I was recently on vacation and decided to share some eco-friendly skin care traveling tips!
Natural hand cleanser:
For a quick all natural hand cleanser use lemon juice! Most restaurants offer lemon slices with their water, or you can find lemons or concentrated lemon juice at any grocery store (concentrated lemon juice usually comes in a small, easy to carry plastic bottle, but if you get the concentrated kind, be sure to dilute it well with water). Lemon juice gently cleanses the hands and is antibacterial. It also helps removes odors and it smells great! An added bonus: lemon juice is a mild exfoliant and will make your skin feel really soft. In some cultures, bowls of lemon juice (diluted in water) are offered during meals to cleanse the hands.
Tone, hydrate, set makeup, and more with hydrosols:
Hydrosols are some of my favorite ingredients to use and also formulate with: they have so many uses! I recommend carrying around a bottle of hydrosol to tone and hydrate the skin throughout the day. They can also be used to set mineral makeup. Some of them also are antibacterial. I suggest lavender hydrosol (common to find) or tea tree hydrosol (harder to find but some online vendors carry it). Lavender and tea tree hydrosols are good all purpose hydrosols suitable for most skin types.
Natural diy skin care:
I travel pretty light (I usually just travel with a backpack and my purse) so I don’t like to pack a lot of different products. I tend to use a basic skin care routine (cleanse, tone, oil based elixir/serum or cream), but I still like to treat my skin to an occasional mask or exfoliant. So I only pack a cleanser, hydrosol, and oil or cream, and craft simple diy masks (with easy to find ingredients) if I need them!
There are many simple diy skin care treatments that you can make while on vacation. Use honey as a cleanser, mask, or spot treatment! Many restaurants offer single serve packages of honey, and many supermarkets sell small jars of honey too (if you buy a jar of honey be sure it is only a couple ounces, so you can bring it back on the airplane when you leave). To use as a cleanser, apply a small amount to damp skin, rinse well. To use as a mask, apply to damp skin, leave on for 10 to 20 minutes (leave on for only 5 minutes if your skin is sensitive), and then rinse off. To use as a spot treatment: apply to blemishes after the rest of your routine. You may want to mist your skin with your toner, hydrosol, or mist after you apply the honey so it won’t be so sticky. (Vegans can use agave to cleanse and also mask, and can use organic, virgin, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil as a spot treatment).
Use fruits and veggies as a mask! Buy a piece of fruit or vegetable or save a couple pieces from your salad (make sure they are not coated with dressing etc) and use them as a mask! Bananas and avocados are very hydrating for the skin. Tomatoes are great for oily and blemished skin, and also mildly exfoliate. Fruits and veggies provide the skin with antioxidants and nutrients. Mash well and leave on for 5 to 20 minutes, rinse off. Your skin will feel so soft and smooth afterwards!
My blog post on carrier oils, hydrosols, and essential oils (definitions):
Travel tips from a previous Eco Living article: green/eco-friendly hotels, and shorter showers:
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. She is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup company.
For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog. http://solarkatecoblogspot.com
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