My boyfriend loves the outdoors, and while I try to get along with nature, it tries its darnedest to destroy me with pollen and massive welts from mosquitoes. Last time he dragged me camping in Australia (the North Coast, a beautiful place where there’s beach and bush), I had a limited amount I could take with me but there was running water.
This time, we took a decked-out van to the North-East of Italy so he could do some base jumping. The van is actually surprisingly luxurious (double bed! refrigerated ice box! tons of storage space! a 10 L tank of water!), but the biggest issue was the lack of running water. I packed my camping essentials, but worked out a few new travel tricks:
Micellar water is a really convenient cleanser for travelling. I have oily skin and normally tend to wear make-up (with waterproof eyeliner) so normally micellar water doesn’t feel effective enough for me, but since I didn’t wear heavy make-up while camping I gave my new sample of La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution a workout. Despite using sunscreen on my face every day – no breakouts! So I’m assuming it worked. I’m going to have to give my micellar waters at home another go.
You can use cream cleanser for a more thorough clean, without a sink. On a few of the grubbier days the micellar water didn’t feel like enough, so I rubbed Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser* all over my damp face, then wiped it off with a wet tissue. Success!
Translucent powder makes a great dry shampoo. Dry shampoo tends to make my hair feel weird and limp, so instead I’ve been rubbing translucent powder into my hair and brushing it out. I’ve been using the very budget friendly Essence Fix & Matte Translucent Loose Powder. Unfortunately it does tend to make my hair a bit grey for about an hour afterwards.
There are 4 sides to your pillowcase. Top, bottom, inside top, inside bottom. Rotate if you’re a side sleeper to avoid cheek breakouts!
Wipes make a reasonable shower. In the words of Dr Rick Dagless, they’re good for a quick rinse around the key areas. If you get the ones intended for the toilet, they might also be strategically fragranced with a deodorising scent. I managed with two proper showers in 10 days, which is a record since I usually can’t stand going 36 hours without a shower! I’ve been using Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes.
You can totally shower in 5 minutes! Did I say proper shower? I mean, shower with 5 minutes of running water. To make the most of the hot water, I took in a bottle of regular water, shampooed up my hair and rubbed cleanser on my face before turning on the tap.
BHA on a cotton pad makes a good cleanser-toner combo. Especially in the morning under sunscreen – salicylic acid absorbs UV, so it’s giving your sun protection a little boost too! I’ve been using Paula’s Choice 2% Skin Perfecting BHA Liquid.
Neem oil supposedly works as an insect repellent. A few studies from the Malaria Research Centre in India found that 2% neem oil mixed in with coconut oil is a good mosquito repellent, but I still got bitten (though less than during my last Italy trip – 6 bites vs 35 bites!). If you’re ever stuck in mosquito territory and only have neem oil handy, it might be worth a try.
The mosquitoes in northern Italy are pretty nasty, by the way – here are 3 of my 41 welts:
Make sure you leave at least one clean outfit (including underwear) and one clean towel at home. You’ll thank me when you get home exhausted and can step right into the shower!
Here are some touristy photos as promised:
Up on top of Sass Pordoi. The landscape is so bizarre – jagged limestone everywhere! There’s a handy cable car that takes you most of the way to the top, and a couple of restaurants with apple strudel.
A campground with showers! And monster mosquitoes.
The north of Italy has a lot of mountains, which leads to “mountain weather” – it’ll be hot and sunny one moment and pouring down rain an hour later. Rain + sun = rainbows, hurray!
What are your tried-and-true travel beauty tips?
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