. Yet here we are, in love with Infinite Cream. It’s probably not kosher to say this, but Infinite Cream might be better than any of the body creams The Detox Market carries. And at $38, it’s priced very well too. First, this is indulgent, rich, and buttery. A luxuriously weighted cream that also melts on contact with the skin into a satin finish. It’s divine, and addictive.
Second, you’ll absolutely feel like you just came from a spa. Soothing blue tansy, uplifting lemongrass, and relaxing lavender deliver a sensorial experience that deserves recognition. Detox Mode calls it heavenly, we find it the perfect description. Finally, because the summer weather can be so unforgiving, you’ll love this cream’s ability to moisturize, and care for the body with the same ingredients as the moisturizers you’d find for the face.
Corpus Naturals Third Rose Deodorant
So Fresh, So Clean
Dear lord, this is the shit. Yes it’s a natural, clean deodorant, with only “good for you” ingredients, but it is more-so the most pleasurable deodorant we have encountered. Corpus deodorants are a gel-stick form that apply easily, leave no residue, and don’t contain baking soda. Third Rose in particular stuck out to us. It’s sort of like a cat, let us explain. At first, Third Rose felt reserved, almost held back. The fragrance seemed almost too faint, even though it was evident something delicious lurked beneath the surface. With more use, Third Rose opened up more, eventually unfurling a full opus of the truest, cleanest rose notes to hit our nostrils. Never too sweet, nor floral, it hits that perfect chemistry for any gender to smell an effortless clean. Perfect for summer when scents should be light, crisp, yet inviting.
Glossier Balm Dotcom – Mint
The Perfect Lip Balm
Glossier knocked it out of the park with Balm Dotcom. It’s versatile, multipurpose, and unfussy, serving as the perfect always-in-your-pocket essential. Unlike traditional lip balms that can melt in the summer, Balm Dotcom is a convenient and functional jelly-like balm that applies in a much more controlled manner. On the lips, this works immediately, and an application lasts for hours on end. Mint is our flavor of choice for its freshness.
Odacite Blue Aura Cleansing Water
A baptism for the skin
How do we describe the magic that is this deep blue cleansing water? Sure the striking blue will the first thing that catches your eye. Then you’ll love the light water texture. The experience? This rinse-free cleansing water dislodges sunscreen, sweat, oils so swiftly and without much fanfare. But more than that, it positively breathes life back into the skin. When we first saw that this cleansing water had ayurvedic herbs, our thought was “is this necessary?” As it turns out, yes, we need it. Purifying ayurvedic herbs: Neem, Holy Basil, Turmeric infused in Aloe Vera, pair with Salicylic Acid to make quick work of impurities, while also combatting the effects of pollution and stress on the skin. Use as a first cleanse, or the only cleanse if you’re feeling lazy. Either way, your skin will love this refreshing, cooling, and purifying cleansing water.
Detox Mode Here + There Balm
A versatile multi-purpose player
A balm, during the summer? It might make as much sense as wearing a sweater in July, but hear us out. Detox Mode’s Here + There Balm, is relaxation at your fingertips. How is it suitable for summer? The balm not only melts into the skin, it also contains Hemp Seed Oil to relax and destress, as well as nettle and dandelion to reduce inflammation and relieve irritation with their astringent properties. It can be applied to any dry patches, we’ve used it around the under-eyes as an eye balm, on elbows, and cuticles. A big hack we discovered was using this on persistent summer mosquito bites. The anti-inflammatory benefits, coupled with irritation relief quickly calm down itchiness, and redness. Plus, it smells amazing thanks to the herbaceous blend of Clary Sage, Camel Grass, and something exquisite that we can’t quite put our finger on.
AO Skincare PM Serum -Shot & Treatment
The PM Power Duo
With all the environmental stress summer brings, we look to the nighttime for our power actives that can undo the damage from the day, and keep our skin at its best. We had previously written a full review on these two nighttime products from AO SKINCARE (read here). The Serum-Shot is the serum of the series, while Treatment works in place of a moisturizer. Both are essential for our summer routine.
Here’s why: AO Skincare’s nighttime duo is powered by retinol which is the gold standard in anti-aging. Retinol works best at night, away from sun exposure, but it actually helps prevent sun damage if used regularly due to its cell turnover capabilities.
The Serum-Shot has retinaldehyde, which requires just one conversion in the skin for high efficacy, as well as protective Astaxanthin, an antioxidant that protects the skin from UV damage, and preserves the retinaldehyde. There is also bakuchiol, a plant active that has been compared to being a natural retinol alternative. The Treatment is more moisturizing with hyaluronic acid, while it also contains retinol, and bakuchiol in lower doses. It subs out the higher concentrations of retinol for antioxidants like Vitamin C and Bearberry Extract that improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, and sun damage. This powerful combo brushes off anything the summer elements throw at the skin during the day.
Photos by Garçon’s World