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Skincare While Camping

August 4, 2022

How to Maintain Clear Skin While Camping

One of the favorite summertime activities in my family is camping. And we aren’t talking glamping – we are talking set up a tent, in the dirt and then cook over a smokey fire for 4 straight days. We are talking nasty port-a-potties (not my favorite part of camping, I will admit), hiking a half a mile to get water, bugs, bugs and more bugs. And bug spray.  We are talking swimming in questionable lakes, applying sunscreen roughly 45 times a day, never showering and lots and lots of REALLY dirty clothes.

So far this summer, we have enjoyed the outdoors like this for 11 nights.

Luckily for my 12 year old daughter, who’s nose is showing the glamorous signs of puberty, her mom owns a skincare company and therefore, her mom’s top priority is skincare, even while camping. On day 2 of our most recent camping adventure, I looked over at her and saw about 4 small whiteheads forming. My eyes bulged as I said (for the 105th time this summer), “Did you wash your face this morning????”

She sheepishly looked at me and admitted that not only had she not washed her face that morning, or the night before, or the morning before because… she had not brought any skincare tools. No cleanser, no medication, no lotion, nothing.

WHY?!?! I practically screamed.

It was then that she reminded me the other thing I had practically screamed at her a couple of nights before when I saw the mass amount of STUFF she was planning on bringing to this trip. “You told me I couldn’t bring very much because we were only gone for 3 nights.” I guess, in the last decade of running this company, I haven’t managed to impart to her that skincare is a priority, even when packing lightly.

But this made me think – for everyone else who goes camping, what do they do? Do they, like me, haul EVERYTHING with them to ensure clean and clear skin? Or do they, like my dear daughter, skimp on the essentials thinking that they can get away with it for a day here and there?

In case you are the latter, or in case your camping is even more extreme than mine and you are (gasp!) backpacking – here are a few tips for you so that you can still enjoy the great outdoors but not endure months of painful breakouts as a result.

  • If you want to bring your whole routine, go to the grocery store and buy small travel size bottles and simply bring smaller amounts of your favorite cleanser, medication and moisturizer.
  • If you don’t already, start using a sponge to wash your face. Not only are our exfoliating sponges amazing gentle exfoliators, but they are lightweight, long lasting AND really help to wash your face without using a whole lot of water. Just get the sponge wet, add your cleanser and then wash your face. With a couple of handfuls of clean water after that, you can rinse off and be on your way!
  • Make your own “to go” facial wipes. Now this is not something we recommend as a long term cleanser but it will do the trick for a couple days here and there. Go to the drug store and buy any over the counter Witch Hazel, soak them in cotton pads, stick them in a zip lock and pack ’em up. Like I said, these will not clean as effectively as soap and water but it will get the grime off for a short period of time.
  • One last lightweight tip is regarding moisturizer. This also works when you are on the road and simply forget your favorite Ninja Skincare moisturizer. Grab a small amount of Petroleum Jelly to bring with you. When your skin is slightly damp, rub the petroleum jelly all over. The petroleum jelly is thick enough that it will not soak into your pores and cause breakouts but it will trap the wetness and keep your skin moisturized. Trust us, although it may seem greasy, it will not cause you to have breakouts!

Sunscreen and wide brimmed hats are a non-negotiable as far as I am concerned, so no matter how lightly you are trying to pack, make sure you have spare room for both of those.

And other than that – as always, enjoy being outside (in the shade!), drink lots of water and give your loved ones as many dirty, sweaty hugs as possible.


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