Beauty: Cottage Beauty Tips, by Kristen Ma

Cottage Beauty Tips: Summer Getaway Grooming

Let’s face it: having a cottage to go to in the summertime is more valuable than Apple stock. Getting away from the smog and bustle of the city is much needed to help you relax your mind, get back to nature, and let your pores decongest from pollution.

So, here are my top six picks for cottage beauty care – with things that will definitely be making their way into my rucksack.

 1. Biodegradable Beauty

Make sure that you bring natural, biodegradable skin, hair, and body care products to your getaway. If you’re going to be at a cottage surrounded by natural beauty, why not make your own beautification all-natural? Biodegradable products allow you to wash up in the lake and let your skin truly have a break from the pollutants and chemicals of modern lifestyle.

2. The Wonder of Witch Hazel

I always pack Witch Hazel Hydrosol when I travel. This water extracted from the Witch Hazel plant is an excellent antiseptic that naturally disinfects cuts and scrapes. It’s also great for purifying the skin, making it handy for unexpected breakouts. For the cottage, the most important reason I pack this herbal tonic is because it’s amazing on mosquito bites. Yes, I’m usually a tasty prey for the little buggers, making swollen pink blister-like bumps a regular part of my cottage experience. Luckily, spraying or dabbing a bit of Witch Hazel on my bites take the itch out of them.

3. Scrub and Renew

Feeling clean is important for me in order to relax. I always say, a clean bathroom and an access to good food are the only things I need to be happy anywhere. Feeling oh-so-fresh and so clean is how I maintain grounded-ness when I am in an unknown place, so I always bring a loofah or dry brush (it also helps when traveling for business – makes you feel polished and ready to work). This goes for camping and cottages times a hundred, because nature and I get along fine when I feel order in my body.

4. After Fun-in-the-Sun Care

Hopefully when you are up at the cottage you’ll be spending your entire day enjoying the sun. Swimming, hiking, or just lounging around, we need to hoard all that we can before the painstaking winter. But the heat and sun together dry out and inflame your skin, so you should always follow up with a good after-sun care regime. Even if you spend most of your time in the shade (which I recommend), the heat itself is inflaming. After-sun beauty products always have the aim of cooling the skin down as well as replenishing water. Look for items that are packed with Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Rose, and Algae. My personal favorites: Pure + Simple Soothing Mimosa Emulsion & Pure + Simple Collagen Elastin Plus.

5. No Fuss, Multi-Use Oil

When you are getting back to nature, and spending time enjoying the simplicity of being, you don’t want a million products. So, I recommend packing one good, all-purpose oil product. My favorite is Organic Jojoba oil. You can use it as a body moisturizer, face oil, or to oil your hair (good as a scalp treatment as well as a defrizzing product). I like it because it’s medium weight and mimics the texture of our own sebum. Oils are great for protecting your skin against dehydration, and it’s nice to soak in a nourishing treatment in the evening while playing cards or roasting (natural?) marshmallows.

6. Don’t Stop the Sunblock

I cannot stress this enough: everyone should wear sunscreen. Seriously, if there is one thing to remember, that is to apply sun protection all day and every day. There is probably no other one factor as damaging and aging as the sun, so be religious about it. Also remember, not all sunscreens are created equal, so opting for a good quality natural one is essential. A member of my family who will remain nameless keeps skin products at the cottage that she gets from the bargain bin. But honestly, it’s not worth it to use discount sun products. And, if you are one of my loved ones and can’t get your hands on a proper SPF, just speak up – because, I’ll just give you a mineral sunblock – it is that important.


Kristen Ma is the co-owner of Pure + Simple Inc., a group of Holistic Spas with its own line of Natural Skincare and Mineral Make-up.  She is an Ayurvedic Practitioner who has studied in Canada, the United States and India.  She is also a Certified Esthetician with eight years of practical experience, having worked in Canada as well as Australia.  Most recently, Kristen has authored “Beauty: Pure + Simple” which was published by Mc Arthur and Company.  Kristen has written on the subject of Holistic Beauty for Vitality Magazine, Blink and Jasmine.  She is also a regular contributor to B Magazine, Tonic and Sweat Equity Magazine. She blogs regularly at Holistic Vanity.


Header image for this article courtesy of Belovodchenko Anton