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Experts on cleaner beauty

by Susie Hatton |

It all started in 2003 with our first sunless tanning formula. Prior to that time, I had been switching out all of my products, personal care and home care, to clean and natural versions. About the same time, my dad was diagnosed with skin cancer (melanoma). This diagnoses was serious enough that the Drs. made the decision to postpone his heart surgery until after operating on and removing the melanoma.

This was a wake up call. I loved the sun and all outdoor activities and sports. I knew I had to take sun protection serious and I immediately started covering up. One thing was golden brown, sun-kissed skin. Having color on my skin made me feel healthy and naturally I felt it enhanced my overall appearance. So, I began looking for alternative ways to get a natural looking glow. Of course, there were old-school tanning products available, but all of them were made with harsh chemicals and preservatives. The color and result fell short of anything natural looking. 

This is when I began developing Chocolate Sun. I researched and found a botanical chemist, and pitched the idea of making a formula that was actually good for the skin. A formula made with corrective and protective combinations of flowers and herbs.

Chocolate Sun was born.

Clean verses natural.

To me, both should cover all the bases and have your health in mind! If a product promotes themselves as clean, the ingredients should all be sourced naturally and be non-toxic. Mother nature offers many options for effective and natural choices. For instance, sugars and salts can create natural and effective preservatives. Flowers and herbs can be corrective and protective, as well as anti-aging for the skin.

Organic on the other hand, is anything grown without the use of pesticides. Naturally, if a product has plant ingredients, it’s best that they are grown without harsh chemicals for a clean experience that will treat your body well.

For Chocolate Sun, the main ingredient that sets us apart from most clean beauty brands, is that we use food derived natural preservatives. It would be a shame to make a beautiful formula and then preserve it with harsh chemicals to extend its shelf life. In addition, the DHA (from sugar beets) in our sunless tanning products is Eco-Certified (an internationally recognized certification that guarantees a high standard practice through formulation and manufacturing of products). We also use green tea, aloe vera and clean oils from nuts in our formulas that nourish and feed the skin.

Expert tip: Shelf life of natural products can be extended by storing them in cool, dry spaces away from sunlight and heat. In addition, avoid putting your fingers into products directly which can easily contaminate them and compromise their stability. Rather, use a small, clean spoon or a beauty tool that can be easily sanitized after use.


I am passionate about the clean products I use personally and that will always translate into the products Chocolate Sun and I create and formulate for you.

Here are a few tid-bits, favorites and homemade remedies I want to share with you:

For my face care: I use the Bare Minerals Tinted Sunscreen and Lip Stain as well as the Hyaluronic Acid Serum from L’Oréal

For my Body care: My go-to’s are from Simple Truth and Salt and Stone. Of course, my favorite natural formula for exfoliating are the Chocolate Sun Sea Salt Body Scrubs – we have a few yummy scents that I rotate!

For my Home care: Trader Joe’s Cedar Herbal Cleaner – a fabulous multi-purpose cleaner for everything! Or, I even use a homemade concoction of fresh juiced lemon water and vinegar. Natural ingredients work wonders!

For my pup children: I’m very conscious of what nourishes their bodies too- I make all their treats with simple recipes that are no more than three ingredients. Comment below to ask me for my recipes!


For The Future Of Chocolate Sun

Being passionate lovers of and experts in clean beauty has been paramount in perfecting our sunless formulas. My partner in this Chocolate Sun adventure (Kimmie) and I, have a lot more up our sleeves. In addition to our skin perfecting sunless formulas, we have been working on even more clean beauty and lifestyle products for the Chocolate Sun Collection.

Since you are here reading this, you are among the first to get a sneak peek at what is to come...

The Keep It Natural Beauty Trio! We love nothing more than highlighting one’s natural look and beauty, rather than heavy editorial style makeup looks. Our trio kit will consist of three products, each that serve dual purposes when used:

1- A skin perfecting bronzer- that also sports an SPF

2- A lip and cheek stain

3- A vegan mascara wand that has lash building technology

Last but not least, I have found myself feeling utterly inspired to create a few pieces of “natural and wear anywhere” clothing and beach accessories. Be sure to stay tuned – your summer, beach and Saturday errands wardrobe will need these. We can’t wait to launch!

Please feel free to email us at or send us a DM on Instagram @thechocolatesun with any inspired thoughts about products, clothing or accessories you would love to see in our collection. We love to hear from you!

XoXo- Susie

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