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My Top 5 Skin and Hair Care Essentials for Surviving Desert Summers

Let's face it, living in a dry desert during the summer can be tough on our skin and hair. Even more so if you have natural hair and are trying to keep the curls poppin' at all times like me! After over 20 years of trial and error searching for ways to keep my curls and face looking hydrated while it's one hundred degrees or more in July, I’ve finally discovered a how to retain moisture in my forehead, and my big, voluptuous curly hair. It works for me—at least for this season! Whether I’m diving into Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, lounging with a good book in my hammock, or getting steps in on the the arroyo, these five products have become my desert summer saviors. I’m thrilled to share them with you here through affiliate links for products I personally recommend.



I am a total belif advocate after going home with some free samples from Ulta almost two years ago! But the aqua bomb - with a sunscreen?! Stahp. It's exactly what I needed once the sun started shinning this season! Combining hydration with sun protection, this sunscreen is a must-have for anyone whose prone to a little burn. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and provides SPF 45 protection! None of that SPF 15 that's gone by 10 AM. Perfect for those days spent at the Wine Fest, Chocolate & Coffee Fest, or exploring the botanical gardens, it keeps my skin hydrated and I don't have to worry about sunspots, or freckles - whatever keeps showing up on my face after a day in the sun! Of course a hat always helps too, when I can get my hair to fit!


Of course, SPF 45 isn't an all day fix - but this SPF 35 setting powder is the perfect compliment, and it's purse and travel friendly! This setting powder by Supergoop is always within an arms reach no matter where I am, from the brewery for happy hour to the speakeasy for date night - this brush contained powder is perfect for touching up any shine, and adding that extra sun protection in a snap. No creamy mess or spray, just a fine feathery powder to get you through your day.



My curly hair is low porosity, so getting moisture to stick around and frizz to shrink to zero takes a whole lot of extra care in the summer, and this gel is a lifesaver. This is one of those products that for me is really tried and true. The first time I got my hands on Ouidad gel I must have still been in middle school. I use way more than the recommended amount; seeing that I am trying to tame a lion's mane, but this gel has successfully defined my curls while protecting them from frizz and humidity for years. So now, whether I'm dancing the night away at Canvas or riding bikes through the trails, this gel ensures my curls stay in place and look fabulous all day.... or week ;)



Listen, sun exposure does a number on my lips, so my though its your lips need protection too, and this balm first off smells amazing, and it always does the trick, and leaves me ready for a kiss. It offers SPF 30 protection and keeps my lips hydrated and soft. Whether I'm out on an adventure or enjoying a good cocktail at Apothecary or Teddy Roes, this lip balm is always in my pocket. It's super affordable too!


This sunscreen stick I had to cop after I saw an Instagram reel from a beauty blogger applying it over her newly applied make up - eye shadow, bronzer, blush, and all! It's also perfect for on-the-go protection. It’s easy to apply, doesn’t leave a white cast on my melanated skin, and provides SPF 50+ protection. This one is perfect for days where I know water is my main focal point. Whether it's at the pool, or a dive site where I'll be 40 feet under water but still want to be protected from the sun for the resurface!


I hope you find these products as life-changing as I have! Remember, what works for me might not work for everyone, and it’s all about finding what suits your unique skin and hair needs. Here’s to enjoying the desert summer with healthy, glowing skin and hair!

Happy adventuring,

-Shani Mikaela

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