It can be hard to look your best when you’re traveling: constantly moving, lack of sleep and living out of a backpack can all takes its toll. So make like the locals and take advantage of these ingenious beauty tips from around the world!
Israel — Dead Sea Mud
The Dead Sea is the saltiest, most mineral-rich sea in the world, and this is the key to the success of Dead Sea mud as a beauty product. Highly oxygenated and home to 21 essential minerals – 12 of which are found in the Dead Sea alone – its mud is used in skin products to make you feel rejuvenated and detoxed inside and out. The best way to reap its benefits is of course to take a dip in the sea itself and smother yourself in mud – but if this isn’t an option, you can always buy some moisturizers and scrubs as a keepsake. It’s said to have healing properties, making it especially good for sufferers of psoriasis, eczema and arthritis.
West Africa — Shea Butter
Shea butter is skin superfood, moisturizing dry skin and soothing the likes of eczema, bites, sun burn and rashes. Made from the nuts of the Karite tree, West African women have been using it in their skin and hair care regimes for centuries, and although you can buy shea butter products across the world, it’s most effective in its pure, untreated form, when it resembles a lump of hard ice-cream that must be melted between your hands before being massaged into your skin or hair.
India — Kajal
Kajal (or “kohl”) is an ancient Indian eye makeup that was traditionally prepared out of soot, at home, by women, and worn by children and men to protect against anything from eye ailments and ill fortune to the sun’s harsh glare. Today it is an incredibly popular eyeliner with strong dark pigments and a smooth texture that creates a bold look — perfect for creating a strong statement with little effort when on the road.
Morocco — Argan Oil
This beauty gem comes from the Moroccan Argan tree and is produced exclusively by Berber women. It’s a great all-rounder that nourishes skin, nails and hair alike with its high levels of vitamin E, antioxidants and fatty acids, and is said to have anti-aging properties. It’s ideal for all skin types, and best of all will last for ages, as just a drop of this stuff goes a long way!
Sweden — Dry Sauna
Swedish women were enjoying saunas long before they were appropriated by upscale health spas, and a dry sauna is a common Swedish household feature. Moving from extreme hot to cold gives you a healthy appearance and boosts circulation, which is beneficial for health and beauty, and the sweating, although not initially a pretty sight, releases toxins and impurities trapped in your skin. The perfect way to scrub up in style after a few weeks on the road!
South Korea — BB Creams
BB (or “Beauty Balm”) creams are beginning to make it big elsewhere in the world, but they’ve been an Asian beauty staple for years, and it’s in South Korea that you’ll find the best of the bunch. This all-in-one cosmetic is a female traveler’s best friend as it works as a serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sun cream – not bad for one little tube! It can be worn on its own or with other make up, and is endorsed by many Korean celebrities as “the secret” behind their glowing porcelain skin.
Greece — Greek Yogurt
When in Greece, don’t miss out on this cheap and easy way to treat yourself. Greek yoghurt is great for your skin and makes an amazing facemask when mixed with olive oil and honey. Bursting with lactic acid – the component used in fancy chemical peels – it can reduce blemishes and discolorations as well as wrinkles and lines. It can also soothe sunburned skin if you’ve been out on the islands too long! You can even use it in your hair before showering to fight dandruff and strengthen the tips. Top stuff.
Thailand — Coconut Oil
Coconut oil’s boomed internationally over the last few years, but in Thailand – as well as many other parts of East Asia – it’s been a well-known beauty secret for donkey’s years. It’s everything you need in one: a moisturizer. A leave-in conditioner. A body lotion. A serum to tame frizz. It really does it all.