It's not every day that you learn a skill or trade that you can take with you in an apocalypse. Being someone who can make their own blush may make me a beautiful fighting companion, but it's the natural beauty hacks to survive an apocalypse that make me prepared...should zombies or a viral outbreak take over the world. To be clear, this isn't something I'm fretting about daily, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't in my repertoire of drunk bar conversations at least on a monthly basis. Most people roll their eyes when I bring up skincare in terms of survival. Remember: Our skin is what protects our vital organs from free radicals, bacteria, and infection. So, while I may not be able to cut down trees and build a house, I at least can take solace that I have a few essential beauty tricks up my sleeve that will make having me on your apocalypse team well worth it.
Let's just be real here: I'm probably not going to survive an apocalypse on my own for very long. My eye sight is horrible and I have way too many food allergies. I'm prone to putting my life in danger on the regular — whether it's not being able to resist a suspicious, unattended cookie that inevitably contains walnuts or hastily slicing my finger off while extracting aloe from its leaf or blindly laughing to myself as I walk into traffic. Yes, I am someone who SHOULD be concerned about survival skills or rather lack thereof.
Fortunately, my father uses my birthday and Christmas to make sure I at least have the equipment I need to survive an apocalypse. Opening gifts from him on Christmas day puts a dark twist on fatherly love: Bull horns, giant hunting knives, and hazmat masks are awkwardly wrapped under the tree with my father beaming proudly that his girls have more equipment to fight zombies.
Learning how to successfully troubleshoot your own Internet connection may make you self-sufficient today, but you certainly won't need it in an apocalypse and my blush-making skills are definitely not going to be envied by anyone when survival becomes the first and only important thing on our minds. You'd be surprised how many beauty tricks you'll want to take with you to stay healthy during these dark times that may or may not ever happen in our life time. Just in case, you'll need to brush up on your survival gardening skills pre-apocalypse to get yourself some natural ingredients that you can eat and wear.
1. Soothe burns in order to keep fighting zombies
Who knows where all that Neosporin went? Maybe it's already been used up, maybe zombies have eaten it, but regardless, you'll have to find a new way to sooth your burn whether it's from the sun or a forest fire gone horribly wrong. Fortunately, you can seek relieve from olive oil, aloe vera plants, cucumber pulp, and coconut milk.
2. Make a dry shampoo to keep your hair clean
There are plenty of antiseptics that you could easily stumble upon to wash your hair regardless of hair texture and type. An apocalypse is likely the only time I won't be concerned about keeping my curl pattern and you shouldn't be either. In the event that there is no water, a dry shampoo can come in handy to keep your scalp healthy and let's face it, your hair less smelly. Arrowroot powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cocoa powder can all be used as dry shampoos and work even better in combination. Think these will be hard to come by? Please, the baking aisle in grocery stores will most likely be the only aisle with anything left. Ain't nobody trying to make snickerdoodles in an apocalypse.
3. Protect yourself from public enemy #2: the sun
Making a natural sunscreen is very important, zombies may be public enemy #1, but as long as the sun still shines, it can be a secret enemy causing skin damage, cancer, and burning. Unfortunately, with a proper sunscreen, you'll need to plan ahead: raspberry seed oil and carrot seed oils have high SPFs and can be used to protect the skin from sunburns. Mango butter, coconut oil, and wheat germ protect against the sun's long-term damage and are great in combination with raspberry and carrot seed.
4. Learn how to make a natural deodorant
Every season of the Walking Dead, I pose the same question to my friends: Why isn't everyone having sex with each other? In my opinion, once you get a plan and shelter, there really is no reason why orgies shouldn't be a daily activity. There is no Netflix, so what else are you going to do? This is the reason that making a natural deodorant makes the list! Arrow root powder, baking soda, shea butter, clove oil, and lemon are naturally able to control odor. You don't want to be the smelly one preventing the only fun you can have during an apocalypse do you?
5. Can't keep the zombies away? Keep the buys away with a natural repellant
My family used to love camping trips until the weakest member of the family was born and got bit by a mere six mosquitoes which resulted in a high fever and a trip to the hospital: That person was obviously me. You'll definitely want to make a natural bug spray to keep those pesky mosquitoes from munching on you while your slaying zombies. Tea tree oil, lavender, and basil will be your best friends during this unlikely scenario.
6. Clean your wounds properly
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't currently clean my wounds like this, sans, apocalypse. I actually live next to a Rite Aid and I still pour vodka and sea salt on my wounds to clean them. Recently, my clumsiness came crashing down around me and a sliced off fingernail, a new tattoo and a huge gash on my back had me gravely concerned about keeping my wounds cleaned. Since I don't use soap, I was slightly nervous. As I suspected, vodka was a great alternative for cleaning wounds, salt and lavender helped stop the bleeding, and coconut oil soothed my wounds. Of course, don't follow my lead unless you are actually in an apocalyptic scenario. For now, trust your local pharmacy, but make sure you have a supply of anti-septic booze in your survival kit.
7. Create a tampon out of paper towels
You may not think of tampons as a "beauty" item, but frankly, I think when all your pants are stained in blood you'll start to consider that a major beauty issue. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to roll your own tampons in the event of an apocalypse where tampons are nowhere to be found. Use a paper towel, folded enough to get the ideal protection and roll from short end to long end. This beauty hack (from sources at Nielson Hayden) is definitely one of the most important beauty hacks I'm bringing with me into an apocalyptic nightmare.
Images: Giampaolo Macorig/Flickr; Giphy (7)