Check out these skincare ingredients from across the globe
Travel is back with record numbers of people flying again, but that’s not all good news. It means expensive plane tickets, crowded flights, and sold-out hotels. And so all of the trips you’ve been planning in your head for the last couple of years may continue to feel a little out of reach. Maybe you’re staying stateside this summer, or you’re opting for a staycation until travel costs cool off. While it may not be quite as satisfying as a trip five thousand miles away, what if you could get your travel fix by simply changing up your skincare routine?
We’ve highlighted five products and product families we love, all containing ingredients primarily associated with a specific region of the world. Wash your face, splash on a serum or apply a mask and feel transported (if only for 20 minutes). Hey, it’s cheaper than a plane ticket!
1. Dead sea salt (Jordan, Israel, and West Bank)
Maybe you’ve seen pics of the Dead Sea on Instagram (you’d know it by whoever is in the post floating in a big body of water). Not only is the salt lake that borders Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank the lowest land-based elevation in the world, but it’s also one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth (hence the name, Dead Sea - it’s too salty for anything to live in it). Dead Sea salt has been extracted for beauty products for decades. Not only does it contain great minerals like magnesium, calcium, sulfur (duh), zinc, and potassium, it makes for a great exfoliant. Products containing Dead Sea salt are great for treating everything from acne and eczema to dry skin. Check out Amazon, Etsy, and other sites with plenty of options for Dead Sea scrubs.
2. Guava leaf extract (Mexico)
We’ve talked about guava before when covering herb and fruit-infused water, and for good reason: with five times as much vitamin C as an orange, Guava is a super fruit. The tropical fruit is native to Mexico and Central America, and beyond being delicious, guava leaves are packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories; the many acids in the leaves have excellent antimicrobial properties. You can actually pick up some fresh guava, make the leaves into a paste and use it as a mask.
3. Licorice extract (United Kingdom)
OK, so licorice extract is a little confusing. Licorice (the candy) is most popular in the UK and known for its distinct (and polarizing) flavor. That said, licorice is mostly flavored with anise and the licorice plant is pretty different botanically. The licorice plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra if you’re getting scientific, is popular in herbalism and traditional medicine for “harmonizing” various ingredients in a formula. In skincare, it’s thought to be soothing and help with uneven skin tone. It’s perfect for balancing out (or harmonizing) a harsher ingredient like retinol, as in LaserAway Beauty My Hero Retinol Repair Night Serum.
4. Turmeric (India)
If you follow beauty TikTok, you probably have seen a beauty influencer lather on a strikingly yellow mask and rave about its anti-inflammatory and acne-clearing properties. You may have also seen a TikTok or YouTube video that’s more horror story than beauty tip: where someone goes too heavy on the turmeric in those yellow masks and stains their countertop, sink, or worse—their skin. Turmeric is a pepper-like spice that’s native to India and is best known for its yellow-orange color. It’s a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflam so it’s great for helping control breakouts and reducing hyperpigmentation over time. It’s also easy to find at your local grocery store and cheap! There are countless turmeric mask recipes online that you can make for less than $20, like this turmeric, yogurt, and honey mask.
5. White tea (China)
The benefits of drinking tea — whether it’s green tea, black tea, or matcha — have been well documented, but did you know it also makes for a powerful ingredient in skincare products? White tea is typically characterized by lighter tea leaves because the leaves are younger or minimally processed. It’s primarily harvested in China (where there are many beautiful shops containing hundreds of types of teas). Drinking tea is great for you because it contains powerful antioxidants and that’s the same reason it’s found in hydrating and regenerating skin care products. Take the LaserAway Beauty Jetsetter Hydroserum Facial Mask, which contains MANY soothing plant extracts and powerful antioxidants, including Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (a fancy, scientific term for, you guessed it, white tea).
Khalid El Khatib is a Brooklyn-based writer and marketer who tweets too much.