This post is something I started work on back when I was still blogging at e-elise etc and began life as a series following my journey to find the perfect non-toxic sunscreen. Slowly but surely I'm attempting to make the switch with as many of my products as possible through shopping non-toxic brands as well as trying out homemade versions and as a loyal sunscreen wearer this was an important one for me to get right.

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on the different formulas that I tested out last year and which product I'm currently using as an everyday sunscreen. I'm hoping that sharing this post may be helpful to anyone else who has been struggling to find a good non-toxic sunscreen option as I understand how tricky it can be. As ingredients are an important part of the decision I've included links to the products on their brand websites which have full details of these. Of course it's important to note that this post looks at what has worked for me and my skin type and unfortunately what works for me won't necessarily work for everyone.

I have to admit, at one point I was just about ready to give up on the whole idea when even having done so much research it still seemed like a non-toxic sunscreen that was affordable, good quality and available in the UK didn't exist. As it turned out I only had to try three different options before I found one that I really love, although of course I'm still always on the lookout in case something new pops up!

goddess garden natural sunscreen spf 30 non toxic natural skincare

Goddess Garden Organics Everyday Natural Sunscreen (SPF 30) | Ingredients

After doing a lot of reading over on EWG this was the first more natural formula I tried out. Priced at just under £20 for 177ml this SPF 30 sunscreen gives you more product for your money than the other non-toxic formulas I have tried. Appearance-wise I was surprised to find that the product is greyish in colour, having grown up with your average big brand white lotions. It is also fairly runny and has quite a heavy lavender scent. Unfortunately whilst it is easy to apply it can leave a slight chalky tint on the skin and I found that whilst the scent is not unpleasant personally I prefer an unscented sunscreen.

The range also includes a facial sunscreen however I didn't end up trying it out as I was a little disappointed with this product. Having said that I do continue to occasionally use this one on larger areas such as my arms when I go walking but still hope to find an unscented alternative that is just as good value for money.

neals yard wild rose spf 30 non toxic sunscreens natural skincare

Neal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose Moisturising (SPF 30) | Ingredients

After finding that so many products mentioned in the EWG guide are difficult to get hold of in the UK I turned to my own research. Marketed as a facial sunscreen this product from well-known British brand Neal's Yard contains SPF 30 and retails at £25 for a 50ml tube.

The sunscreen is pale yellow in colour and has a strong rose scent which similarly to the Goddess Garden formula was something I personally would prefer to not be included. The texture of this product is actually slightly gritty and due to this it can take a little longer to rub into the skin. If you want to avoid an oily puddle it also needs a really good shake before you squeeze anything out of the tube! Whilst this is a nice product and I did use it regularly for a short time I was still determined to find something unscented and smoother in texture so headed back to the EWG guide to search for alternative options.

non toxic sunscreens mychelle dermaceuticals natural skincare

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Unscented (SPF 28) | Ingredients

This SPF 28 formula from US company MyChelle Dermaceuticals is completely unscented and most closely resembles the appearance and texture of your average sunscreen. It is white in colour and in contrast to the other two sunscreens shown above it has a very smooth texture, similar to a fairly thick moisturiser which rubs into the skin easily.

I have been using this as a daily facial sunscreen for at least six months now and have not experienced any issues that can sometimes be associated with SPF-containing products such as breakouts. As for use on larger areas of skin, the formula seems to work well but a tube like this wouldn't last very long if used regularly for both face and body. At the moment it is still my preferred option of the three, however I would really love to find a more affordable alternative, allowing me to reserve this one as my year-round facial sunscreen.

There is one catch though, if like me you live in the UK this sunscreen can be a little tricky to get hold of, however if you shop around you should be able to get your hands on it! I've purchased it from both Naturismo and Amazon in the last year, priced at just under £20 for 68ml.

*Update 24/05/17 - Mychelle have let me know that they will be relaunching in the UK later ths year, in the meantime iherb.com is a stockist.

This is where my search for a non-toxic sunscreen has ended... for now at least! If you can recommend any other unscented non-toxic sunscreens please do leave a comment and let me know, I'd love to hear from you.

Follow

My Search For A Non-Toxic Sunscreen (Cruelty-Free)

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Today we're trying something new which may or may not become a regular fixture here on A Natural Detour. Whilst I'm not sure the format of What I Eat In A Day posts would work for me I thought it might be interesting to share some of the new things I've cooked over the last week, sharing dinner ideas and also showing how I've adapted recipes/ideas to suit a free from diet, similarly to my 30 Recipes challenge back in January. If you'd like to see more foodie posts like this let me know!

DSC07291.JPG_effected

Nut Butter Tofu Stir Fry (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

As soon as I saw this new Minimalist Baker recipe pop up on Bloglovin' last month I knew I had to try it out. Whilst I've baked with nut butters before I'd not really ventured into using them for savoury dishes until last week. This recipe uses almond butter as part of the marinade so I followed this step, then added in some peanut butter when cooking the veggies. As you can see I did manage to overcook the tofu when I transferred it from the oven to the pan but it still tasted pretty good, albeit a little heavy on the chili flakes!


Tofu Pasta Bowl (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

Having opened a block of tofu for the stir fry recipe I had some extra and this was the dish I threw together with the leftovers. Instead of marinating in the nut butter mix I sprinkled the remaining tofu cubes with oregano, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic granules then baked them in the oven until crispy. I served the tofu with brown rice penne, asparagus, petit pois, green pesto and a generous sprinkling of my favourite parmesan substitute from Follow Your Heart.

DSC07309.JPG_effected

Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

A new favourite of mine is this mushroom stroganoff creation, inspired by a BBC Good Food recipe. Last week was actually the second time I've made a version of this dish and whilst both were tasty this one definitely had more flavour than the first attempt. In all honesty I didn't take much notice of the quantities in the original recipe but for the sauce I used around 200ml vegetable stock and around 2/3 of a carton of Oatly cream for two servings. For extra flavour I used three different types of mushrooms, Quorn 'chicken pieces' and a healthy glug of Biona's Worcestershire sauce which is both vegan and gluten free.

DSC07282.JPG_effected-001

Veggie Sausage & Asparagus Pasta Bake (Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This pasta bake recipe from Buy This Cook That was one I recently discovered when searching for a new dish that would use up leftover asparagus. To adapt the recipe I used Quorn gluten-free sausages and instead of marinara sauce mixed chopped tomatoes with garlic oil, oregano, salt and black pepper. I topped off the pasta bake with some mozzarella style shreds from Tesco's new range of dairy free cheese.

Follow

Cooking Lately #1 (Gluten-Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

Monday, 15 May 2017

Going back to work after a long stint of being at home and able to whip up whatever I liked for lunch means I've been spending some time lately trying to think up different free from lunch ideas that both taste great and travel well. Whether you're headed out to work, school or on a day trip here are three of my favourite lunch ideas...

lunch on the go ideas vegan sushi gluten free

Veggie Quinoa Sushi Rolls (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

A couple of months back I decided to have a go at making my own sushi rolls and was really pleased with the results. For a lunch box alternative to traditional rice sushi I like this leftover-friendly quinoa version packed with protein and raw veggies such as carrots, cucumber and avocado. These taste especially delicious dipped in some gluten-free tamari and would definitely make a nice change from a sandwich!

'Chicken' Avocado Salad Pittas (Gluten-Free-Adaptable, Vegan-Adaptable)

When I finally decided that avocados were bearable to eat (it took a few tries!) this pitta version of a chicken avocado salad quickly became one of my favourite lunches. Simply combine vegan salad cream/mayonnaise, green pesto, gem lettuce and a meat-free chicken substitute with salt & pepper seasoned avocado slices and serve inside free from pittas for a tasty lunch.

chickpea potato salad gluten free

Chickpea & Potato Salad (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

This final idea is definitely my favourite lunch right now and is based on a simple recipe I shared here in February. This chickpea salad tastes great with pasta but as many gluten-free pastas tend not to travel so well I've found that adding new potatoes and some homegrown spinach is a great alternative way to bulk out the salad for a filling lunch portion.

 Follow

3 Lunch On The Go Ideas! (Gluten-Free/Vegetarian/Vegan)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

paperhaul april 2017
Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount

It's time to talk #paperhaul again! Similarly to last month I really felt the new sleeker packaging worked well for the box and again loved the how the sticker on the envelope shared a little sneak peek of the month's theme. As you can see from the photographs April's box shares the love for lemons with block printed pastel colours and eye-catching repetitive prints.

paperhaul april 2017 lemons stationery subscription box

Included this time around were three notecards, three postcards, one large greetings card and a notebook. Although I have quite a few of them at this point having been a #paperhaul subscriber right from the very beginning, I find the little notebooks really handy to have around and was happy to see that April's contains dotted pages (my personal favourite kind!).

My favourite items of the bunch would probably have to be the trio of notecards patterned with little lemon wedges and the large greetings card which reads 'when everyone else is being a lemon be a lime'. I also really enjoyed the matching decoration on the reverse of this month's postcards; perfect for sending snail mail to brighten a friend's day.

paperhaul april 2017

If you're interested in treating yourself to the next #paperhaul box you can sign up at Crafty Creatives for just £10 a month.

paperhaul april 2017

Follow

Lemons & Limes - #paperhaul April

Sunday, 7 May 2017

We all love a sweet treat but it isn't always easy to find delicious free from recipes that are easy to bake at home. Today I thought I would share three of my favourite cookie recipes that are free from dairy, eggs and gluten or can be successfully adapted to be vegan and gluten free.

vegan gluten free cookies a natural detour

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (via It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken) 

My most recent free from cookie find is this quick, easy and delicious recipe including oats, cinnamon and dark chocolate chips. The original recipe is vegan but to make these gluten free as well I found that a straight substitute of plain gluten free flour (I use Doves Farm) in place of the recipe's all purpose flour works perfectly and of course you can opt for gluten free oats. A dairy free spread in place of the vegan butter, which isn't as easy to get hold of in the UK, also works well.

vegan gluten free cookies a natural detour

Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies (via Texan Erin Baking)

I've tried a whole bunch of vegan cookie recipes over the last few months but these walnut-based treats remain one of my favourites; I love them so much my friends even made me a batch for my birthday! The homemade walnut butter gives the cookies a great texture and whilst the recipe doesn't actually call for a dark chocolate drizzle I really love the extra chocolate boost!

vegan gluten free cookies a natural detour

Chocolate, Orange & Almond Cookies (via Madeleine Shaw)

These chocolate cookies with crunchy almonds and vibrant orange zest are an amazing treat and a batch never lasts long around here! The combination of chocolate and orange is always a winner and the almonds add a great additional texture. The original recipe calls for an egg but I have tried making a vegan version by replacing this with a flax or chia 'egg' and I'm pleased to report they taste just as good, although they can be a little softer in texture. Opting for dairy free spread instead of the coconut oil/butter also seems to work well. I like to add on the zest whilst the cookies are still warm to give the orange a chance to sink in and give a stronger flavour.

Follow

3 Cookie Recipes I Love (Gluten Free/Vegan)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

paperhaul stationery box march 2017

Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount

 The first thing I noticed about March's box was the new look packaging. Instead of arriving in it's usual brown cardboard box, #paperhaul's packaging has had a little bit of a makeover with the latest selection of stationery goodies arriving in a slim white cardboard envelope. This more compact style works well for the contents of #paperhaul and came complete with a pretty 'your #paperhaul is here' sticker, matching the designs featured inside which I thought was a lovely touch.

paperhaul stationery box march 2017

This time around the box contained postcards, notecards, a large greeting card and a small notebook, all featuring bright watercolour designs. The beautiful bold florals were the perfect compliment to the sunshine and spring blossoms that have arrived with April and I loved the variety of greetings included with something for every occasion from 'consider yourself hugged' (as pictured above) to 'miss you', 'bonjour', 'birthday hug' and 'yes!'.

If you're interested in treating yourself to the next #paperhaul box you can sign up at Crafty Creatives for just £10 a month.

paperhaul march 2017

Follow

Florals & Stripes - #paperhaul March

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

quilt top

13 Reasons Why | It's no surprise that I've chosen to kick this list off with something TV-related. I have to admit that even after several recommendations from fellow book bloggers over the years I still haven't yet read the novel the latest Netflix original series is based on (I will, I promise!) but I was still intrigued by the release of 13 Reasons Why which finally hit Netflix last month. The thirteen-episode series is dark, intense and powerful and touches on some serious and incredibly important subjects. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the show, personally I found it to be a difficult but interesting watch.

Tiny Tiles | One of my current offline detours is another quilt project (pictured above). This time around I've actually chosen to pre-purchase everything and am following a beautiful pattern from Purl Soho. As you can see, for my version I've opted to switch up the colour palette using greys and blue-ish tones with a pop of colour from a mustard yellow. At the time of writing this post I've just finished sewing together the patchwork quilt top (So. Many. Squares.) and am really happy with how it's looking so far, even if some of my diamonds don't quite match up properly! I'll be sure to share some more pictures with you once the quilt is finished.

Himalayan Salt Lamp | Back in February a couple of my friends kindly bought me a birthday gift that was something I'd been keen to get my hands on for quite some time; a salt lamp! I had previously bought myself a Himalayan salt tealight holder which looks lovely but would often draw enough moisture to cause puddles. I've found the lamp to be just a pretty but much more low maintenance. I wasn't sure how bright it would be as the only lamp in the room but I've ended up using it in place of my old bedside lamp and have found it's even bright enough for reading in the evenings. Overall it's been a success all round... if I'm at home this lamp is on!

NYR Night Time Aromatherapy Blend | Somewhat linked to my new favourite lamp, I've been using this Neals Yard Remedies essential oil blend both on my bedside lava bead diffuser and dropped onto some Himalayan Salt around a candle inspired by this awesome DIY from Hello Glow. This calming blend contains lavender, rose, vetiver and bergamot to encourage restful sleep and smells pretty amazing too.

Found At Sea | The final little detour I wanted to include is a brand new shop full of gorgeous handmade goodies! My very good friend (and co-blogger over at Eight & Sixteen) Skye recently launched an Etsy store selling one-off pieces made with vintage fabrics sourced from around Europe. Currently on offer are some beautiful purses, pouches and storage baskets. If you're on the lookout for a unique gift or just a little treat for yourself be sure to head on over to Found At Sea!

Follow

Little Detours #2

Saturday, 15 April 2017

paperhaul february 2017 stationery subscription box
Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount

Today I wanted to share a little peek at the latest box from #paperhaul, the monthly stationery subscription box from Crafty Creatives. This month's box of pretty pastel shades included gift tags, cards, postcards and a small notebook which this time around is filled with dotted grid style paper - my personal favourite! Each print is made up of simple shapes ranging from triangles to stars, teardrops, polka dots and waves creating a lovely collection of versatile pieces.

My top picks from this month's box would have to be the triangle print cards and pretty gift tags. I've been a subscriber since day one but with it's beautiful colour palette and simple prints I think this box might be one of my favourite #paperhaul collections to date!

If you're interested in treating yourself to the next #paperhaul box you can sign up at Crafty Creatives for just £10 a month.

paperhaul february 2017 stationery subscription box

Follow

Stars, Triangles & Polka Dots - #paperhaul February

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

good clean food red lentil earth curry
*Review copy c/o Netgalley, book release date: 7th March 2017

Good Clean Food is the debut cookbook from Lily Kunin, who you may recognise as the health coach behind popular foodie Instagram account Clean Food Dirty City. In the book's introduction Lily shares the story of how she came to have such an interest in healthy eating and it is inspiring to learn how she managed to improve her own health issues by changing her diet.

Of course the main focus of the book is the food with 100 plant-based and gluten-free recipes that not only sound delicious but look it too! The book is full of beautiful photographs of the dishes and the overall minimal design means that the colourful creations really pop against the white background.

Recipes included cover everything from the basics such as veggie broth and salsa to everyday dinners and even party dishes. It is worth noting that whilst the recipes are mostly plant-based and free from both dairy and gluten they are not all suitable for a Vegan diet as some do include ingredients such as eggs and honey. Of course, there’s no reason that many of these can’t be adapted with substitutes if necessary and Lily even encourages readers to ‘make these recipes your own’.

The book also has another unique element that makes it stand out from the crowd; beauty and skincare recipes! Scattered between the foodie pages are several product recipe ideas for hair and skin which utilise many of the same ingredients as the dishes. These include a Coconut Coffee Body Scrub and Brightening Green Tea Face Mask which sound perfect for a little pampering. As someone who has an interest in non-toxic/natural beauty and homemade products this crossover was a pleasant surprise and I loved that these little extras were included.

Naturally, I was keen to try out one of the recipes from the book and selected the Red Lentil Earth Curry (pictured above). I actually hadn't cooked anything similar to this before but the recipe was very easy to follow and the final dish tasted great! After testing out the curry I'm looking forward to trying out more of Lily's recipes - the Choc-Chip Cookies and Mexican Chocolate Pudding both sound amazing.

With an impressive variety of plant-based recipes and a beautiful vibrant design Good Clean Food is definitely one to add to your bookshelf.
  
Follow

Good Clean Food - Review & Recipe Test!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

© A Natural Detour. Design by Fearne.