For the past month I've been traveling around South Korea with a seven month-old baby bump and little three year-old tag-along by my side. It's been a fabulous trip so far - tiring at times, but overall a grand adventure full of memories! We're on our last leg, just getting back from the beautiful volcanic island of Jeju (known for it's black pig galbi, oranges, chocolate and Loveland, an outdoor sculpture park of... well... erotica. Let's just say it's very Fifty Shades of Grey) .
I've loved the trip and all of experiences - but the thing about Korea is that it's constantly enveloped in a grey haze (totally unrelated to the Fifty Shades of Grey reference in the previous paragraph - I think. Winkety-wink.). The other thing about Korea is that drinking water is scarce. The tap water is unsafe, and when dining, Koreans don't typically drink - or if they do, they're drinking soju. The restaurants will give a table a small carafe of water, which typically serves four people a limited 8 ounces of H-2-O. The point I'm trying to make is that it's been hard staying hydrated and keeping the skin looking healthy and vibrant. Too much smog, yellow dust from China, and not enough water has got this traveling mama feeling haggard.
But when it comes to looking and feeling fresh in the heat of summer (and in the midst of skin drying travel and free radical abundant grey haze) I've got 3 Easy-Peasy tricks to keeping it real. (And it's a good thing, too, because I get to see my rockstar husband - whom I haven't seen in over a month - in just a few days and I certainly don't want to look anything near haggard for him.)
1) Stay hydrated. This means drinking 80 ounces of water a day - even if it means buying bottles of water in bulk from my local corner store. I recently read somewhere that over 70% of the population is chronically dehydrated. That's insane! When 70% of our bodies/tissues/cells are made up of water, it's important to stay hydrated. Want a great visual that always gets me motivated to drink H-2-O? A healthy, hydrated skin cell/brain cell/any kind of cell looks like a well inflated balloon. When it's dehydrated, it looks like one of those saggy 3-day-old balloons that has lost most of its helium. Who wants a body full of saggy 3-day-old balloons?
2) Exfoliate. I love exfoliating! Because our body is constantly shedding dead skin, there's always a layer of dead skin just sitting on top waiting to be sloughed off (exfoliated). If it isn't sloughed off, then it just sits there, making our skin look dull. And if you put makeup on top of that layer of dead skin, it just looks worse. I use an apricot scrub at least once a week. And now that I've been traveling, especially in an area dense with air pollutants, I've been exfoliating three times a week. My favorite is St. Ive's Apricot Scrub. It's inexpensive and you can pick it up at the corner store.
3) SPF. I learned about wearing SPF the hard way. When I was younger and more carefree (and hadn't an inkling of worry about aging), I spent an entire lazy summer as a lifeguard NOT. WEARING. ANY. SUNSCREEN... WHATSOEVER. Which means that nowadays? I'm sportin' some raging age spots on my face and décolletage. My go-to sunscreen just happens to be Aveeno's Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30 - it kills three birds with one stone (SPF-erizes, moisturizes, and evens out skin tone) and you can pick it up all convenient-like at your local corner store.
That's it. Those are my tricks. And I swear they work.
I also like really light, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy makeup in the summer. Here's a peek at a few essentials I keep in my makeup bag - all of which you can pick up at your local corner store.