These beauty essentials will help you feel fresh on a multi-day hike, and won't weigh down your bag.
Earlier this summer, I went trekking through the French and Italian Alps for a week. The purpose: to test out Columbia Sportswear’s spring 2017 apparel and get a small taste of the terrain that comprises the 105-mile Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc or UTMB race (more on that at a later date). Before departing, a close friend of mine gave me some advice: “Bring something that will make you feel like yourself." He would know: he once lived in a yurt while filming a movie in the mountains in western China. Talk about being out of your comfort zone.
I decided that "something" was a small grouping of beauty products. Look, just because you are roughing it, doesn’t mean you need to look rough. Am I right?
Here are the six buys that helped me survive in the mountains while looking and feeling fabulous—well, as fabulous as you can be when you are spending several hours each day navigating very technical trails through the sun, rain, and snow without being able to shower.
Yuni Instant Shower Sheets
One word: Lifesaver. No, seriously. Not being able to shower for four days was a HUGE concern for me, but these little towels were a great alternative. And to be honest, I was surprised at how clean and refreshed I felt after a thorough rubdown; it was probably the peppermint leaf essential oil. I also appreciate that these wipes are biodegradable and compostable.
Ole Henreikson The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths: Brightening
These face wipes are a staple in my gym bag for a quick post-workout clean-up, so I knew they’d be a good pick for my hike. For easier portability (and so they wouldn't add any more weight to my 25-pound backpack), I snagged the 10-pack. One is all you need to get all that mountain gunk off of your face. Plus, you get a brighter, firmer, and more hydrated complexion when you use them. The wipes's citrusy smell is a also spirit-lifter.
Coola SPF 50 Sport and Coola Environmental Repair Plus Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion
I wear Coola sunscreen on the regular, so this buy was a no-brainer. On the first day of my hike, I climbed a 1-kilometer vertical in the rain, and the smell of mangoes had me thinking I was traipsing through the Caribbean instead. What's more, this sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so the rain was not a problem. The after-sun recovery was a new product for me; I happened to pick up a sample size the day before I left for my big adventure, and it quickly became a favorite after long days on the trail. It’s supposed to be a sunburn soother, but for me, it was more of a cooling moisturizer (hello aloe!) that I applied after my “shower.”
Kiehl's Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydration Mist
I made a friend on the trip who was just as into pampering products as I was; he offered me a spritz of this on day two as we explored Val Ferret, Courmayeur on the Italian side of the Alps, and I was in heaven. Not only is it a quick way to hydrate your face, but its spicy floral scent (lavender, geranium, ginseng, and rosemary) instantly gave me a quick energy boost. Each day after, he obliged me with a little spray when I felt like I was falling behind.
Aquaphor Lip Repair
This is one of my everyday go-tos—it's super-hydrating without being too thick or greasy—but it also proved to be extremely necessary on my trip. When I get dehydrated, my lips start to crack in the corners, which can be pretty unpleasant, and I definitely could have been better at monitoring my H2O intake as I hiked. Plus, one late afternoon I found myself in the midst of a whiteout, which would have wreaked havoc on my lips if I hadn't been wearing this salve.