On a recent trip to the tropics, I picked up a few extra tips that transformed me from product junkie to beach-bound goddess. SPF is priority number one (always!), but I experimented with different DIY recipes and natural materials to see just how minimal my beauty routine could become. These are the six mantras I learned in paradise.
To slough off dead skin from the dry flight, I massaged and exfoliated with beach sand. It's a classic trick, but it always gets the job done and my skin felt soft and smooth. If you want a full-body treatment, take sand back to your hotel room and exfoliate in the shower.
Who needs a chlorinated pool when you've got a mineral-rich sea lapping up at the shore? I made sure to dip in the ocean at least once a day. Plus, the salt gave my hair those sexy beachy waves that are oh-so-trendy every summer.
I gave our natural highlights cocktail a real road test on my brown hair. For added caramel tones, I sprayed a DIY rum/seltzer concoction before heading out to the beach. After a week, I noticed sun-kissed strands and smelled like coconuts—win!
I totally gorged on the local fruits—on my face! For a revitalizing face mask, mix papaya and pineapple pulp in a bowl, then apply a thin layer to your face for ten minutes. Your skin will feel clarified, smoother, and brighter. Mine sure did!
While my pale skin absorbed the vitamin D it so desperately lacked, I had a love/hate relationship with the sun while abroad. I found out what a sunburn on the back of your knees feels like, and it's not a pleasant experience. The sun is so much stronger than you think in sub-tropical climates, so wear your hat, sunglasses, and SPF! For continuous coverage, make sure to apply and reapply your SPF, especially in the most uncommon body parts: ears, lips, ankles, neck, and, of course, the back of your knees.
Throughout my trip, I shocked myself by using only four beauty products (concealer, highlighter, lipstick, and eye lash curler). Sometimes, it's nice to break up with your makeup for a week, so avoid the extra baggage charge and pack less. And when you're in a warm weather tropical climate, who needs to cover up?