I have now lived abroad three times. And with a new country, comes new hair and skin care products. There are a ton of weird under-the-radar beauty products that are really popular abroad that you may not have heard of here (or cost a pretty penny because they're imported), but are absolutely worth checking out.
The first country I found myself living in was France. I studied abroad in Paris, and this is the place that had the most amazing beauty finds. From drugstore beauty to expensive products at Galleries Lafayette, you can count on French beauty to deliver high quality ingredients and results.
After college I moved to Italy for a year. While living in Florence, I discovered the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, which is probably the most magical place you'll ever step foot in. And when it comes to beauty products and perfumes (or my personal favorite, the soaps), the pharmacy (more than four hundred years old), is the place to go.
Then last year, I spent my year living in Thailand and traveling around Southeast Asia. Many people love their Korean skin care over there. It's definitely popular in the states now, but some of the things you can find in Asia are amazing and work wonders for your skin. There are so many effective beauty products out there that you would probably never knew existed unless you visited the country.
1Hydrate Skin With A Body Butter From The UK
If you have super dry skin, then you should get your hands on some of this body butter. Soap & Glory is a really fun brand that I actually would buy in Thailand at Boots (which is a drugstore in the UK). My skin was so dry while I was living in Thailand, and this is the only body butter that would work for me. It's made with shea butter and aloe vera, which really helped with my constant sunburn from that sun. My favorite part about this brand is their signature 'Pink' fragrance. It's a mixture of fresh bergamot and mandarin, rose, jasmine, peach, strawberry, oak moss, amber, and vanilla. It sounds like a lot, but it is perfect.
2Moisturize Skin With Soap From Italy
This soap is heaven: Seriously. I bought an unhealthy amount when I lived in Florence. It just smells so delicious, and it is so moisturizing. I don't usually use bars of soap because I feel like they dry your skin out, or leave a weird film on your body. This one leaves my skin feeling amazing. When I go back to Italy this summer, I will be stocking up on these bad boys.
3Rejuvenate Skin With A Serum From The UK
Another Boots favorite, this NO7 serum is hypoallergenic and keeps skin strong and healthy. It reduces lines and helps dryness in skin in up to two weeks, and it's powered by Matrixyl 2000 Plus, a combination of antioxidants and peptides that work together to restore your skin. This popular UK product was brought to the states because so many people love it, and because it works.
4Set Makeup With A Toning Mist From France
This natural toning mist can be used to set makeup, tighten the appearance of pores, and reduce dullness. It's infused with rosemary, astringent mint, and rose essential oil. Use it as a primer, and then seal in your look with a final spray. Or, you can use it to refresh your makeup midday. It's super hydrating and will leave you with a glowing complexion.
5Exfoliate Skin With A Clarifying Gel From France
Scrub away dead skin cells with an exfoliating gel cleanser. It's made with white nettle and glycerine, so it's gentle, smooths skin, and hydrates. If you have been looking for a gentle scrub for sensitive skin, this is a great option, as it's non-abrasive and actually soothes skin. When used weekly, your skin will be left glowing, your pores will be tightened, and skin firmer.
6Nourish Lips With A Balm From France
I don't know about you, but having chapped lips is probably the thing I hate most when it comes to beauty problems. NUXE Paris makes an amazing ultra-nourishing lip balm that repairs chapped and dry lips by restoring moisture to them. (Its honey-and-natural oils formula can also be used to moisturize cuticles.)
7Fight Acne With A Treatment From France
Fighting acne is no joke, and La Roche-Posay doesn't mess around. The treatment cream will give you results in three days. It's oil-free and contains Benzoyl Peroxide and Lipo-Hydroxy Acid, which help treat all types of acne and smooth skin over time. Use it as a spot treatment to get rid of pesky pimples, or use it to clear annoying blackheads and whiteheads.
8Get Soft Skin And Hair With A Dry Oil From France
Don't you just love moisturizing oils? This one is amazing because it combines plant oils with vitamin E to soften skin and repair hair. I love anything that can be used on more than one part of my body, and this all-in-one product can be used on your face, body, and in your hair. Use it right when you get out of the shower on your skin, and use it before you shower in your hair (spritz it on hair, wrap head in a warm towel, and leave it on for 15 minutes for super-shiny hair).
9Regenerate Skin With A Snail Repair Cream From Korea
The first time my step sister told me she was putting snail mucus extract on her skin, I couldn't believe it — but it actually works. The snail mucus helps skin regenerate and recover by ridding it of blemishes, acne scars, and helping to tighten the appearance of pores. The cream is made with snail mucus filtrate, adenosine, peptides, and vitamin 5, too.
10Minimize The Appearance Of Pores With A Primer From Korea
This silky primer is infused with egg yolks, and it's meant to minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores. The primer literally feels like a boiled egg yolk (smooth and soft), and it won't clog pores. You'll be left with smoother skin because the egg is filled with calcium, vitamins, amino acids, and proteins (all ingredients that will help your skin).
11Create Volume With A Dry Shampoo From Sweden
I'm a huge fan of dry shampoo. I especially like the kinds that actually add texture and volume to my hair, in addition to making it look clean. This one is powder-based (which works so much better with my hair) and is specifically meant to add volume to second-day hair. It's made with algae-based extracts that work together with minerals and proteins to strengthen hair.
12Reduce Puffiness Around Eyes With A Gel From China
Dark under-eye circles and puffiness are a pain. As someone who spends a lot of time trying to get rid of them (I've found that long haul flights are the biggest culprit of the two), it's important to look for a product that doesn't just moisturize, but also stimulates blood circulation. This eye gel is lightweight and refreshing under eyes. As you continue to use this product, you'll notice that puffiness has been reduced and dark circles are fading.
13Protect Skin From The Sun With Sunscreen From Japan
According to dermatologists, you should be wearing sunscreen every day. It's important to protect skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays actually cause skin to age, so you need to wear a high SPF to protect skin from them. This suncream is super hydrating, and it prevents a number of things like sunburn, dryness, cell damage, and premature signs of aging. It's lightweight and a great pick for layering.
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