Over the holiday, I spent a week in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica (I highly recommend a vaca to this amazing beach town) for a mini yoga and surf retreat. With plush scenery, 75 degree water and the clearest, blue skies, the place was paradise. Only one problem with my jungle retreat: Santa Teresa is a beach town and the roads reflect that – unpaved, dirt roads with giant potholes. Oh, and let me not forget to mention that you drive quads, not cars. A quad is like a 4-wheeler motorcycle that is ideal for off-loading. Needless-to-say, dirt roads + an open quad = soiled face. And makeup? Leave your glosses, shadows and mascara stateside. While driving on the quad, the wind in my face, dirt even stuck to my moisturized lips while dirt clouds dispersing on the quad blinded vision. Without makeup, my toiletry bag was significantly lighter. That’s not to say that my bag wasn’t full (I am a serious product over-packer). An array of sunscreens and moisturizers took the place of tinted moisturizers and bronzers.
I did make every effort to travel light – mini and travel-sized products are ideal – and, I think, perhaps I actually succeeded.
Here are the products in my toiletry bag:
David Babaii for Wildaid Bohemian Beach Spray ($12.00)- Just about my favorite vacation spray. When at the beach, hair should always look beachy. The ocean makes that happen, this spray ensures that it happens.
KeSARI Pore Minimizing Indian Clay Masque ($24.50) – Dirt-ridden pores are my worst enemy. This exceptional clay mask is actually moisturizing as it cleans out the pores. The clay isn’t your average “hardening clay,” it’s almost like a milky gel that dries but doesn’t pull your face tight.
REN mini Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash and Lotion ($28.00 for the set, including a bath oil)- Just because I was jungle-bound didn’t mean I had to smell it. In face, just the opposite – all the more reason to clean and moisturize with one of the best rose scents around.
La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($29.95)- I used this every morning on my face and chest and reapplied multiple times a day. I wasn’t kidding around. This stuff absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave the filmy or greasy look.
Aubrey Organics Soothing Body Lotion, Evening Primrose – You can never have too much lotion (hence the full-size bottle) and I like to slather on cream every chance I get. Salt from the ocean has a tendency to dry out skin on an obscene – even painful – level. Not to mention the sun can leave skin dehydrated (even with SPF). This formula is thick enough to moisturize and thin enough to absorb quickly. A bonus is that this organic body lotion smells delish – think very mild floral and honey. FULL DISCLOSURE: Santa Teresa doesn’t have a problem with mosquitos so a scented cream is fine. If you are traveling to a mosquito-infested area, steer clear of ALL scents unless you want to get eaten alive.
Clinique Sun: SPF 30 Face Cream ($19.00), SPF 30 Body Cream ($21.00) SPF Targeted Protection Stick ($20.00) – More sun protection. I love this range because it’s gentle enough not to irritate my face and body (sunscreen has a tendency to make me break-out). I used the SPF 45 stick on lips and around eyes. It’s extra moisturizing while still giving me the protection that I wanted.
Dickensen’s Witch Hazel Cleansing Astringent Towelettes ($4.99) – One of the most important travel companions, especially with the unpaved roads. I don’t think that my face had ever been so piled with dirt. Individually wrapped is key – I carried the singles in my purse and freshened up after every quad ride.
SoPhyto mini Dual Action Exfoliating Treatment (from the pre-packaged Daily Skin Essentials Collection, $49.00) – I only used this twice on the trip. Once, the night before my first day in the water and the second time was the morning that I left. It really worked to rid my face of all of the soiled skin cells.
SoPhyto mini Balancing Daily Moisturizer (from the pre-packaged Daily Skin Essentials Collection, $49.00) – Combine sun and sea and my combination complexion was left looking like a raisin… dehydrated. A daily, light, moisturizer soothed and hydrated.
SoPhyto mini pH Optimizing Restorative Toner (from the pre-packaged Daily Skin Essentials Collection, $49.00) – I love anything in a spray. I used the toner drenched on cotton pads to swipe my face clean at the end of the day, and spritzed throughout the day as a nourishing refresher.
SoPhyto mini Natural Glycolic Foaming Cleanser (from the pre-packaged Daily Skin Rejuvenation Collection, $65.00) – I like this cleanser because it really cleans without being too harsh or stripping the skin. And when you’re in the sun and ocean all day, every day, it’s important to use gentle and soothing products on your face.
SoPhyto mini Multivitamin Facial Serum (from the pre-packaged Daily Skin Rejuvenation Collection, $65.00) & Anti Aging Antioxidant Serum (from the pre-packaged Daily Skin Essentials Collection, $49.00) – I would put a few drops of both in my palm, rub my hands together and pat onto my skin. The smell is a bit overwhelming (something close to egg batter), but the results are astonishing: healthy and glowing skin (even in the jungle!). I also felt like I was loading up on antioxidants and vitamins – always important post sun.
Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream – Eye creams hold a soft spot in my heart and this one is no exception. Love this stuff. It’s gentle, soothing and moisturizing. I used it morning and night (and sometimes post-surf).
Sephora Instant Depuffing Roll-On Gel ($15.00)- For those mornings when I woke up with the sun rise, this roller eye gel is a perfect way to soothe tired eyes and puffiness. I relished the feeling of metal roller balls around my eyes – cool, yet massage-like.
Anastasia Tweezers ($28.00)- Yes, I’m in the jungle, but I don’t need my brows looking like a jungle. I take my tweezers everywhere. Stray hair? Pluck and it’s gone. I never shape my own brows, however. Just simple touch-ups.
Ojon Hair Restorative Hair Treatment ($19.50 for 1.5 oz)- A great travel companion due to its small size, this hair elixir adds an infusion of moisture back into sun damaged ends. The all-natural, thick formula turns into an oil when rubbed between the palms.
Fresh Sugar Plum & Rose Tinted Lip ($22.50 each) – These are my staple lip tints for sun and swim. With SPF, hydration and a hint of color, I wear the rose tint every day for a sheer red hue. When dining out, I’d apply a few coats of the plum tint for a pretty berry-stained lip ((this was the only makeup I used the entire week).
Healthy Hair Eco-Friendly Bamboo Large Oval Brush ($9.89)- Eco-friendly hair brush that works great on wet and tangled hair. It’s also perfectly acceptable to get the brush wet – very important when on a beach trip.
I packed all of my products in my friend Shoshanna’s collab toiletry bag with AHAVA ($35.00). The waterproof material and 2 giant zippered compartments makes this beauty bag both convenient and dependable.