Is social distancing making you feel landlocked and uninspired? And is the lack of exposure to the outdoors (and regular working/daylight hours) causing your outer complexion to appear as dull as you feel inside? Usually, at this time of year, weary travelers can escape the dregs of March with a tropical vacation, or a weekend in the mountains. Of course, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel is officially an impossibility: Spring Break 2020 was formally canceled for all but the most careless of snowbirds, and a jaunt to the islands is out of the question. So, what’s a conscientious (yet stir-crazy) citizen to do? Well, luckily for restless readers everywhere, we have the perfect solution to combat these quarantine-induced doldrums.
To that end, we consulted five professional globetrotters to share their favorite beauty tips from around the world. From the vineyards of Southern California to the way to the Upper Rhine Valley in Switzerland, read on for the international beauty secrets you should try at home. Although staying inside all day may be nerve-wracking to the body and the mind, it does provide one with an excess of time—and what better way to take advantage than with an at-home wellness routine hand-picked from diverse nations across the globe? You do have more time for grooming right now than ever, quite frankly.
And the best part? You don’t need to leave the house to procure the products or ingredients. Whether it’s Malaysian skin shaving or Moroccan Argan Oil, each is available via the convenience of the internet (Amazon, to be precise), and they all promise to infuse a whiff of the exotic and the international into your daily routine. After all, sometimes the best souvenirs are the ones you continue to wear all year-long—no passport stamp, or international flight required.
Malaysia: Skin Shaving
Skin shaving, a beauty habit I picked up in Malaysia, is the best way to exfoliate. This is a common practice in K-beauty and has made its way to other places in Asia as well. The razors help remove dead skin cells (and peach fuzz) from the surface of your skin, leaving it ultra-smooth and glowy. These $4 razors from Amazon have kept me going long after I left South East Asia.
— Zoe Weiner, Beauty + Fitness Editor: Well + Good
Switzerland: Olbas Oil
Since I was a child, I’ve traveled the world with Swiss-made Olbas Oil, a stunning tonic of wintergreen, eucalyptus and more. It seems to do whatever you need it to do at the time. Magic potions? It puts you to sleep, eliminates stress, energizes, decongests;. I highly recommend it. It is now available in natural food stores in the US, as well as Boots in London—and, of course, pharmacies in Switzerland. —Becca Hensley, Travel & Lifestyle Writer
Morocco: Argan Oil
I got turned onto Argan Oil while in Morocco years ago. Argan Oil comes from the kernels of the fruit of the Argan tree. It is simply delicious enough to eat. I love dipping hot fresh baked Moroccan bread into Argan Oil. The best beauty products in the world are often seen at a dinner table. Argan is best with bread and or slathered onto your face, body, and into your hair. I swear by it. Although readily available here, nothing compares to the fresh Argan Oil that you buy at a women’s coop in Agadir. Whenever I go to Morocco, I buy a bunch of bottles and products and eat as much as I can while there.
—Karen Loftus, Founder: Women’s Adventure Travels
Temecula Valley, California: Grape Seed Oil
As a travel/beauty writer, I’m always on the hunt for beauty secrets passed down through generations that actually work. After a recent trip to the South Coast Resort & Winery Grapeseed Spa in Temecula Valley, I learned about the fantastic benefits of Grape Seed Oil, a by-product of winemaking. Plant-based oils have been scientifically proven to moisturize the skin and with a low comedogenic rating, meaning it won’t clog your pores, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better multi-tasking oil than Grape Seed. Full of antioxidants, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids I apply this miracle oil to my body after I shower, use it to remove makeup before cleansing, and add it to the ends.
—Merissa Principe, Travel & Beauty Writer
Saskatoon, Canada: Egyptian Magic
On a press trip to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, a few summers back, I met Chef Christie Peters, co-owner of the Hollows Restaurant. Before becoming a talented chef, Christie had been a fashion model. Somehow we got talking about natural beauty products, and she shared this insider beauty secret and hot tip – Egyptian Magic Natural All Purpose Skin Cream. I use it every day, and it is magic, and a bonus: it’s half the price of fancy expensive creams.
—Claudia LaRoye, Travel Writer