10 Must-Have Skincare Products for Your Tropical Getaway

Planning a dreamy island escape to a tropical paradise? Maybe you’re headed to the Indian Ocean islands or the Far East?

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Whether you're unwinding on a pristine beach or snorkelling through crystal-clear waters, it's essential to pack the right skincare products to keep your skin fresh and glowing in the humid climate.  

Skincare Essentials for the Islands 

For those heading to the islands this summer, we'll explore the top 10 skincare must-haves and travel skincare tips to ensure your tropical getaway is as enchanting as it should be. 

1. Sunscreen

When it comes to protecting your skin from the intense equatorial sun, a broad-spectrum sunscreen is your best companion. And if you’re looking for the best sunscreen for humid weather, look for products with ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they provide effective coverage against both UVA and UVB rays. 

Product Recommendations | Sunscreen 
  • Skin Creamery Tinted SPF 25+ is a tinted, mineral-based sunscreen that also contains hyaluronic acid, squalane, and vitamin E to hydrate and nourish your skin. It’s available in three different shades (light, medium, and dark), as well as an untinted variant.  
  • Swiitch Beauty #Silkscreen SPF50 Sun Shield is an incredibly lightweight, water-based sunscreen that claims to withstand sweat and humidity for up to 80 hours, all without an oily or greasy residue. This one is great for darker skin tones, as it goes on invisible — no white cast in sight! 
  • Ocean Freedom Daily Nourishing UV Defence Sunscreen SPF30+ is a non-oily, slightly tinted SPF, designed to protect skin from harmful UV rays. Approved by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), it’s a great addition to your sun defence kit.  
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2. Moisturiser

In a tropical paradise, the humidity can leave your skin feeling sticky and sweaty. However, the right moisturiser can make all the difference. The best moisturiser for a humid climate will be a lightweight moisturiser with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which locks in moisture without feeling heavy. It's the key to maintaining fresh, hydrated skin during your island adventures. 

Product Recommendations | Moisturiser 
  • SkinFunctional Daily Moisturiser with active ingredients like Black Ginseng, ATP Complex, and Hyaluronic Acid, this will work well for most skin types. 
  • LeLive Crème de la Cream Lightweight Hydration Moisturiser is light enough for the humid days and nights in the tropics, while baobab hydrates and peptides rejuvenate. 
  • Healing Earth Pinotage Regenerative Night Cream is a vitamin-rich lightweight night cream designed to soothe, hydrate and nourish the skin. This night cream works while the skin is at rest, improving the skin's healing function and comforting sensitised skin — great for summer nights. 
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3. Cleanser

Days of island exploration can result in sunscreen residues and sweat build-up. A gentle cleanser is vital for removing impurities without stripping your skin of its natural oils. Look for cleansers with hydrating ingredients like salicylic acid or ceramides. 

Product Recommendations | Cleanser 
  • Suki Suki Naturals Buchu Moringa Hydrating Milky Cleanser is formulated to be extra gentle, while hydrating sun-kissed skin with hyaluronic acid and ceramides. 
  • Beaut Serums Posh Wash is a creamy cleanser, designed to remove impurities and makeup, as well as salt and sweat. 
  • Healing Earth Pinotage Cleansing Gel is a gel cleanser with a mild foaming action that works deep within the pores to draw out impurities and cleanse the skin. This cleanser will leave skin feeling moisturised and clean.  
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4. Serum

To enhance your island glow, consider incorporating a serum into your routine. Serums packed with hydrating, refreshing, and revitalising ingredients will help give your skin an extra boost of nourishment. Just remember to keep your serums sun-friendly — steer clear of retinol and other sun-unfriendly actives while you’re in the sun daily. 

Product Recommendations | Serum 
  • Naturals Beauty Hydra Plump Serum is a lovely, easily-absorbed serum that contains super-nourishing hyaluronic acid alongside a cocktail of skin-soothing ingredients, like panthenol, cucumber, chamomile, and microalgae for an extra boost of hydration. 
  • Standard Beauty 1,5% Hyaluronic Acid & Peptides Serum gives skin an instantly plumped-up appearance. It’s the perfect pick for humid environments, as the hyaluronic acid contained in this serum helps to draw moisture from the surroundings deeper into the skin for a moisturising effect. 
  • LeLive The Drip | Hydrate + Energise Mist is a hydrating spray, using unique and powerful actives for a radiant glow. Great for setting make-up, this is an antioxidant-based protection, providing extra hydration throughout the day. 
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5. Face Masks

Imagine lying on your bed in your overwater bungalow in the Maldives with a cooling, nourishing, refreshing face mask on. You’ve spent all day swimming, diving, and revelling in everything your incredible resort has to offer. Now you’re winding down, with a drink in hand, your face mask doing the hard work to help you look and feel your best tomorrow. 

Product Recommendations | Masks 
  • LeLive Seatox | Revitalise + Clarify Mask is gentle but effective, combining glycolic, lactic, and polyhydroxy acids to gently exfoliate and niacinamide and sea spaghetti algae to revitalise. 
  • Vitaderm Vitality Boosting Masque contains super antioxidant nutraceuticals (think vitamins A, C, and E, as well as ferulic acid) to help combat sun damage. This rich, creamy clay masque is best for those with more mature or dry skin types, or environmentally-damaged complexions.  
  • Healing Earth Pinotage Hydrating Repair Mask contains bentonite clay, jasmine, chamomile, and lavender, which deep cleanses skin, absorbing excess oil, and leaving skin nourished and smooth. 
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6. Lip Balm

It might seem simple, but a great lip balm is truly an underrated addition to your makeup bag or handbag. When you’re enjoying the tropics and swimming often, look for one which contains SPF and loads of moisturising ingredients to replenish your lips after a day in the sea. 

Product Recommendations | Lip Balm 
  • Naturals Beauty Tea Tree Lip Balm is made using a blend of sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado butter, and beeswax. Jojoba oil is known as the ‘skin’s twin’ because it has a very similar structure to skin’s naturally-occuring sebum, making it ideal for adding moisture. Beeswax helps to lock in moisture for hydration that lasts.  
  • Swiitch Beauty #AirBalm Dewy Lip Tint offers skin protection and nourishment, along with a hint of a tint. Available in four flattering shades.  
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7. Insect Repellent

There’s nothing worse than being in paradise and getting eaten alive by the local insect population. Take along a bug repellent, and say goodbye to itchy bites. 

Product Recommendations | Insect Repellent 
  • SoPure Mosquito Spray is a natural, non-toxic, pesticide- and aromatherapy-free mozzie spray that also doesn’t contain citronella oil, which makes it the perfect pick for those with extra sensitive skin. 
  • Simply Bee Insect Repellent Spray is made using a 100% natural essential oil blend that irritates insects, without harming them in any way. A little goes a long way, so this bottle should last you ages. 
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8. Hair care

When you’re spending all day, every day, in the sun, sea, and wind, make sure you take along hair care that will keep your locks looking beach bar ready.  

Product Recommendations | Hair Care 
  • be.bare The Crowd-Pleaser Shampoo Bar is a zero-waste, solid shampoo bar that’s perfect for travel. Better still, it doesn’t make use of any plastic or chemical nasties and is super-gentle on your hair.  
  • Hey Gorgeous No More Chlorine Mist is designed to remove all traces of chlorine in your hair (and on your skin!)  
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9. Scrub

Spending the day in the sand might feel like a scrub, but we find a little bit of body scrub is essential for nourishing and polishing skin when on holiday. This is especially true if you’re applying self-tanner, as exfoliating your skin will ensure a smoother, more even result. 

Product Recommendations | Scrub 
  • Naturals Beauty White Sugar Scrub is a real skin treat — it smells good enough to eat! It gently buffs away any roughness, leaving your skin looking and feeling soft, smooth, and glowing from within.  
  • Standard Beauty Turmeric & Peach Duo Scrub is packed with antioxidants to help reverse damage caused by the elements, all while removing dead skin cells and other impurities. It also works as a treat to prevent ingrown hairs caused by shaving and waxing. 
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10. Aftersun

Spending all day in the sun can make even the most diligent sunscreen applier feel a bit crispy. So if you’re looking to soothe your sun-parched skin, applying an aftersun lotion or gel will help to rehydrate and soothe your hot skin. 

Product Recommendations | Aftersun 
  • Vitaderm Soothing Balm contains natural, botanical oils and waxes to support the skin’s natural healing processes and to offer lasting protection against the elements.  
  • Swiitch Beauty #CicaGel Serum is a lightweight, anti-blemish serum that doubles up as a soothing serum for red, inflamed, or irritated skin. Ideal for use on the face after a little too much sun. 
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Let’s Get You to the Islands 

Now you’re packed and ready, why not book yourself the island getaway you’ve been dreaming about? With incredible specials at resorts in Mauritius, the Maldives, Zanzibar, and the Seychelles, there’s no better time than now. Get in touch with one of our experienced travel consultants, and let us plan your ideal holiday. 

Thanks goes out to Chereen Gibson, beauty writer & founder of This Mamma Loves. Without her input on our amazing local skincare and beauty scene, this article wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you, Chereen!

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