When it comes to travel beauty rituals, sometimes it’s nice to just get back to basics. If you look in the right places, the beach can provide everything from DIY hair masks to natural aftersun lotions, to keep you feeling pampered and glowing.
A shift towards ‘natural, clean and sustainable’ cosmetics is predicted to be one of the biggest future beauty industry trends in a recent 2019 Forbes report. In fact, the trend has already been growing in recent years as, according to the Soil Association, there was a 14% year on year rise in organic and natural beauty product sales in 2018.
With consumers becoming more aware of the environmental and ethical impact of cosmetics, eyes are also turning to the ingredients that go into them. Investigations such as the BBC Three series ‘Beauty Laid Bare’ will have you questioning what really makes up your moisturisers and makeup, with harmful parabens and even asbestos-contaminated talc popping up in unexpected places.
But luckily, Mother Nature has a whole beauty box full of tricks to keep your skin feeling fresh and your hair strong and glossy. There’s no better place than the beach to let your hair down give these remedies a go and see if they work for you. So here are a few of our favourite natural beauty hacks to try next time you’re by the sea.
A is for Aloe Vera
A sunshine staple, you’ll often find the juice in shop-bought aftersun lotions, but did you know that the sap can be used straight from the leaf too? Aside from being turned into tequila, the leaves of the aloe vera plant have been celebrated for their reported dermatological benefits, such as cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to use aloe vera: Use sparingly as it’s strong stuff. The gooey liquid which oozes from its leaves is thought to be soothing on tender skin and it’s also great at helping to make blemishes and acne flair-ups disappear.
B is for Beer
An easy way to make your locks look a little bit more luscious, beer is thought to condition hair. Some people also claim it gives it a reddish tint, although the effect can be quite subtle.
How to use beer: Pale ale, lager or stout, pour it onto your hair rather than into a glass and let the heat of the day warm it up. Then wash it out to reveal a glossy sheen.
C is for Coconut Oil
One of the most versatile of natural oils. Aside from its foodie credentials, coconut oil pops up in beauty rituals around the world, from the teeth-whitening oil pulling trend to moisturising properties for hair and skin. It’s also thought to make your hair thicker and reverse white hair growth. It can also help reduce humidity-induced frizz and give you natural waves for an effortless beachy look.
How to use coconut oil: Add a few drops to your palm and rub it through the ends of your hair to protect it from drying out in the salty sea and sun. Or use it as an aftersun to moisturise your skin following a day at the beach. Just be careful not to apply it to your skin before or during sun exposure though, as it will attract the rays and does not contain any UV protection.
E is for Every Other Oil (well, almost)
Mediterranean olive oil, Tahitian monoi oil and Moroccan argan oil are all great alternatives to coconut oil to give skin and hair a boost of nourishment. Each coastline is likely to have its own favourite (and often beautifully fragrant) type of oil used in local beauty remedies. Browse the local markets to discover your new favourite oil.
How to use natural oils: Cold-pressed and virgin is always a good sign when it comes to oil, but not essential. Apply as you would apply coconut oil – see above.
F is for Fresh Air
There’s nothing quite like a burst of fresh sea air to clear the mind, lift the spirits and give your complexion a healthy-looking glow.
How to use fresh air: Simply enjoy a bit of time in the great outdoors. A daily dose is recommended.
G is for Greek Yoghurt
Natural Greek-style yoghurt can work wonders on your skin. Just like Cleopatra famously bathed in milk to enhance her complexion, yogurt also has moisturising properties. On top of that, it’s incredibly soothing, especially when applied straight from the fridge, so it is perfect for calming skin after a day at the beach. Just make sure it’s plain yoghurt and not flavoured, or you’ll be a sticky mess.
How to use Greek yogurt: Apply a generous layer of cool yoghurt to your skin, let it soak in for 10 minutes and then gently wipe off any excess with a damp cloth or cotton wool.
H is for Honey
Honey may delicious to eat but your skin is likely to find it rather tasty too. It’s used as a natural ingredient in face products and home-made face masks. Not only is it soothing and moisturising but natural honey has anti-bacterial (and anti-inflammatory) powers so it’s great for helping to calm spot and acne flair-ups.
How to use honey: Be ready to get sticky. Massage a teaspoon of raw honey onto your face before going to bed. Leave it on like a face mask for 10-15 minutes and then wash any excess off with warm water.
I is for Improvised Exfoliator
You’re by the seaside, so improvise with what’s around you: lots of sand and salty water. Both grains of sand and sea salt crystals are fantastic exfoliators that will leave your skin feeling smoother and softer.
How to use sand/salt exfoliator: Grab a handful of salty sand from the shoreline and rub it on your legs and arms to help remove dead skin cells and reveal smooth, more radiant skin. Just make sure you reapply sunscreen and stay in the shade until your SPF starts working again as the exfoliating will rub off any sun protection you’re wearing.
J is for Juiced Lemons and Limes
No need for a trip to the hair salon for beachy balayage highlights. Lemon and lime juice can give hair natural, sun-kissed streaks. The citrus juice reacts with the salty air and heat from the sun and hardens as it bakes into your hair, like a hard-setting styling gel. Over time, it’ll give your hair subtle highlights.
How to use lemon or lime juice: Squeeze and glide a quarter to a half of a lemon or lime over the hair covering your crown and then run your juicy fingers through the rest of your hair. Run a wide-toothed comb through it to get rid of any pips or bits of lemon and fasten into a ponytail or plait.
Like with all good things, use these tips sensibly and in moderation. If you have any known allergies to these ingredients or have very sensitive skin or known skin conditions, then put safety first and check with your doctor before trying any of these remedies. And always remember to wear sunscreen!
Interested in natural remedies? You might also like: Lavender Fields Forever
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