My Job Is To Be On The Beach: These Are The Natural, Nontoxic Products I Actually Use
It has been a super-long process for me to find products—natural or otherwise—that I actually like. I want to use nontoxic and natural products, but first and foremost, they have to work and look good—especially since I spend so much time in the sun, sweating, and traveling. I've gone through a really long journey trying to find things I love, and I've finally found a bunch of products that do work.
I have a collection of SPF products that I use depending on what I'm doing. For playing: Solid Skin 100% Mineral-Based Conscious Face Stick SPF 40 and EIR NYC Surf Mud Pro Zinc Oxide 50. The latter was created by a pro surfer because she could never find one that stayed on her skin. For me, there's a big difference between waterproof and sweatproof. I've used so many waterproof sunblocks that just do not stay on: My issue is not that water is being poured on me; it's that I have moisture from the inside. So my sunscreen needs to have a completely different standard of wearability—and these work.
Then there's this product called Sweat Cosmetics Foundation Twist-Brush SPF 30 that was created by a former U.S. National Women's Soccer player. This is my in-between: If I'm going to be at the beach and in the sun, but I want to have more coverage in terms of makeup, I use this. It won't stand up to really vigorous sweating, but it's great for daily activities or a chill day at the beach. Like, say, if I were going to play a game of pickup volleyball with my friends, this would work.
Hair & body
For deodorant, I use Primally Pure Deodorant. It's amazing, even works when I'm playing, and I recommend it to everyone. I've tried so many: They're either gone in two seconds, or I can't smell them enough. This lasts and smells good. When I travel, this is all I bring, and it's no issue.
I almost never get burned because I am so good about my sun protection, but if there's a part that does or I'm a little red, I actually bought an aloe vera plant and learned how to cut it open to use the actual juice from the plant. Other than that, my hands get so dry and cracked: I got Osea Anti-Aging Hand Cream a few months ago, and in two weeks it transformed my hands.
I like the clean, but not all-natural, SEEN Hair Care Shampoo and Conditioner. The whole idea is that it's noncomedogenic, so when it drips down your body, it's not causing your body to break out. And then I wear my hair in a loose ponytail or down. I love the bungee hair ties, like Invisibobble Slim Elegant Hair Ring. They come in natural colors, and they hold your hair so well. You don't have to put it on or pull your hair super tight—and you can pull your pony to be a little perkier.
I am acne-prone, and I want products that are going to prevent acne through other natural extracts while providing the moisture to be calming as well. My favorite line is Marie Veronique. I use so much from her line: Pre + Probiotic Daily Mist, Vitamins C + E + Ferulic Serum, and Intensive Repair Serum, to name a few.
I used to use oil-free moisturizer, and then I read a lot about how "oil-free" is the new nonfat. Back in the day, we all thought that nonfat was so good for you, but you really need fats to be full and healthy. Same thing goes for oil on your skin: The oil in the product helps balance the oil on your skin. Osea Blemish Balm is not oil-free, but it's really light and feels like it is.
I used to use a bunch of clay masks, but now I feel those break me out more. If you have chronic acne, you want things that are going to treat the pimples but provide you relief, too. I love Tata Harper's Hydrating Floral Mask for hydration, so I can feed my skin, too.
In general, I do care a lot about my appearance. So I do wear makeup daily—and I wear it to the beach, just not when I'm playing. (I used to wear makeup while I was playing, but now that I play outdoors, I'm wearing a visor and sunglasses so everything's covered up.)
My look is pretty natural. I wear makeup with the intent that I don't want to look like I'm wearing any. I travel a lot, too, so I really edit down what I bring with me: I just have this little makeup back that has my essentials that I toss in my purse, gym bag, or anywhere I go.
For my face, the second I start breaking out because of makeup, it's not worth it for me anymore. So my balance is finding products that won't cause me to break out, but I still look good. I love Alima Pure's Pressed Foundation with Rosehip Antioxidant Complex. You can put a little bit of it on to reduce shine, or you can use a lot of it and it will act as more of a foundation. I love a sun-kissed look, so then I'll also wear bronzer. Lily Lolo Pressed Bronzer in Miami Beach is super natural and gives you that subtle glow. For under-eye concealer Hush + Dotti Organic Concealer has red tones, so it looks good and covers up my circles. Then for a normal concealer, I use Hynt Duet Perfecting Concealer for pimples or dark spots.
OULI's Ointment is an all-purpose balm, but I love it for my lips. I hate anything that's too shiny or sticky, especially when I'm playing, and this just feels so good on your lips.
My mascara is the product that I haven't turned over to natural: It's Clinique Lash-Doubling Mascara. It's not waterproof, but it does not bleed through sweat or the water. Since it's just on my lashes, and not absorbing into my skin, I don't feel as bad about not making the switch.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.