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YQA: Products to beat the heat

Kelly posted this on the Indigo+Canary Facebook page a while back:

“So you know I live in a really hot climate (Austin), right? Last summer sucked bad (over 100 degrees for like 120 days in a row). I had to choose between not using sunscreen and using sunscreen that made me break out. Then I realized I should have asked YOU! I checked out your archives and couldn’t find anything, but I’d love to hear about organic products that (1) minimize sun exposure/damage and (2) keep you cool! I remember reading somewhere about making your own cooling mist with an atomizer and mint tea. Help!”

Well, I can’t resist a plea for help, so I’ve turned this into a Your Questions Answered post, and put together some sunscreen recommendations and a few suggestions to help you stay cool—even when it’s ridiculously hot out. —Aleigh

SUN PROTECTION (for your face)

Clockwise, from top left: Lavera Sun Sensitive Anti Age Face SPF 15 ($21), Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer ($29), Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Facial Moisturizer, SPF 30 ($32), Aubrey Organics Natural Sun SPF 30 + Green Tea ($15.95)

Marie Veronique Organics Moisturizing Face Screen SPF 30 ($40), Lavanila The Healthy Sunscreen SPF 40 ($28), Desert Essence Organics Facial Care Age Reversal Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ($36.69 for pack of three), Eco Logical Skin Care All Natural Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($13.99)

SUN PROTECTION (for your bod)

Raw Elements Eco Formula 30+ ($18.99), Soleil Organique 100% Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 45 ($42), Nature’s Gate Aqua Block SPF 50* ($9.19), John Masters Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 ($32)

STAY COOL

Melvita Floral Water Spray ($19), Mai Couture Blemish Control Blotting Paper ($24), Maya Water Facial Mist Organic White Tea ($28.99), Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Anti-Aging Mist ($35)

What are your favorite beat-the-heat products?


*This product includes a few ingredients I dislike, but I think it’s a decent option if you’re looking for a waterproof sunscreen…more natural than many of the waterproof options out there.

(Top image via Kris Bradley, product images via brands+boutiques)

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YQA: Styling products for baby-fine hair

Another month, another Your Questions Answered post! (The first YQA post, back in March, answered your questions about laser hair removal.) Here’s the request, from Katie:

i’m looking for some sort of tonic, gel, etc. to put on before blow drying. my hair is baby fine (but there is a LOT of it), slightly wavy and i live in really warm and damp climate. if i don’t use something to smooth it and provide a bit of hold it turns into a weird mass of frizzy, limp, yet somehow frighteningly bushy, hair. i would really appreciate any suggestions!

Tricky, tricky. Baby-fine hair, lots of it, plus a warm and damp climate. Here are two product suggestions for you, Katie.

First: Yarok Feed Your Roots ($18), a leave-in conditioner spray. It has lots of great ingredients like organic evening primrose and jojoba oils, but it’s a light enough formula to offer a bit of light smoothing and hold without weighing down your fine hair. It was created to protect your hair heat damage, and is meant to be used pre-blow dry.

Second: Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner ($20). This is a good product for using with your hair dryer or for those days when you’d rather air dry. It’ll smooth your hair and give a little control, and it can be used on dry hair, too. Plus it has some yummy ingredients like Tamanu oil (an oil that Polynesian women have been using for many years), and a touch of honey for volume and manageability.

If you haven’t already tried it, I also recommend Julie’s apple cider vinegar hair rinse technique. The ACV will help clarify your hair without stripping it of moisture (and make it shiny). Plus, it should help with the frizz and limpness.

Do you have a question about natural or organic beauty? Ask in the comments or email me directly: aleigh AT indigoandcanary dot com.

—Aleigh

(Image via Horia Varlan)

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Your Questions Answered: Laser Hair Removal

Last week I asked for your thoughts on laser hair removal, and it turns out you have lots of questions! Luckily, I have answers. (And if you have questions that aren’t answered here—or are about something completely different—ask away.)*

How painful is laser hair removal?
The truth is: It stings. It sort of feels like a tiny, hot bee sting. After the first few stings, though, my body adjusted, and it really didn’t bother me. After a treatment, the skin is slightly red and might be a tad sensitive, but not for long. Kelly asked if it was similarly painful to laser tattoo removal, and I’ve never had a tattoo removed, so I can’t say this with absolute certainty, but I would assume not. With laser tattoo removal, the ink is much deeper in the skin than the hair shaft that is targeted with laser hair removal. There are several things both you and your technician can do to help with the stinging:

  1. Take a pain reliever before your appointment
  2. Don’t schedule an appointment the week before your period or during your period (when your body is a lot more sensitive to pain), especially if you have a low tolerance for pain
  3. Ask your technician to adjust the laser’s intensity—he or she will ask during your treatment if the laser is too painful
  4. Ask for a numbing cream (I never needed one, but I think I have a pretty high tolerance for pain)

Everyone is different, so even though I found the stinging tolerable, if you’re sensitive, you might need to try one of these tactics.

How should I choose a laser hair removal professional, and what’s the price range?
I combined these questions because they kind of go hand in hand. Prices vary widely, and there are a few different kinds of treatments that can be referred to as laser hair removal—including IPL (intense pulsed light) and SPL (square pulsed light). I have not tried a treatment with an SPL device, but based on my research, a true laser is most effective. Beyond equipment, I would ask a med spa or laser hair removal clinic to tell you about the technician(s) who will be performing your treatment—what training and certifications do they have? Are they nurses or just aestheticians? Also, ask about what kinds of guarantees they offer. Laser hair removal is not always permanent (hormones and personal body chemistry can have an impact)—my med spa offered a lifetime guarantee if I purchased seven treatments, meaning that if I have hair growth, I can come in for a treatment once a year, for free, for the rest of my life.

Now, for the cost. Honestly? It’s a moving target. I signed up for my treatments because the med spa I go to was offering a discount on a series of treatments. In my experience, I’d say it runs from $50 to $100 or more per treatment. Typically, if you buy a package, you’ll get a better price per treatment, or if you treat multiple areas. Keep in mind that everyone’s hair removal needs are different, so it’s best to go in for a consultation so that a technician can see your skin and hair to give you a good idea of whether you’re a good candidate for laser hair removal—and also how many treatments he or she thinks it will take to get you the results you’re looking for, which will have an impact on the cost.

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