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Tie & Dye Crafts at Indigo Dying House

Dying our creations

Dying our creations

During our holiday in Taiwan I brought the kids to try out various different crafting activities. Many of these activities are extremely expensive if it was done in Singapore and it was great that we could try out many different activities at an affordable price.

Indigo Dyeing House was one of the place which we visited. Located in Miaoli County  this  Dyeing house uses natural dies from plants to color their products.

The teacher explaining about the tie dye process

The teacher explaining about the tie dye process

Before we started on our crafting we had to choose the item we wanted to dye.  There were many different items which we could make ranging from lamp shades, handkerchiefs, bags or even scarfs. Tiger girl chose to make a scarf for her paternal grandmother while the  Monkey boy chose a handkerchief and Doggie boy a Strawberry  Bag.

The other side of the workshop

The other side of the workshop

The workshop was divided into two sections.  There were benches for the participants to do the tying of the material and the other section was where the dying took place.

The teacher showing the different patterns that one can make

The teacher showing the different patterns that one can make

The kids in action deciding on how to tie their pieces

The kids in action deciding on how to tie their pieces

The kids had to use the rubber band and sticks to tie the pattern that they wish to see on their pieces of art.

Tiger girl picking up the chopsticks to tie

Tiger girl picking up the chopsticks to tie

The patterns that were made on the cloths were done by using the chopsticks/ ice-creme sticks to block out certain parts of the cloth so that it is not stained by the dye.

I personally have taught Tie Dye during Art lessons in school but we never used natural dyes nor sticks in creating the patterns on the cloths. What we used were just rubber bands and marbles.

Doggie boy soaking his piece in blue dye.

Doggie boy soaking his piece in blue dye.

After each piece had been tied up it was time to dye it. We had to use aprons and gloves so that we wouldn’t get the dye onto our clothes. Each piece had to be soaked within the blue tie for 3 minutes before being giving it a rinsed. There had to be  3 rounds of soaking to ensure that the cloth absorbed enough of the dye.

The design on grandma's scarf

The design on grandma’s scarf

The design on Tiger girl's scarf

The design on Tiger girl’s scarf

Monkey boy's handkerchief

Monkey boy’s handkerchief

Doggie boy's Strawberry Bag

Doggie boy’s Strawberry Bag

Have you tried Tie Dye before?

卓也藍染 Indigo Dyeing House
No.1-9, Bengshanxia, Sanyi Township, Miaoli County 367, Taiwan
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Choosing the Right Sun Protection Part 1

The kids and me enjoying a swim

The kids and me enjoying a swim

Living in tropical Singapore the kids and I  get many opportunities to have fun at the pool. I’ve been taking them swimming since they were 8 months old and all of them love the water.

Since we are in the pool so often it is very important all of us apply sunscreen before entering the water to ensure that we are adequately protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

With so many different types and brands in the market. Which sunscreen is  then is the most suitable one for me and the kids?

There are two main different types of sunscreen- Mineral and Chemical.  There are both benefits and disadvantages to each type and preferences may differ depending on your concerns and opinions.

There have been many conflicting reports supporting both types of sunscreen and it is still best to based your choice on your own discretion.

Mineral Based sunscreens I tested

Mineral Based sunscreens I tested

The Coola and Babyganics sunscreen

The Coola and Babyganics sunscreen

Chemical Sunscreen I tried

Chemical Sunscreen I tried

Mary Kay Sunscreens

Mary Kay Sunscreens

Sunplay and Biore Sunscreen

Sunplay and Biore Sunscreen

I tested out a variety of sunscreens for myself and the kids. We tried both  Mineral and Chemical based sunscreens to see which type was more suitable for use.

The kids have a different requirement from me in choosing a suitable sunscreen as they needed one that was water resistant  as they go swimming weekly.

 

Choosing sunscreen

Choosing sunscreen- My checklist

Water resistant sunscreens which were tested out

 

 

These 3 sunscreens are among the more popular sunscreens based on the various reviews that I’ve read and recommendations from my friends.

Here are my findings on the 3 different brands of sunscreen above.

Babyganics Sunscreen

Babyganics Sunscreen

 

I liked the fact that this sunscreen was made of Zinc Oxide which is a safe mineral for use. However upon further investigation it contained bad ingredients which could be harmful for the kids in the long run.

This sunscreen contained these ingredients.

Active ingredients : Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Zinc oxide 11.7%

Inactive ingredients: Water, glyceryl stearate, cyclopentasiloxane, caprylic/capric triglyceride, propanediol, stearyl/octadodecyl citrate crosspolymer, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, glycerin, dimethicone crosspolymer, tocopheryl acetate, solanum lycopersicum (tomato) seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil, nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil, rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil, sodium stearoyl glutamate, beeswax, lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 methicone, triethoxycaprylylsilane, xanthan gum, ethylhexylglycerin, disodium EDTA, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol.

polysorbate 60: Commonly used in fragrance, this emulsifying and solubilizing agent is one of several varieties of polysorbates, which some experts claim are reproductive toxins.

phenoxyethanol: A preservative found in nearly every type of cosmetic and various cleaning products. Proven organ system toxin in animals (even at low doses), and suspected to be carcinogenic. Some studies say that it can be harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive damage.  (Read about the different studies on it here)

Conclusion = Unsuitable for the kids just considering the ingredients list.

 

My findings

Being a mineral based sunscreen it formed a thick white paste which was difficult to apply. The ingredients inside the tube also separated easily and many times water came out upon squeezing instead of the white paste even though I’ve shook the tube a few times before squeezing it.

What the kids say

They find applying it very cumbersome and it seems to peel off even before they hit the pool making it’s usefulness in sun protection questionable.

Coola Sport Mineral Sunscren Spf 30

Coola Sport Mineral Sunscren Spf 30

 

Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 4.8% Zinc Oxide 3.1%

Inactive ingredients : Aleurites moluccana seed oil (organic kukui), aloe barbadensis leaf (organic), aluminum, arnica montana (organic) flower extract, bentonite, caprylhydroxamic acid, caprylyl glycol, citrus aurantium dulcis (organic orange) fruit water, citrus aurantium dulcis (organic orange) peel oil, citrus limon (lemon) peel oil, citrus reticulata (tangerine) peel oil, citrus nucifera (organic coconut) oil, glycerin (organic), hydrogenated methyl abietate, hydrolyzed wheat protein / PVP crosspolymer, jojoba esters, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, mimosa tenuiflora bark extract, persea gratissima (organic avocado) oil, prunus armeniaca (organic apricot) kernel oil, cathamus tinctorius (safflower) olesomes, sodium chloride, sodium gluconate, sodium hydroxide, tocopherol, triethoxycaprylylsilane, water, xanthan gum.

There are no known carcinogens in this list and it certainly is safer as compared to the Babyganics sunscreen listed above.

My  findings

I loved the texture and light fragrance of the product. However it still left a white sheen after application which the kids didn’t like. It also felt sticky to the touch. The good thing is that it can last up to 80 mins which is more then sufficient for the hour long  swimming lesson that the kids go for weekly.

Mary Kay Sun Care Sunscreen

Mary Kay Sun Care Sunscreen

Ingredient list:

Ingredients

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 5%. Other Ingredients: Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Ammonium Hydroxide, Behenyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Cyclamen Aldehyde, Dicetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethyl Linalool, Ethylene Brassylate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Methyl Trimethicone, Methylenedioxyphenyl Methylpropanal, PEG-100 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Phenylisohexanol, Propylene Glycol, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sorbic Acid, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trideceth-6, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Water, Xanthan Gum

My findings

I find this product easy to apply and I love the scent of it. The kids too find this  chemical sunscreen the easiest to apply compared to the 2 other mineral sunscreens.

The  questionable ingredient in this product is  Oxybenzone 5%.  and Phenoxyethanol. There are conflicting reports about  Oxybenzone a  as a  controversial chemical that is used in a lot of sunscreens and skincare products because of its ability to absorb and dissipate UV light. While the chemical is effective, some studies suggest that when it gets absorbed into the body, it can trigger harsh reactions. Oxybenzone has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage. It can also absorb through the skin into the bloodstream, affecting hormone levels as according to reports stated in EWG. FDA however have approved it for use since  in the products if the percentage is less then 6%.

Other products/brands which have  Oxybenzone

  • La Roche-Posay  Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
  • La Roche-PosayAnthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 50
  • Clinique Sun Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Body Cream
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 50

( Read about sunscreen safety here )

In the 2nd part of this post  I will be comparing the how the other sunscreens – SUNPLAY, Biore UV , Mary Kay Sun Protector , Coola  Face and Mary Kay TimeWise Day solution.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are based on my personal findings. I am a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. If you are interested in testing out or purchasing any Mary Kay products you can contact me.