Rosie Greenaway packs her bags and heads off in search of new scenery – but not without an army of natural products in tow to maintain wellbeing on the road
With Condé Naste Traveller’s prediction that protecting the planet would be ‘top of mind’ for holidaymakers in 2023, this year will see the blossoming of several travel trends which play to the strengths of sustainability- and wellbeing-focused businesses: from sleep tourism and transformation retreats to adaptogenic menus and electric road trips.
Trains before planes
Even ‘frequent fliers’ are being won over by ‘hybrid flight-light’ alternatives, according to Condé Naste, thanks to their focus on slower, greener travel. “Just as we’re increasingly flexitarians and climatarians with what we eat … now we’re turning ‘flexi-air-ian’. A more eco way of exploring Europe is swapping … short-haul airline tickets for a train ride. Travelling slower and greener is increasingly essential as corporates and consumers show more dedication to slashing emissions. Bragging about being jet-setters is being trumped by virtue-signalling about travel escapades that involve lower carbon logistics,” writes the publication.
Ditching planes for trains is a trend noticed by Mintel too: “Environment considerations … are likely to exert a growing influence on travel choices in coming years. Nearly half of … Gen Z [and] Millennials who’ve flown in the past five years feel guilty about the environmental impact of their trips, and almost half of those who would consider taking the train in future say they are motivated to increase their rail usage specifically in order to reduce their carbon footprint.” But the analyst is keen to point out that a ‘fewer flights’ approach is more likely to hold than a strict ‘no-fly’ policy.
“We’re increasingly flexitarians and climatarians with what we eat … now we’re turning ‘flexi-air-ian”
Condé Naste also believes conscious adventurers are more willing to part with cash if they’re buying into ethical services, giving B Corps a clear advantage. And with these consumers comes a likely crossover into health stores – the home of natural travel products for eco-explorers and those wishing to maximize their wellbeing while wanderlusting.
Travelling abroad with children over five can significantly hike up the holiday budget, which is why the appeal of UK attractions such as Center Parcs is catching on – plus, the mix of fresh air and physical activities tires kids out enough to create pockets of relaxation for parents.
According to Mintel, more than a third of family holidaymakers prioritize having ‘somewhere with freedom for their children to play outside and explore’. Perhaps for this reason, since the arrival of COVID the camping and caravanning sector has enjoyed 4.5 million newcomers – and with cost of living pressures mounting, it’s set to be another lucrative summer for UK campsites.
But with the great outdoors comes the annoyance of insects, pollen and heat exposure. Biteaway – a nifty chemical-free medical device which issues a burst of heat to the skin – addresses the pain, itching and swelling associated with mosquito and other insect bites in under a minute, making it an invaluable tool to store inside tents and backpacks.
Hay fever sufferers are covered by HayMax – a household name, but astute retailers will notice changes to how its organic allergen barrier balms are presented. Sugar cane pots (which use less CO2 to produce) and paper labels have replaced the original packaging, and the amount of overall material used has been reduced by 54%.
And for dehydration comes the new Phizz effervescents – perfect for hot mornings in cramped tents (and essential for festivalgoers).
No matter the location. children’s skin needs sun protection. It’s a growing commercial category, according to Fiona Klonarides, The Beauty Shortlist founder, who is noticing an increase in entries of natural and organic sun creams specifically targeting babies and toddlers. “One stand-out here is multiple Beauty Shortlist Awards-winner Organii’s SPF50 light and milky Sun Milk.” It’s also ideal for all ages, she notes; helpful for families with multiple children.
“Other than a water bottle, sunscreen is arguably the most important product in your beach bag,” says Klonarides, “and how we’re using it, and which SPFs we’re choosing, are shifting for a number of reasons.
“Consumers are looking for sun protection alongside blue light and urban pollution protection now, so in turn SPFs are establishing themselves as part of our age-slowing beauty toolkit (not just for very sunny days). 2021-2022 saw ‘explosive retail sales growth’ in this sector [Mintel].”
One trend ‘on an upswing’ – which ‘proves that we do not need or want chemical formulas for adequate and safe sun protection’ – is coral-safe products combining the UV-blocking mineral duo zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Klonarides says it’s apparent how much diversification and innovation exists within this sector, highlighting Badger Balm’s SPF40 Mineral Sunscreen and ‘long-lasting waterproof paint-it-white ultra-zinc protection for surfers’ presented in plastic-free tins.
“This sector is one to keep our eyes on as SPFs cross over from self-care into beauty for their ‘anti-ageing, urban pollution and HEV protection benefits’ and it’s really nice to see the planet-positive, coral-safe, zinc-based sunscreens getting a lot of love right now.
“SPF is no longer the rather boring but necessary ‘slap it on at the beach and look like you’re wearing a natural yoghurt face mask’ product it once was. We’re using sunscreen more often and, in tandem, brands are rolling out more innovative and multi-tasking SPFs.”
This observation is reflected in two new sun-centred SKUs from Green People. Cha Vøhtz Age Defy+ Daily SPF30 Moisturiser, built on zesty citrus and fresh floral undertones, nourishes sun-exposed skin with aloe vera, rosehip oil and beech bud (the so-called ‘everlasting youth tree’) to hydrate, while protecting against UV damage with edelweiss, green tea, pomegranate oil and rosemary. Green People’s unfragranced, unisex alternative, Scent Free Facial SPF15 Sun Cream, acts as a ‘daily defence’ against UVA & UVB and uses prebiotics to create a barrier and ‘bring balance to the skin’s delicate microbiome’.
Do-it-all products are a hit with Klonarides. “Daily skincare with in-built SPFs such as (tinted) serums or moisturizers is my favourite sub-sector within the whole SPF sector. There’s no having to remember to apply SPF whatever the weather (like Irish brand Poko’s SPF50 Daily Moisturiser).”
Top of her innovation watch list is Twelve Beauty Artemisia Power Protection Moisturiser SPF50+. “[It] has a really interesting INCI which takes the zinc and titanium duo up a lot of notches with the addition of advanced skin-boosting botanicals like meadowfoam seed oil, butterfly bush and white genepi.
“Similarly, Madara’s Plant Stem Cell SUN30 (Body, Hands, Face) features anti-inflammatory and anti-rosacea Northern dragonhead stem cells and raspberry seed oil, with aloe vera for a silkier texture – Madara reminding us that we forget to protect our hands.”
With not a hint of the natural yoghurt-streaked look in sight, French brand Odyskin’s sun range provides COSMOS organic SPF30 protection by day and the nourishment of After Sun Milk by night – neither of which clog on hairy limbs, the brand proudly claims.
Calling for representation
Although there has been some progress, Klonarides laments an overall lack of inclusivity in SPF. “The disappointing news is sunscreens for darker skin are a gaping hole in the market. Let’s hope this turns around soon because there’s a big need and big opportunities for brands here.”
One company already offering wider skin tone representation is MONAT, which released its BB Cream SPF30 late last year, available in nine shades. Alan Meyers, MONAT chief science officer, says that the BB cream is a reflection of how lightweight formulas have ‘taken precedent over full and medium coverage foundations, with hashtags such as filter-free and natural make-up topping searches versus contouring and baking of the past’.
Meyers describes the shade options as ‘universally flattering’, from the lightest and coolest shade, Porcelain, to its deepest tone, Cedar. “Nude and Sand hit the middle of our colour range with cool and yellow undertones. These are proving to be our most popular shades. We believe there is a shade suitable for all skin types as you can also mix and match.”
Travelling can be stressful enough but add a sensitive stomach and it becomes anxiety-inducing. Recognizing this, gut health brand PrecisionBiotics published a blog guiding customers towards a smoother experience on the road.
“When you have a sensitive gut, travelling can be a stressful time for your mind and body. You may be worried about the journey itself, bathroom access and being able to eat the right foods. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do that could help you to relax and make the most of being away,” wrote the brand.
First, it highlighted the benefits of mental preparation. “Stress can be a trigger for symptoms so it’s important to remain as calm as possible. Identify the parts of the trip that are worrying you the most. Then make a plan for how you could tackle them should they arise. Knowing that you’re prepared will help to reduce your worry. Anything you can do to calm your mind … will have a positive effect on your digestive system.”
Among the brand’s recommendations were: packing gut-friendly snacks (fruit, nuts, wholegrain crackers), wipes, hand sanitizer, water, prescriptions and a change of clothes; making a mental map of toilet facilities en route; pre-travel friendly bacteria gut prep; being mindful of changing eating habits and triggering foods; managing stress through meditation and calming music; adopting light movement during the journey, such as stretching your legs at rest stops; and staying hydrated.
The brand also advised opening up. “Let the people you’re travelling with know about your discomfort. Trying to hide it will only add to your stress. They may be able to help and make things easier for you. They’ll also understand if you need more regular stops and need to be picky about where you eat.”
The final pearl of wisdom was to choose a gut-friendly destination. “Try and plan a destination that gives you easy bathroom access, has a range of food options so you can find something that suits, and accommodation that helps you get a good night’s sleep.”
Gut health and IBS expert Marilia Chamon, founder of low-FODMAP snack bar Gutfulness, agrees that prep and smart packing can help before a big journey: “Travelling with a sensitive stomach can be a challenging experience for several reasons: unfamiliar cuisine, limited food options and irregular mealtimes. Gutfulness … offers a delicious and convenient solution to this problem. Specially formulated to cater to individuals with sensitive stomachs, these bars are made with carefully selected ingredients that are low in FODMAPs, reducing the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms. By including Gutfulness bars into your travel snack repertoire, you can confidently embark on your journey, knowing that you are providing your body with the nourishment it needs while also alleviating the anxiety that often accompanies those who have a sensitive gut.”
Another useful product to have on standby is Enterosgel, a vegan-friendly formula clinically proven to relieve diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain. The product works by binding toxins from the gut and ‘expelling them with the stool’.
To avoid the misery of motion sickness, again preparation is key; saviours such as TravelSana Nausea-Free can be taken half an hour before eating to reduce nausea and dizziness, and can be repeated as needed during the voyage. The vegetable capsules are designed to withstand all climate zones and contain ginger root extract and vitamin B6.
Cannabidiol products, such CBII CBD Gummies, can help calm generalized travel nerves when navigating planes, trains, buses and boats.
Other unpleasant side effects of travel are puffy legs for which TravelSana formulated Long-Haul Circulation to help maintain normal blood flow, support vascular health during and reduce swollen limbs and ankles during long periods of immobility on aeroplanes.
For cold weather mini breaks, when luggage is limited and there’s little promise of warmth, it’s important to pack smart with products which address a variety of concerns. Helpful supplements for a winter weekender are Blooming Blends Defend Drops, which support the immune system with elderberry, rosehip and fiery ginger, and Viridian Vitamin D3 Spray, which takes up little space in carry-on and keeps levels of the sunshine vitamin topped up while travelling in cooler climes.
In beauty, Trilogy Instant Glow Rosehip Oil brings a quick hit of radiance to dull or jet-lagged skin; Madara Hyaluronic Anti-Pollution CC Cream SPF15 (available in Light, Beige, Medium and Tan) protects skin against urban aggressors; and the uplifting Happy Balm from Skin & Tonic boosts mood and energy while soothing dry patches of skin brought on by harsh weather conditions.
Bustling cities are best explored on foot, but not without something to combat aching muscles; LUSH’s new After Magnesium Massage Bar contains witch hazel, arnica and refreshing eucalyptus, peppermint and spearmint oils to soothe sore feet and legs at the end of a day spent pavement-pounding. Pair at tills with Pura Collagen Flex+ Mini for shoppers concerned about maintaining healthy bones, joints and cartilage while away.
But if you do take public transport, then Natural Herb Remedies Protected Botanical Mist provides a protective shield against germs and ‘environmental assaults’.
And R.Y.M. Nutrition Sleep – Rest & Restore improves the quality of city hotel sleep through carefully selected botanical ingredients which help muscles relax, support natural melatonin production and induce calmness, wherever you lay your head.
TravelProbio – Before, During and After Travel
Tummy upsets on holiday are usually caused by unfriendly types of intestinal bacteria (bugs) getting into your system through contaminated water or food. TravelProbio™ contains a probiotic blend of Lactobacillus, acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus bulgaricus; fortified with a prebiotic (FOS). It is designed to help build the body’s resistance before and during travel by maintaining the balance of a healthy intestinal flora. HealthAid uses special acid & bile resistant strains, which prevent the stomach juices destroying the ingredients before they reach the intestines, ensuring their purity and potency.
TravelProbio retails at £7.99 for 15 capsules. Contact HealthAid Ltd on 020 8426 3400 for purchase and stockist information or visit www.healthaid.co.uk.
Colladeen® Derma Plus
High Potency Anthocyanidins with Green Tea and Lutein plus Vitamins
Colladeen® Derma Plus is specially formulated to support the health of skin and increase the body’s natural defences against sun damage. The formula provides high strength anthocyanidins. Scientists studying these plant compounds have focused on the role they play in supporting collagen formation. Lutein and green tea extracts have also been included because research indicates that lutein, a well-known carotenoid, may play a protective role against the damaging effects of sunlight on skin.
Also includes vitamin C, which plays a role in normal collagen formation, together with niacin and biotin – all of which support the maintenance of normal skin.
ORGANii SPF 50 Sun Milk
The perfect sun protection for the whole family. The ORGANii Sun Milk SPF 50 is certified organic, is fragrance free and suitable for babies, children, and adults too. The high protection formula has a fluid consistency that is quickly absorbed into the skin. With the addition of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide minerals that sit on top of the skin, reflecting the sun’s rays and creating a protective barrier to offer protection against UVA and UVB rays, while protecting the most delicate of skin from the harsh rays of the sun. The light formula blends effortlessly and is quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving more time for fun in the sun!
Born in 2016 with the aim being to provide an all-natural deet-free alternative to traditional insect repellents on the market. The company has now grown to offer a wide range of insect repellents. The main ingredient being Citriodiol® which is a natural, safe and effective supplement derived from the oil of eucalyptus citridora trees (also known as Corymbia Citrinoda). It’s produced by mimicking nature’s own ageing process in these leaves which results into highly effective active ingredient supported with robust data set approved internationally leading authorities.
Biteaway is a chemical free medical device which uses a short burst of heat to relieve itching, pain and swelling for all biting insects. It is suitable for allergy sufferers, pregnant women and children over 3 years under supervision. Biteaway is German made and in clinically proven to relieve mosquito bites in under 1 minute making it invaluable for summer or when travelling abroad.
With over 51,000 online reviews it’s a must stock item this summer!
PureC+™ Liposomal Vitamin C with Quercetin
PureC+™ – Liposomal Vitamin C with Quercetin is the perfect solution for seasonal allergies. This high-potency formula combines vitamin C (1000mg) and C Support (citrus bioflavonoids, quercetin) 175mg per serving. Quercetin may inhibit histamine release to relieve symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and sore throat; whilst Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system. Its advanced liposomal technology means PureC+ is rapidly absorbed for maximum results. A must-have supplement for immune health throughout the allergy season and year-round. Pleasant tasting off the spoon or mixed into liquids for convenient, flexible dosing. Vegan. 180ml (approx 30 servings).
Yogi Tea® Wellbeing Organic
Wellbeing begins with the willingness to experience it. This tea guides and accompanies you to a sunny time-out. With warming cinnamon and aromatic sage, YOGI TEA® Wellbeing tastes like Mediterranean-style relaxation. You can taste life itself in lemongrass and oregano, and draw fresh inspiration from a deep sense of well-being! Aromatic and vibrant, this is the tea for everyone who wants to relax.
For a perfect brew, pour 300 ml of freshly boiled water over the teabag and allow to infuse for 5 to 6 minutes, or longer for a stronger flavour.