Apparently, it’s time to start planning summer activities! One of our readers wrote in with a great question about skin maintenance while road tripping. We love that Kaitlin is factoring in skincare while venturing out into nature. Here is her letter:

“This may be a hard question to answer, but I am going on a road trip/camping adventure across the US in August, and I’m on the hunt for a great “one step” skin regimen. I’m looking for something I would be able to use without water, such as facial wipes. I also am up for tinted moisturizer suggestions with SPF in it. I will not be wearing much makeup on this trip so makeup removal is not a concern of mine. I really do need help with this. I want to treat my skin well, even though the rest of me may get a little…. dirty? Haha! Please let me know. I would really appreciate all the help I can get.”

For a minimalist routine, Kaitlin has the right products in mind. Here are my suggestions:

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths: These wipes are a cleanser, toner, and eye makeup remover in one! They are made from 100% biodegradable, unbleached bamboo cloth. This is probably the cleanest, most natural facial wipe you will find on the market. The ingredients are full of goodness like organic honey, sunflower oil, and antibacterial essential oils. You can purchase as individually wrapped travel packs, or a full size box. I took these to the beach last summer and loved being able to wipe the sweat and sunscreen off quickly at the end of the day. So refreshing! They are effective but gentle (no alcohol, sulfates, parabens, or synthetic fragrance), and the cloth is super soft. Consider this the “Swiss army knife” of your skincare routine on-the-go.

Suntegrity “5 in 1” Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen (Tinted, Spf 30): This chemical-free tinted sunscreen relies on zinc-oxide to protect your skin from harmful rays. Zinc not only protects, it is anti-inflammatory and helps problematic skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Win! This sunscreen contains some serious skin boosting ingredients like plant-derived hyaluronic acid, astaxanthin, red algae and certified organic aloe vera, jojoba, sunflower, pomegranate, cucumber, and green tea. There are a couple of ingredients I am not a huge fan of (namely, dimethicone), but the formulation is cosmetically elegant — it blends into skin effortlessly — and it has been featured as one of the best sunscreens in the Environmental Working Group’s sunscreen guide for the last two years. You can order trial sizes to figure out the best tint for your skin tone and see whether you like the finish.

One more thing, Kaitlin. Consider taking a light facial oil with you to apply at night and recharge your skin after a full day of outdoor activity. Not knowing your skin type, a safe bet is Lina Hanson Global Face Serum. This blend sinks in quickly and leaves a velvet finish. Plus it’s full of restorative, nutrient dense oils like baobab, argan, and marula. It also smells gorgeous and relaxing thanks to the neroli and frankincense oils.

Now, let’s hear your thoughts and suggestions for Kaitlin in the comments. Happy camping, Kaitlin!

One of our readers has gone to Paris and wants to explore the clean beauty scene à la française. So help us out with this one because we know you’re worldly and well-informed, or maybe you are reading from Paris yourself and you know just where to send dear Paige. Here’s her request:

“I love your website and really value it as a site for shared experiences as well as a guide to different products/approaches/concerns. Thank you!

My husband and I just landed in Paris for a 3-month artist residency, and I’m wondering if you and your readers might have guidance about clean French brands to check out. My current routine includes Chidoriya, Evan Healy, EarthtuFace, Kahina, and 100% Pure, but I’d love to see what the French have! Would love any help from you and the NMDL community!”

We want to know what the French have, too! Tell us in the comments s’il te plaît. Merci et bisous!

Hair is the theme for reader questions this week (and it gives us an excuse to feature Jared Leto’s locks—so pretty, right?). Sarah wrote in with a question about finding the right shampoo to treat her sensitive scalp (thanks Accutane!) and we’re certain some of you can point her in the right direction. Here’s what she has to say:

“Hi there! I need some NMDL community advice. I finished the book in November and was SO excited to begin switching out my products for clean ones. After a six-month stint of Accutane (eek, I know!) almost 2 years ago, I was left with an extremely dry, flaky and irritated scalp. I was sure dirty shampoos were not helping my problem, and clean ones would finally give me some relief. Oh girl. I had the same problem even with clean shampoos (Yarok, Acure, Avalon). It seems that coconut-derived shampoos irritate it even more! Still on the hunt for a clean, coconut-free shampoo. Has anyone else experienced this? If anyone has suggestions, they’d be much appreciated! It’s definitely no fun to have a flaky scalp. Also, I have very fine, oil-prone curly hair, so skipping washes/not washing does not work well. Thank you so much!”

We agree, it’s definitely no fun to have a flaky scalp. Help a girl out? Let Sarah know your thoughts in the comments.

Have a question for the community? Send it to us at nomoredirtylooks@gmail.com

Do you pay attention to the type of water that streams from your shower? If it’s very soft or very hard water, it’s difficult to ignore the way it affects your skin and hair. One reader discovered just how much of a difference hard water can make, and she reached out for help. Here’s what Kim has to say:

“I am hoping that the No More Dirty Looks community can help me solve a hair problem. Until October, I lived in Virginia Beach where I had beautiful curls using no-poo, Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Conditioner, and Alaffia Curly Kinky Curl Creme.  I have very thick hair — as in, stylists have said, whoa you have a lot of hair — in loose curls. Late this fall, military orders took my family to north of Jacksonville, Florida. The water here is really, really hard — as in, 400 plus ppm. The water smells alternately of swamp and sulfur. I have managed to find green cleaning for my skin, but my hair is a disaster. It is frizzy, dry, straw-like, and my curls have no definition. I have tried hair masques, coconut and argan oils, the Alaffia curl cream and leave in conditioner, Acure’s argan shampoo and conditioners and none of it seems to be having any effect. Help!  Do any of your readers have super hard water and curls that look good?”

Yikes! Who has dealt with this issue before? What helped? A shower filter? A certain product? Never getting your hair wet again? Just kidding. Let Kim know your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.

Oh the teenage years. The crushes. The battle with authority, limitations, and often—our own skin.

If you were anything like me between the ages of twelve and sixteen you struggled with oily skin and rude relentless breakouts. You also used harsh chemicals that promised to cure your acne but really just stripped your skin of its natural protective barrier, increased oiliness, and added inflammation and redness to the mix. Maybe you dashed into the bathroom between each class period to swab your face with extra concealer and powder, the poisonous kind. Add to that Molotov cocktail the frequent reapplication of lipstick in the uber-90s shades of coffee bean and rum raisin, which most assuredly fell under the frightening category of lipsticks that Alexandra wrote about last week. I shudder to think of the toxic load I carried around in my young, developing body. My hormones settled down, but I think often about my adolescent journey and wish I knew what I know now—that natural skincare has the gentle healing power I was seeking all that time.

The world is different than it was during my so-called life as a teen in the 90s. We have information at our fingertips, but it can be overwhelming to filter through it all and find real answers. This is why I jumped at the chance to share young Alexis’ question with you. Wise beyond her years, she knows that harsh products have caused even more damage to her delicate skin. She wants to go natural, but she’s a little overwhelmed with where to start.

Here is Alexis’ note…

I normally wouldn’t do this, and if you are too busy it’s no problem, but I’m looking for some help on creating a new skin care regimen with some natural, healthy products. I’m fifteen years old with the deadly combination of oily, acne-prone, and ultra sensitive skin, so finding products that work without hurting my skin is nearly impossible. I also am lost when it comes to natural skin care, as I’m a total newbie. I recently had a super-strange unidentifiable skin problem in the form of red, bumpy dry patches, (not unlike eczema, but definitely different), on my cheeks and other places. This led to my I Think My Skin Products Are Killing Me epiphany, so I decided it was time to switch up my generic brand skin care routine and try something that would actually stop hurting my skin (and maybe actually help it too!). I luckily came across your blog and have been perusing it for some time, but am starting to feel overwhelmed about finding new products. If you have any tips, particular helpful articles, or product recommendations, it would be so massively appreciated.

Thanks infinitely,

Alexis

P.S. Also, pricing on products is no issue, as at this point I really just need something that works!

Let’s help Alexis find some simple, clean options that will get her through these tough years and allow her to establish a great self-care practice at an early age.