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Indigo+Canary’s 12 Most Popular Posts Of 2012

This image doesn't have anything to do with this post...but I think it's hilarious. Don't you?

The end of 2012 is approaching, and once again, I’m looking forward to a new year that’s fresh with promise. I’m not one who believes the world is going to end this Friday, obviously! But I wanted to take a moment to look back at your favorite posts* of the year. Here they are, in all of their glory. Enjoy!

Dry Brushing to Detox Your Skin. I am still doing this most days, and I still adore how invigorating—and exfoliating—this daily treatment is.

Get Shiny, Glossy Hair—Naturally. I wrote this story for Breathe magazine; Julie Ebner offered some great, natural tips!

Natural Beauty Q&A with Michelle Witherby. She’s the founder of O&N Collective, and has great advice. She shares her comprehensive approach to natural beauty (and health), and a few of her must-have products.

Your Questions Answered: Laser Hair Removal. I had laser hair removal every six weeks for nearly a year…and answered your questions based on what I learned (and from asking my technician).

Natural Beauty Q&A with Sally Biondo. She’s a fantastic, all-natural makeup artist, and shared her beauty philosophy, her must-have products, and the one bad beauty habit she encourages everyone to break!

Natural Beauty Q&A with Karen Behnke. The founder of Juice Beauty told us about her path to natural beauty and offered some juicy inspiration.

Reader Question: Battling Hormonal Acne. Unfortunately, hormonal acne is something I continue to battle—and I offered up some techniques that can work on just about any type of skin that’s battling a hormonal acne invasion.

Sustainable (and natural) beauty. This story I wrote for Breathe features six natural beauty companies that take a commitment to Mother Nature very seriously.

Let’s talk about: Eyebrow threading. Threading is my preferred method of brow shaping and one of my favorite beauty treatments for a few reasons: it’s affordable, it’s quick, it’s (almost) painless, and it’s natural.

8 Leaps to Take in Your Beauty Routine. For Leap Day, I put together a special list of beauty “leaps” to try in its honor.

Roundup: Green Tea for Beautiful Skin. As an ingredient packed with antioxidants, green tea has taken the natural beauty scene by storm. And since the polyphenol in green tea, ECGC, has been proven to help rejuvenate and heal skin, fight inflammation, and heal acne, I put together a long list of products that include it.

How do you clean your yoga mat? I sought your advice for this post—and I’m so glad I did! There are some really great suggestions in the comments.

Did you have a favorite Indigo+Canary post this year? Any requests for 2013? —Aleigh

*This list doesn’t include any product reviews—I’ll tackle those in another post.

(Image via Leah Tihia™)

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Reader Question: Battling Hormonal Acne

I’ve said it before, and it’s still true: I can’t resist a plea for help. Which is why, when Amanda emailed me asking for tips and relief from her hormonal acne, I was spurred into action! Here’s what she said:

The past year and a half my face has gone from one to two pimples on any given day to a full blown acne attack. When I was in high school it was mainly forehead and the occasional chin pimple but nothing crazy. I am now 22 years old and have the worst acne on my cheeks and jaw line (20 plus everyday) plus, the occasional forged pimples popping up weekly and very congested/dull looking skin everywhere (small bumps the color of my skin on pretty much my whole face). My face is combination/dry and I even have crows feet and forehead wrinkles already!

Man, can I sympathize. I’m also an unfortunate victim of hormonal acne, but after lots of research and lots of trial and error, I’ve discovered a few techniques that I think might help.* Since Amanda’s skin is combination/dry and mine is combination/oily, I’ve been both researching and considering my own tactics to come up with some things she might try—but I think these are techniques that can work on just about any type of skin that’s battling a hormonal acne invasion. Here goes, Amanda! I hope you’ll let me know how they work for you.

Don’t over-exfoliate. A little exfoliation is fine, but a lot is not better. Limit (gentle) exfoliation to once or twice a week—hard scrubbing and exfoliating too frequently can exacerbate the problem instead of offering relief.

Avoid dairy as much as possible. Amanda did mention that she eats dairy products about three times a week, and unfortunately, there are plenty of studies that prove a direct link between milk and acne. Milk can be loaded with hormones (both naturally-occurring and added), which can stimulate your skin’s sebum production, which can produce acne. With you have the right hormonal balance and if your skin is acting up, try removing dairy from your diet and use supplements for a week or two and see if you notice a change. If so, add it back in slowly, or try to avoid it entirely.

Moisturize with facial oils. Amanda mentioned that her skin tends to be dry—sometimes overly dry skin can stimulate acne, just as oily skin can. (The idea is to find a balance between the two!) I really like facial oils. Here’s what I would try if I were Amanda: tea tree oil applied directly to the acne-prone areas (it has antibacterial qualities), and then a gentle, skin-calming oil (grapeseed oil, tamanu oil, and evening primrose oil are all great options) all over. Two I like: balancing facial serum from Co-Op 108 and Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil.

Supplement. I have noticed a difference in my hormonal acne (along with a few other benefits) since I started taking my Nordic Naturals Omega Woman supplement. It’s an Omega-3 supplement that contains fish oil and evening primrose oil, plus hormone-balancing ingredients.

Avoid caffeine. Here’s the thing: I love coffee. I try not to drink too much of it, but man, do I love it. I’m pretty good with all of the other recommendations I’ve made here, but this is one I really have a hard time with. The good news? There’s no proven direct link between caffeine and acne. However, caffeine tends to spur your body to make cortisol, the stress hormone, which can stimulate your skin’s oil production…which can cause acne. As with dairy, I’d say try eliminating caffeine for a few weeks, see if you can tell a difference, and then add it back in slowly…keeping a close eye on your skin.

Do you have tips or advice to add? I’d love to hear what works for you! —Aleigh

(Image via Colin Kinner)

*Statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness, disease, or condition.

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