March 29, 2015

The Ultimate Beauty Regimen for the Eco-Conscious Traveler.

traveling girls, beautiful, vintage, backpacking

After spending a year living out of a backpack, I finally cracked the secret of how to maintain a natural beauty regimen whilst staying ecologically conscious, minimal and cost efficient.

As a traveler for the long haul, I’ve had to let go of many items of comfort and luxury. And I seemed to really struggle letting go of my beauty regimen, though it has changed somewhat.

As I continued my journey into farms and permaculture work, I began to see just how cleansing and nourishing it was to not only eat natural and organic produce, but to use the same herbs, plants and flowers on my skin.

For thousands of years women all over the world have used native plants to preserve and beautify themselves incorporating them into tonics, oils, creams and cleansers from the garden.

After practicing these traditions on myself, not only did I notice the physical changes in my skin, hair and tone, but my pocket remained fuller. Plucking herbs from gardens and infusing them in oils and water was by far cheaper than purchasing my beauty supply in a store. The extra money is, of course, helpful for any nomad looking to stay off the beaten track for that little bit longer.

What I was most surprised about when taking up this new beauty regimen was that it was completely and utterly minimalist. Most ingredients that were used for one aspect of my regimen could be doubled up for another. My oil facial cleanser was also my body lotion. My powdered “shampoo” doubled up as my facial exfoliant. And it all fit into one tiny eco bag!

I’d like to share my conscious and nomad-friendly beauty secrets with you:

Natural Deodorant:

author's own deodorant

Forget about aerosols, or caking chemicals under your armpits! We don’t need to further damage our beautiful planet, and it’s better to sweat like a dog than get breast cancer.

To smell sweet all day long (no matter what the activity), all you need is:

5T Baking soda

6T Coconut Oil

3T Arrowroot

a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I like eucalyptus).

Mix it all together and voila! This goes a long way, a little smudge under your pits and your golden.


Most commercial shampoos contain lots of harsh chemicals that not only strip the hair of it’s natural oils, but seep those same chemicals into the scalp, far too close to the brain for comfort. It takes three weeks for your hair to recover back to it’s organic state and once that happens it begins to clean itself!

Only a simple rinse is needed:

1-2T Baking soda

quart of water

Rinse your hair with this simple concoction and watch how your hair shines healthier and becomes fuller (after the initial three weeks of hat wearing and braiding). You can even use your already used arrowroot powder as a dry shampoo in between rinses!

Facial Oil Cleanser

facial cleanser author's own

Your facial skin is the most sensitive part of your body and yet, it is the most exposed to the elements. So be gentle, kind and natural with it. Open the pores and let the oils take care of the oils:

Olive or coconut oil

A few drops of either cedar wood oil (acne prone), rose (dry), tea tree (oily) or lavender (sensitive)

An organic cotton washcloth.

Warm your washcloth and massage your face to open the pores. Rub a pea drop of oil all over your face with love and kindness. You can leave it on for a few minutes while you brush your teeth, then gently wipe away the residue with your freshly warmed washcloth. This also serves as a luxurious face moisturizer after washing!


Isn’t it ironic that most sunscreen lotions contains harmful chemicals that can actually promote skin cancer growth? How can one justify paying the prices we do for a bottle of deadly toxins? Fear not! There’s still a way for us to soak up the vitamin D without worry:

6T coconut oil (SPF 4-6)

6T zinc oxide (SPF 20)

Simply mix the two together and jar. The more zinc oxide you add the higher the SPF. This ratio gives you approximately 25 SPF. Zinc oxide is actually used to treat babies rashes, so it is perfectly natural and gentle as well as smelling rather lovely. It works—and it doesn’t leave a thick white streak on your skin.

Body Lotion/Oil:

I use my facial cleanser. Yup, this is my facial wash, moisturizer and body lotion all in one!

Hair and Face Tonic:

facial cleanser author's own

When we use plants on our skin and hair we are applying material that is biologically harmonious with our bodies. We have no problem absorbing them to tone, nourish and revitalize far more effectively than any commercial “wonder-chemical.”

So I went into the garden and found two herbs that work perfectly for both hair and face:

Rosemary and Sage infused in filtered water

Grab a tiny glass spray bottle and pack in a sprig of each herb, fill with water and let it infuse for a few days (the longer the better). Both are wondrous for stimulating blood circulation, opening up facial pores and hydrating damaged hair. Magic.

Facial Exfoliator—Dermabrasion:

Same ingredient as the No’ Poo.

Baking Soda.

Dampen your face and rub a small amount in gentle circles avoiding the eye area. Squeaky clean and as smooth as a baby’s bum.

So that’s it. Five inexpensive ingredients.

Eight natural and highly effective products and only five items to carry. You’re saving the planet, saving your skin and saving your pocket.

Happy and healthy travels!


Relephant Reads:

The Broke Girl’s Guide to Natural Skincare.


Author: Tara Minshull

Editor: Emma Ruffin

Photo: Flickr


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