Saturday, March 24, 2012

Travel tips: Grooming

The only thing you're allowed to neglect when you go on a beach holiday in Koh Samui is your internet habit. Other than that, you owe it to yourself and the pictures you will take to take care of yourself.

This sign at Big Buddha temple says, "No matter how big (important) you are in life, you will always be smaller than your coffin."

Skin Always use sunscreen, especially when travelling to sunny places. The sunlight that beats down on you like a long-passed deadline will be especially palpable in the resulting sunburn. 

If you have the misfortune of being allergic to sunscreen, whether contact or photoallergy, aim for sunscreen that contains zinc or titanium oxide. advises to steer clear of those containing oxybenzone, 4-isopropyl-dibenzoylmethane, PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) and its derivatives, polyethylene glycol, esters, avobenzone, and cinnamates. 

Other anecdotal advice regarding poor reactions to conventional sunscreen include using fragrance-free and/or oil-based sunscreens, plain baby oil (?), spray-on sunscreen instead of lotion, or sunscreen for babies.

Post-solar exposure care involves moisturising immediately after a shower. The importance of this would be abundantly clear if you'd seen Enfant Terrible and me after our day-long snorkelling trip. I'd used sunscreen marked a mere SPF 15, following up with a generic body lotion swiped from a hotel on some other trip. 

Manfully, ET (and practically every other male I saw on the island) eschewed these precautions and paid for it with lobster-red skin, which turned a dull shade of dark brown like bread that's been baked too long, followed by wide-range defoliation of his epidermal layer. 

Obviously super-premium skin care product (500 THB) placed on the top shelf to ensure it was out of my reach
Hair Fine curly hair like mine is difficult to manage, at best. It gets frizzy and unpretty if rained on, more so if I've spent most of the day immersed in seawater. 

The thing about the saltwater is that salt crystals form as it dries (in Koh Samui anyway), leading to a fine grainy layer of glitter on your baked skin (a la Twilight), and hair that is crusty and matted but stays in place. This last might be a good thing if not for the helmet-hair feeling.

So, you can't run your fingers through it because all the strands are stuck together. That's nothing a nice shampoo won't fix. However, you have no hairdryer, and leaving your hair to simply air-dry will result in an ugly pyramid-afro hybrid. 

Solution: Using hair conditioner swiped from the same earlier hotel, comb it gently through damp hair and leave to air dry. Quick, easy, and results in amazingly photogenic hair, which I will post as soon as I'm done 'shopping them.

1 comment:

Snuze said...

Are you planning to sue them for using your name without permission on their product?

I think most men are unable to appreciate sunscreen unless skin cancer runs in their family. It's like an insult to their masculinity or something. And it's gotta smell like Eau d'Brute too; none of the namby pamby coconut oil scent whatsit.

*awaits holiday pictures*