Last week I returned from a ten day holiday in Asia – first stop to Hong Kong and then for a few days in Thailand. It was amazing, unsurprisingly. Now I won’t tell you what I ate and drank as it wasn’t very Healing Beauty at all. But I will tell you what products I took with me and what I picked up while I was out there. I didn’t do a lot of shopping (which took considerable restraint) but I did buy a couple of interesting bits and pieces.
First of all, what was in my suitcase?
I was sent this product by the nice people at Apostle, a site selling a fabulous range of natural beauty products. I hadn’t heard of the site before they got in touch so it was a lovely surprise. Neither had I tried many Neal’s Yard products before, which is slightly surprising as it’s a well established organic brand in the UK. Maybe that’s why I haven’t felt the need to buy something in there yet; I know where the stores are so feel confident I can put it off until next time I walk past.
Anyway, I tried this sun spray before I left for holiday on one of the 30 degree days we were blessed with in June (feels like a distant memory now doesn’t it?). I was very impressed with the results. A) I didn’t burn at all but did develop a nice, natural colour. B) The application is easy and effective: a fine spray of product which evenly distributes on you skin but doesn’t fan out, creating a sticky mess around you. C) It leaves absolutely no white residue or stickiness on your skin, absorbing quickly and easily. D) It smells yummy! (of lemongrass, as you’d expect). So, after this initial road test I was excited to pack this product in my suitcase to help protect me against the strong Thai sunshine that I knew I’d be soaking up.
Well, unfortunately there’s a sad end to this story. On the first day away when I needed to use suncream (the day after the wedding reception we attended, the main reason we went out there in the first place) I was feeling a little worse for wear after partying until 5am and partaking in our Hong Kong friends’ penchant for drinking copious amounts of shots (it would have been rude not to). And so we were heading to the pool to try and clear the cobwebs and while gathering up my towel and bikini, my Neal’s Yard bottle hidden in between the two, I inadvertently sent it flying and crashing onto the tiled floor. Needless to say the beautiful blue glass shattered into a thousand pieces and my barely used product was wasted. Very sad :( But, I’m confident that even after only one use this is a product I will most definitely be purchasing and using again.
Neal’s Yard Lemongrass Sun Spray is made with 27% organic ingredients and costs just £5.70 for 50ml from Apostle. See their website for full ingredients list and directions.
The essentials: the Gel and Emu Oil
I’ve written about both of these daily essentials before (read all about the Gel here and emu oil here), so I won’t go into too much detail again. I absolutely can’t travel without these two though. Both I use morning and night on my face as healing treatment/moisturiser combo. The Gel is also brilliant for taking on the plane as a refreshing eye treatment to help wake you up when you arrive and an emergency spot treatment (I tend to break out when I’m travelling – probably due to bad food, lack of sleep and poor air circulation). Plus, both products mixed together are the ultimate aftersun – healing, soothing and hydrating skin from a deep level.
Again, I’ve reviewed this already, so read on here if you want the full review. Although there are some flaws with this product – mostly that it wears off too quickly – it is really refreshing when you’re hot and bothered. I kept this in my bag while I was away and spritzed throughout the day whenever I felt hot and sticky and potentially less than fresh smelling! It’s a botanical scent with a balance of citrus and earthy tones – not at all sweet, which is the last thing I want when I’m hot and sweaty. I have to be honest though; at £40.35 a bottle, I doubt I’ll be repurchasing as the scent really doesn’t last long enough on my skin to justify the cost. I was using it more like a body spray than an EDT.
I got this cleanser free in a magazine a while back (can’t remember which one now). They say: “Packed with the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, Essential-C Cleanser provides all the antioxidants that you’ll need to battle the free radicals that increase in your body and on your skin from today’s environmental factors.” The reason I took this gel cleanser with me as opposed to one of my more frequently used cream cleansers is that in hot weather, especially when you’ve been by the beach or pool, I think it’s nice to cleanse with a liquid/gel cleanser and finish with a splash of cold water. You just don’t get that real feeling of refreshment from a cream or oil. This cleanser does the trick pretty well. It smells mildly citrusy which is refreshing and although it doesn’t foam much, it works well with water to lift off dirt and leave skin feeling clean. I’ll be reviewing this in full soon on the blog so will go into the details then.
I’ll also write a proper review of this lovely product soon. Containing shea butter, olive oil and castor oil, beeswax, plus lots of lovely smelling things like mandarin and lemongrass, this is almost good enough to eat. And it’s USDA certified organic – yay! I used this to prep my nails before painting them but also all over my hands if they felt dry and on occasionally on my knees and elbows.
So those are a few of the things I packed in my suitcase to see me through 10 days in the sunshine. In my next post I’ll tell you about the things I brought home with me – that’s if I can read the labels ;)