International Beauty Products: What To Skip & What To Schlep Home
Bringing home beauty secrets of a faraway destination doesn't require an expensive wellness vacation or a plastic surgery trip. Instead, national beauty secrets can be found everywhere from the local pharmacy to the farmer's market. What should be searched out and what should be left to the locals? Check out our top hits and misses below.
SKIP IT: Boots Products from the UK
Common sight: A woman from the U.S. flies across the pond and dumps out her purse, stuffing in as many Boots products in as possible before throwing down a credit card and strolling away pleased with herself. Ladies, take note. As fantastic as Boots is, these British items are available stateside...at Target.
TAKE IT: Sure, we have Nivea products back home but they don't hold a candle to the creamy formula of the German originals, which live in thin-but-hearty tins you can safely place in your purse or pocket. Before leaving the drugstore, also stock-up on Labello, a tube of no-frills gloss that moisturizes and protects lips from the sun; it's a favorite of thrifty Euro fashionistas.
SKIP IT: Brazilian Sand
Because masses of Brazilian people look amazing sitting on the beach, the rumor came about that it must be the sand. And thus, women around around the world flocked to Ipanema, shoveling up scoops of sand in hopes of turning it into some sort of miracle serum. It's all wrong.
TAKE IT: One Brazilian product that is practically miracle-worthy is the Brazil nut, which moisturizes and keeps users looking as fresh and young as those adorable ladies in Copacabana. Ditch the sand and make room for amazing Brazil nut based items from Nunaat Cosmetics. Try the Chocolat line amplified with cocoa butter, another fave of locals.
SKIP IT: Licorice Oil from India
Thought to be the cure for everything from obesity to dry skin, India's beloved licorice oil has a major savior complex, but hasn't been FDA approved for all of these purposes, so don't try to bring it into the States.
TAKE IT: Instead, go for a smaller and more useful beauty product made from similar natural oils from Indian company Lakme.Their simple Liplove lipsticks come in shades just a few darker than natural lip tone and are packed with intense SPF protection.
SKIP IT: Moroccan Argon Oil
This mixture created from the seeds of a very rare plant grown only in Northern Africa is the real deal. It's a fantastic moisturizer, age minimizer and smells plain amazing. But even a small bottle of this miracle elixir can put a serious dent in your savings account.
TAKE IT: More wallet-friendly options come from Morocco's Kajame, which has a line of products that incorporate argon oil with other natural ingredients. The Prickly Pear Exfoliator, for example, adds ground argon shell and prickly pear seed oil for a smooth exfoliating gel. Or, the Fountain of Youth creme combines shea butter, honey and beeswax to argon oil for a deliciously soft night cream.
SKIP IT: Olive Oil in Italy
A wunderkind in the kitchen, it's long been assumed that slathering skin in the sweet stuff will result in Sophia Loren-good looks. But skin will only retain the moisture for a few hours... possibly before breaking out from all the pore clogging oil.
TAKE IT: Pick up Italian beauty product Cléo. The line, which comes in soaps, creams and bath gels, is made from all natural items like yogurt, honey, vanilla and mint and is remarkable light and creamy.
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