Seven Things to Pack for On-The-Road Bliss & Natural Goodness-hood

Featured on The Essential Life

Before I became obsessed with the creation of my new plant-based, tea-infused natural skin & haircare range, researching the power of botanicals & making everything from scratch in my kitchen, I was always interested in the amazing ability of plants to heal & nurture our skin & health. Meanwhile, I spent around 7 years modelling full-time. Photoshoots in far flung locations sound glamorous (& occasionally they feel it!). Blue steel posing skills aside(!), I got really good at packing.

As someone with a vested interest in having clear & glowing skin & healthy hair, plus my love for keeping things pure, simple & natural (I am a hippie at heart), I am loyal to some favourite natural beauty saviours & am rarely without the following essentials.

7 Power-Plants & Natural go-tos for Happy Travels

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Since my teenage years, I knew this to be a godsend for those unsightly pimples which pop up & threaten to ruin my day/date night. I dab this on any such potential offenders & wake up with miraculous spot-shrinkage.

Antibacterial, antifungal & antimicrobial, Tea Tree Essential Oil is a perfect thing to have on hand in case of any minor skin irritations, scrapes or flare ups (apparently it’s good for dandruff, too) & I have even been known to rinse the necks and lids of my re-usable drinking bottles with a dilution of this in water. Germs begone!

Rosewater

Ah, wonderful rose. If you didn’t go through the rite of passage of making rosewater perfume from garden petals as a child, you need to make up for that now. Pure rosewater is hydrosolic heaven for your face; it’s beautifully gentle, refreshing, hydrating & cooling.

Rosewater also has a gentle, astringent effect, tightening pores & helping to soothe any inflammation & irritation. (No wonder it’s a mainstay in Indian traditional beauty regimes; they know a thing or two.) My Rosewater Toner takes things to another level with its infused green tea, balancing geranium & gentle clay to draw out impurities without over-drying. Even just using straight rosewater on your skin is a total delight. Try it!

Lavender Essential Oil

I dream of having a field of lavender of my own, simply to stride through & inhale at will (in my dream, lavender-loving bees do not attack me as they see me as their benevolent flower-provider), but in the meantime, I pack it with me in a tiny bottle. In a hotel or guesthouse, it lives on my bedside table & I shake a few drops over my pillows before a good night’s sleep.

Perfect for relaxing on a flight, Lavender Essential Oil can even work as a make-shift perfume if you feel so inclined (just a drop or two is enough).

Beyond its ‘calming’/’anti-anxiety’ reputation, Lavender has clever properties of its own: it’s gently antimicrobial, anti-itch & anti-headaches (just dab some across your temples and pulse points). I have been known to add one drop of Lavender to my mascara bottle for a hit of aromatherapy whenever I apply make up for a shoot, & it features in quite a few of my products (including the first I ever developed) due to its timeless quality & beautiful addition to so many blends.

Baking Soda

I originally started packing a little pot of this for trips with the idea that I would give myself little anti-tea-stain teeth-whitening boosts now & then, & while it is great for this (just add it to your toothbrush with water & clean your teeth as normal), I also think it’s quite a nifty little on-the-go stain remover.

If, like me, you are unable to handle turmeric (for example) without spilling it down you, welcome to your new trick.

Raspberry Seed Oil

I am in love with pure Raspberry Seed Oil, largely due to its little-known secret - it offers some natural protection against sun damage*. My desire for avoiding wrinkles/sunburn/the effects of daily elemental damage is equal & opposite in force to my desire to avoid clogging my skin with mainstream suncreams, so I found a clever & effective solution in this incredible natural oil.

Raspberry Seed Oil has the highest content of alpha linolenic acid of any fruit seed oils, making it very effective against inflammation. Meanwhile, its ellegic acid content can reduce the destruction of collagen & it’s very high in vitamin E, giving good antioxidant properties.

A youth booster! I got very excited about this stuff, & it is now the main ingredient in my Good Face Day Serum, which kept my skin very well protected during a recent month in India (leaving aside the one day I got completely burnt at the Bay of Bengal on the one day I forgot to apply it... What a plonker. Lesson learned.)

*Roughly SPF 28-40, though opinions vary widely & there is not much research on this yet beyond anecdotal experience such as mine; basically, if your skin is sun-sensitive or the sun is very strong, you should experiment carefully.

Aloe Vera

Um, yeah, about that little trip to the Bay of Bengal…. Pure aloe vera really is a godsend. I recommend channeling abundance when slathering-on, after such occasions; the first 24 hours after sunburn are the most critical, so don’t be frugal with it. Aloe vera is also excellent on the face & for anti-redness generally, & even makes a good spot treatment - astringent, soothing and stimulates new cell growth & healing.

Lemongrass Oil

This is a more recent theme in my life, but one that it here to stay & I write this in Indonesia, sipping some refreshing lemongrass tea). On a recent hike around some tea fields in an Indian hill station, a woman who spent the entire trek singing to herself merrily while the rest of us panted over TWO mountains pulled some out of her bag to show me how she uses it as a pick-me-up. Such a sweetly vibrant, unique fragrance; I was practically singing myself for the rest of the trek. I bought some from a shop that very evening.

I never wear perfume in South East Asia for fear of attracting mosquitoes, but this works so wonderfully well because (as with Tea Tree Essential Oil & Lavender Essential Oil, actually) it actually repels them! Wonderful!

Also, one more thing…

TEA!

Lemongrass or not, tea absolutely has to make this list, due to my all-encompassing love for drinking it & my awe for how incredibly good it is for the face, skin & body when applied topically. Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich (it has 20 times more antioxidant power than vitamin C), & packed full of vitamins, fatty acids, immune-boosting polyphenols, omega oils & nourishing micronutrients, it shouldn’t just be in your cup (though that’s a wonderful place for it to be).

As a tea devotee & natural health fan, it seemed obvious that tea would be the main feature of my entire range (it is in everything, in various forms; leaves, extract, infusions & cold-pressed seed oil). Ultimately, when travelling, sometimes you need to just stop & look around you; taking a break to sip on something beautiful is the perfect way in which to punctuate & celebrate your day.

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