Travel Essentials: Skincare Beauty Finds

The face in the cover image, is not makeup free – let’s start there.

I will say though, that my skin below the layer of Body Shop foundation, is in some of the best condition it’s ever been in – not today though, because monthly hormone surges are kicking my ass!

Anyway, I don’t necessarily have acne-prone skin, as mine just breaks out with my monthlies. I’ve honestly also not quite nailed down whether I have dry skin, oily skin, or something in-between.

All I know about my skin is that its been trial and error, and now my skin is doing alright with a combination of very affordable, accessible, and easy-to-use products:

Johnson & Johnson Gel Face Wash

I have jumped through all kinds of product hoops and trials, to figure out that my face is not a fan of bar soaps, but that it loves gel face washes.

The Johnson & Johnson Daily Essential Gel face wash is gentle on my skin and leaves it with a soft texture, as well as leaving it very clean. There is never residual makeup or any other product by the time I’ve rinsed my face. It travels well and does not need to be disregarded for another product in different climates – this is an all-rounder champ!

Organic Coconut Butter… from my neighbourhood grocer

Everyone I tell about my moisturizing routine, always huffs out shocked laughter at my secret. It really is the one (1) litre tub of organic Coconut Butter that you can usually find at your neighborhood grocer, that works for me.

All I need daily, is a small dollop of the odorless butter, to ensure I’m moisturized after a shower, from hair to toes. Temperatures have it occasionally turning to coconut oil, but it hardens back up quickly. I have small tubs at home to scoop some into when I am about to travel, and no other liquid body moisturizer has given my now soft skin the unified and glittering golden tone than this accessible affordable find, that can retail for less than ZAR300 for one (1) litre.

And on the occasions when life calls for a glow-up of a face?

I paint on a new foundation I discovered from The Body Shop during the lockdown: The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation.

I’ve been told one can use more than one foundation brand and color, and mix them too. By all rights, I’m still a makeup novice, doing the literally bare minimum to achieve a “natural” but glam look consistently. It’s only due to the lockdown that I’ve begun opening myself up to makeup exploration; And before the wilds of colorful eyeshadows and lashes, I’m taken by finding a foundation match so close to the color I am now.

Has your coloring also changed due to being inside for so much longer periods?

I think my lips and under-eyes have been what’s gotten more attention than ever before since the early 2020 lockdown though. Have you ever just tried a product randomly, and from the minute you slather it on, it makes a positive impression – no wait on results required?

I had that with these lip products:

  • Swiitch Beauty Prime Time Kit  – An amazing two (2) step offering from the South African beauty brand, that includes an effective, but not toxic, chemical peel and lip cream.
  • NUXE Honey Lip Balm – The honey scent is enough to keep me coming back for more, but the texture, thickness, and its ability to repair, nourish, moisturize and make my lips look healthy and attractively matte and plump, is also a check in the right column for this NUXE beauty essential.

I’ve still yet to find the perfect (read: quality and affordable) mascara, or even establish a functional at-home hair routine.

I have Self-Care Exhaustion where my hair is concerned

Truly, my hair is a mess on multiple occasions – but I’m diligent about washing, conditioning, and moisturizing it (occasionally), but by god! I miss salons.

I want somebody else to massage my scalp, and deal with my roots, and prettying me up for another month of sitting at home alone. After more than a year and a half of my mother telling me I’m not allowed to go to the salon due to Covid-19 risks (she’s my mom so it doesn’t really matter that I’m a fully functioning adult woman. She said I can’t go!) I finally convinced her to cave, and was given a resigned sigh when I told her I just can’t imagine spending another hour (or 3) doing my own hair in this lockdown.

I went to the salon, and it was so great to return to an old haunt, find out everyone still lives and survives, and catch up on what’s happening in my hairdressers lives (their families come from Zimbabwe and further up in Africa, so it’s interesting to find out how other people are really also experiencing the pandemic).

The dire situation of my hands…

Despite all efforts (mediocre efforts to my average abilities), my hands are in vicious contrast to the rest of my body’s softness.

I should probably start investing in bettering my hand’s texture – the color tone is beautiful, but the palms have been through much external trauma from hand sanitizers, the weather, and my daily chores.

The rest of my body manages to retain my water hydration and coconut butter moisture and keep my skin soft, but my palms, I believe, face far more perilous obstacles to softness. They’re not callous-level gritty and dry, but there is a roughness to my palms that I suspect I could easily remedy with a paraffin dip and gallons of expensive creams and fragrant oils...but will I have the time?

Hell! What happens when I inevitably fall back into my hand-hardening habits?

My beauty search now, is bound for anything that can slip as easily into my memory and daily regime as my lip balm does.

What’s you recommendation for hand repair & hand softening products?

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