One of my most prized possessions is my Passport. It’s filled with stamps from around the world and each stamp brings back a distinct memory from every place I’ve been too.
In the past 5 years, I spent quite a bit of time backpacking. Those care free days meant a complete disregard for my normal beauty regiment – jagged nails, damaged hair and cracked heels were the norm along with a very bare looking wallet. The beauty of travel is being able to immerse yourself in a new culture and in my case, learn different, natural and very budget-friendly DIY beauty tips!
Thailand – Coconut Oil
Over 5 years ago I had never heard of coconut oil. While backpacking through Thailand, my friend and I picked up a bottle and used the oil as our ‘all-purpose’ beauty product. It’s fantastic and here are some of the ways we used it everyday:
- Make-up and Dirt remover: massage it all over your skin and wipe the day’s makeup and dirt right off with a Kleenex. It is the best product I’ve ever used to remove makeup, free-radicals and sunscreen.
- Moisturizer: Playing on the beach, scuba-diving and surfing for hours are a few of my favourite things. Those hobbies lead to dry skin from sun-exposure (always always re-apply waterproof sunscreen!). After you hop out of the shower, dry off and watch as your skin drinks up this natural moisturizer.
- Hair Mask: All that outdoor exposure also turned my hair to hay. For a deep conditioner take the coconut goodness and work it through your whole head. From scalp right down to the tips. Wrap your hair in saran wrap and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes then wash it all out. It takes about 3 solid shampoos, so prepare yourself for a longer than normal shower. For everyday use, before going to bed I take a small amount of coconut oil and work it through the ends of my hair to keep them from breaking.
France – Lemon
I spent a semester studying in Strasbourg, France and for some reason my skin had a major panic attack! Here’s how I used this beautiful fruit + other daily uses:
- Remove blemishes: I don’t know the science behind it, but one of my exchange buddies instructed me to take freshly squeezed lemon juice and pat it into my skin before going to bed. After a few days, my blemishes noticeably disappeared! Wine, cheese and lemons… Vive la France!
- Lemon Water: We’ve all heard this one, but seriously, take a slice of lemon and pop it into your water first thing in the morning. It’s a great source of Vitamin C to keep you looking young and feeling great.
- Hair Dye: My hair dresser will absolutely despise me for sharing this tip since it dries your hair out pretty nicely too. Take freshly squeezed lemon juice and put it through a strainer to get rid of the pulp. Then pour it into a mini spray bottle (some people suggest doing a 50/50 water/lemon mix). Spritz it through your hair then go play in the sun for an hour or so! Wash it right out, then repeat for however many days you’d like until it’s the shade you like. Take that $200 highlights! Woot!
Costa Rica – Papayas
As a kid, I use to think it tasted like the smell of fart. I hated it but now that I’ve had fresh papaya from a country that actually grows it, well 6-yr old Gloria, time to replace that horrific memory. The papaya is jam packed with Vitamin A, C, E and the papain enzyme which is a bad-ass anti-aging, skin-repairing, cut-healing, exfoliating super enzyme!
- Facemask: The papain is concentrated closest to the skin of the fruit but you can also use the fruit itself. Take about 1 cup of fruit peel (or just fruit) and blend it with a tablespoon of honey. Apply the mask on your face for and let your skin absorb all that goodness for a solid 15-20 minutes.
- Natural Laxative: Suffering from Traveler’s Butt? Is your bowel toilet-shy if you’re not at home? A lot of us suffer from this awful ailment but hallelujah the Ticos have a tasty, all-natural solution! Grab a fresh papaya, a handful of ice and blend those two ingredients together. Warning: When this kicks in, don’t be alarmed if your poop looks orange. It’s the papaya roughage doing its job 😉
Those are a few budget-friendly tips that I’ve picked up over the years!
Share away chicos, what are some of your favourite (or some of the strangest) beauty tips from around the world?