Tropical Beauty Secrets

I used to have really good skin, honestly. However, living in the tropics has done some serious damage to my skin. Too much sun, too much sunscreen, all sorts of sprays for repellents and bug bites and sunburn. It is not fair having pimples and wrinkles!

But, I’ve learned some tricks!

Trick 1- Sunscreen Alternative

There is an old salty dog in the area, Captain Jack. He would not be the person I’d trust for beauty advise, unless I was going for the pirate look. However, my favorite new find came from him. He uses ‘baby butt cream’ on his face as a sunscreen. One wouldn’t think to put diaper rash cream on your face, but surprisingly it is wonderful. It took me awhile to get to that. Since almost every product makes me break out, I’m careful about what I put on my face. I use Dermalogica products, which are very expensive. But, sometimes they give you free samples with your purchase. My last purchase of a $45 face cream came with a face mask. I tried it and loved it. The ingredients: olive oil, zinc oxide, lanolin and vitamin C are almost the exact same ingredients as Pañalito ….aka baby butt cream.

I still was not ready to spread diaper rash cream on my face, I needed to do more research.

I double checked the ingredients on Panalito, they were all things I could picture. Here is the complete list of ingredients:
zinc oxide (20%), beeswax, lanolin, olive oil and natural oil with vitamin A and E. Not sure what “natural oil” is but everything else I understood.

This lead me to do research about the key ingredient: zinc oxide. Apparently, when zinc oxide is a nano particle or really, really small it gets absorbed by the skin. The effects of this are still unknown. The reason they make it so small is because when the particle is a larger, it leaves your face white. Panalito leaves your face white, so no absorption of zinc into my body.

I was ready to try it out.

So, while on boat trip, I lathered my face with white cream. Granted it looks ridiculous, but it kept me from burning the entire day. That evening my face felt drier than normal, which for me is a good thing. I tried it 3 days in a row and no breakouts. So, I began to use it as my sunscreen. Its not dangerous, it works, it makes my skin feel good afterwards and it only costs $3 for a huge tube of it.

The downside is that it does not seem to last as long as traditional sunscreen. One needs reapply after about 2 hours or so. I learned this the hard way on an all day surf trip. So, REAPPLY and your good.

Trick 2- Bug repellent alternative

Mosquitos in Guanacaste carry lots of nasty diseases. There is the old trusy, dengue. But, the last couple of years there has been a new villan around: chikungunya and Zika. Chikungunya, is a “bone breaker” it takes you down for weeks and then some still take longer to recover. So, keeping as many mosquitoes from sucking your blood is a good idea.

I have tried a full range of natural products, some of them work, some of them don’t. So, I tend to stick with Deet products, which are slowly killing us. But, at least we have yet to contract any of these tropical illnesses. Then one day I was in New Mexico listening to “Wait, Wait, Dont Tell Me” and they are playing a game to guess which story is true. Three ridiculous stories are told and the contestant had to guess which was true. Story 1- Victoria’s Secret is named after Queen Victoria who would secretly wear sexy lingerie under her gowns. Story 2- A survey showed that most people who try and wear sexy lingerie end up not having sex because the process of putting it on is too difficult, thus killing the mood. Story 3- Scientist have discovered that Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume is as effective in repelling bugs and the strongest DEET repellents. The winner was, ding, ding, ding….Bombshell!

Again, this product needs to be reapplied every couple of hours to be effective, and has to be put on strong, but it sure beats slowly deforming my unborn grandchildren with DEET or smelling like a group of back country hunters.

Victoria's Secret Bombshell as Mosquito repellent

Victoria’s Secret Bombshell as Mosquito repellent


Author description

Geneva Garcia Ellen

About the author:Geneva Garcia Ellen is the co-founder and CEO (Capitana of Everything Onshore) of Serendipity Charters. Along with her husband, Captain Brad, she raises two wild boys, surfs and travels.