Travel season is upon us, and it’s time to start planning that vacation itinerary. Visit secluded retreats that offer more than the opportunity to relax. Take your skin on a vacation in 2017 and check out a hot spot that plays double-duty: these destinations offer natural elements and treatments for skin health while providing beautiful backdrops perfect for a little R&R.
Take a quick trip with us around the globe.
Read about skin-friendly destinations that deserve a place of honor on your travel bucket list.
Nea Kameni, Greece
Always wanted to visit the blue-roofed oasis of Greece? Put Nea Kameni on your list. This volcanic island offers plenty of benefits for those looking to combat their acne woes. Why? The small island is surrounded by water high in sulfur, iron, and manganese—all essential components of healthy skin.
Sulfur happens to be one of the oldest acne fighting ingredients, used for centuries to fight bacteria. This gentle exfoliant can clear out pores and dry out pimples to leave your skin looking its best. Iron helps speed up the process of healing, and combats against pale skin and dark circles under the eyes. Manganese offers plenty of antioxidants, helping to reduce inflammation and keep your skin feeling great.
We can’t talk about Greece without mentioning the Mediterranean Diet and its benefits. Your diet and acne have a tenuous relationship, and the Mediterranean Diet offers plenty of components found to be naturally beneficial for skin health. Munch on some delicious bread and olive oil and rehydrate with crisp fruits while lounging in the Mediterranean sun to give your skin that extra glow.
Dead Sea, Israel
You’ve likely encountered personal care products and spa treatments that contain mud from the Dead Sea. This isn’t your typical mud: Dead Sea mud was formed tens of thousands of years ago, as tons upon tons of sediments settled at the bottom of the sea. Large reserves of salt were embedded in the mud and for thousands of years the mud has absorbed the healthy minerals in these salts.
These minerals are tiny enough to penetrate the skin’s pores, helping to nourish your skin by promoting blood circulation and providing a vibrant glow by slowing the effects of aging.
While spending endless hours in the sun can be harmful to your skin, the Dead Sea’s location proves to be an exception to the rule. The area lies far below the sea level, and year-round high temperatures cause water and chemicals to evaporate. This evaporation creates a dense layer of minerals that serve as a natural sunscreen—meaning you can spend more time basking under the warm rays. Thanks to the clinically proven benefits of this area’s mud, the sea is surrounded by spas and treatment facilities, so you can take your pick.
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Take a dip in the warm waters of The Blue Lagoon in Iceland and soak your skin in a healthy mixture of minerals and silica. These gorgeous pools maintain a relaxing temperature of 100.4°F year round, and bathing in this warm water helps boost blood circulation. Soaking your skin in warm water helps the pores absorb important minerals. The water is said to slow the growth of bacteria on the skin, while the water’s acidity acts as a natural toner. Hot springs have long been lauded for their anti-aging properties, as bathing in hot water promotes the production of collagen and tightens elastic within the skin for a firm and youthful appearance.
Rotorua, New Zealand
Head to the North Island of New Zealand to take advantage of Rotorua’s skin-boosting mud spa therapy. Hell’s Gate offers healing mineral mud that’s rich in minerals to provide moisturizing, antibacterial, and detoxifying skin care benefits. Rotorua mud is high in sulfur, calcium, sodium, and silicon. Many of these minerals help the body produce healthy connective tissues that play a direct role in skin health and appearance. Mud spa therapies can help the skin release antioxidants to help protect against sun damage and premature aging and these important antioxidants can increase production of Vitamin E and Vitamin C for a beautiful glow.
You have some options when it comes to mud therapy in this gorgeous destination. The active geothermal spot is known for its production of black, grey, and white mud varieties, and each offers different healing benefits.
Soap Lake, Washington
Head to the lush state of Washington for a skin care getaway at Soap Lake. This lake offers the highest diversity of mineral content of any body of water in the world. The waters of this serene lake originally leached through hundreds of feet of basalt, collecting minerals from surrounding rocks on its way.
The waters and the lake’s bed of rich mud offer natural health benefits, earning this area the moniker “Nature’s Spa”. While Soap Lake contains a multitude of minerals, it features particularly high concentrations of sulfate, carbonate, bicarbonate, chloride, and sodium, leaving the lake with a pH level around 10. Visitors from around the globe head to Soap Lake each year to take advantage of its purported benefits, splashing in the water and applying rich layers of mud across the skin for a luxurious DIY spa experience. The mud helps absorb oils from your skin, while replenishing the pores with healthy minerals.
Be sure to watch the lapping water for some suds; this lake earned its name thanks to the appearance of soap bubbles along its shore.
Warm Mineral Springs, Florida
Head to The Sunshine State to wade in Warm Mineral Springs. These natural baths contain a plethora of positive ions, which have been observed to provide healing benefits for those with chronic pain and other ailments. The warm water in these luxurious baths helps improve blood circulation, promoting absorption of high concentrations of mineral and sulfur; these minerals help make the water alkaline, promoting regeneration.
Warm Mineral Springs is technically a sinkhole, fed by three vents. The water remains around 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, which helps pull up countless minerals purported to provide skin care benefits. Fun fact: Warm Mineral Springs has been said to be the mythical “Fountain of Youth” sought by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon.
Manitou Beach, Canada
Plan an adventure to Manitou Beach in Watrous, Saskatchewan to take advantage of a natural therapeutic spa. This shallow lake stretches for 14 miles, providing plenty of water for soaking and relaxing. The lake is surrounded by quaint hotels and boutique inns, allowing guests to sleep beachside.
This unique lake was carved out by ancient glaciers, and is fed by underground springs that shoot up minerals from deep within the earth. The lake’s alchemy is truly something fascinating to behold: soak in water rich in magnesium, potassium, silica, iron oxide, calcium, and sulphate. Consider this: the typical mineral spa contains 1 gram of minerals per liter. The waters of Manitou Beach contain 180 grams of minerals per liter. This cocktail of minerals provides numerous benefits for the body; it helps treat and heal sunburns and inflammation, regulates the body’s pH levels, and hydrates and tightens the skin for a glowing complexion.
Not excited by the idea of murky, muddy waters? Head to Scottsdale, Arizona to take advantage of one of the numerous spas. This city boasts the highest number of resorts spas per capita in the United States. Find luxurious resorts of all types, and experience treatments like you’ve never seen before. From sumptuous scrubs to purifying sea salt scrubs, the luxury facilities scattered across this sunny city offer everything the spa connoisseur needs for a relaxing weekend. Find skin care treatments that can handle all hosts of maladies, and book a decadent facial to capture that youthful glow.
Fancy yourself a beer connoisseur? Combine your passion for brews with luxurious skin treatments. Within the medieval castle of Schloss Neustarkenberg, you’ll find the Starkenberg Beer Myth resort. This popular destination spot offers the world’s only beer swimming pools; that’s right, you can take a dip in seven 13-foot pools filled with a combination of warm beer and water. The brews are rich in calcium and skin-essential vitamins, and as beer has a low pH, it can help tighten follicles and strip the dirt and grease from your hair—no more hairline acne.
Yeast-rich beer offers a frothy foam that can help slow down the production of sebum, that oily substance that clogs pores and forms pimples. The yeast found in your favorite beer is also a great source of protein, selenium, iron, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins. All of these fantastic ingredients combine into a magical—and delicious—elixir for skin health. Feel free to sip the brewery’s cold brews while floating in the warm beer baths for a double serving of hops goodness.
Head to the shores of the Red Sea to take advantage of the healing waters of Safaga, Egypt, a short jaunt from Cairo. Locally known as the healing zone, the saline concentration of this water is 35 percent higher than that of most other seas. Visitors splash in the waters to improve circulation, and the black sand lining the beach is rich in minerals from local volcanic craters. This mineral rich sand contains three radioactive elements, including Uranium, Potassium, and Thorium, but don’t worry, the levels are so low they’re safe and actually beneficial to use. Help calm skin inflammation by basking in the waters and using local muds to coat your skin.
Enjoy climatotherapy in the many local spas in the area. Find treatments that combine the healing waters, rich minerals, and modern techniques to cure all kinds of skin issues. From pearl baths to underwater massage, there’s plenty of luxurious activities to keep you basking in this African city.
County Sligo, Ireland
Like seaweed in your sushi? You’re going to love what it can do for your skin. The Irish have been taking advantage of the numerous benefits of this sea vegetation since the 12th century. Seaweed is jam-packed with vitamins, and used in a variety of today’s personal care products. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were nearly 300 bathhouses in Ireland that specialized in seaweed-specific treatments. Today, just two of those classic bathhouses remain, and they’re a sight to see and experience. As you soak in the water, breathe in the salty scent of ocean’s gifts; recent studies have shown that breathing in the fumes of seaweed can increase iodine intake. Why? Iodine deficiency has been shown to lead to breakouts, so upping your intake of this important mineral can promote clear skin. Seaweed also contains antioxidants which help the body fight free radicals.
Book a flight to the Emerald Isle and try thalassotherapy; soak in a bath saturated with seaweed to improve circulation, soften the skin, and drain the lymphatic system of toxins.
Could there be a more romantic destination than a city found within Rose Valley? This area of Bulgaria is world famous for its rose-growing industry, and produces around 85 percent of the world’s rose oil. These beautiful buds provide more than tantalizing fragrances; rose oil is used in many ways to improve the health and appearance of the skin. Clinical research has shown that rose oil offers strong antibacterial properties, which can aid in the fight against blemishes.
Rose oil has been observed to increase your skin’s permeability, allowing it to absorb and retain minerals and moisture. It also offers high levels of antioxidants, which can help in the battle against free radicals and help reduce the appearance of scars.
Fancy exploring some caves on your next adventure? Wieliczka, Poland is the place to be to take in the healing nature of salt. The Wieliczka Salt Mine Health Resort offers luxurious treatments a 440 feet underground. Journey through salt mines to take in the micro-climate, free of radiation, allergens, pollution, and impurities. These fantastic salt caves are rich in micronutrients, and offer high levels of humidity and consistent temperatures.
This renowned resort uses a modern treatment method called subterraneotherapy, which uses the medical properties of this micro-climate to help patients dealing with skin conditions, asthma issues, and chronic respiratory disease. Salt is rich in a wide array of minerals, including potassium, iodine, and bromide. Due to the connection between stress and acne, it’s important to manage our daily stresses and anxiety. Microelements, including the aforementioned bromide, can have a calming effect on the brain, reducing stress.
Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
This suggestion isn’t for the squeamish. If you’re up for a unique new treatment that may have others balking, consider trying some of the new facials in spas across Ebisu. First up in this Tokyo district: snail facials. Secreted mucus from snails is said to provide a heathy dose of proteins and antioxidants, so lay back and let these little creatures slowly make their way across your face. Not a fan of snails? Try an “Uguisu No Fun” facial, colloquially known as the bird poop or nightingale facial. Droppings from the Japanese bush warbler were used by Geishas centuries ago to clear and brighten the skin, and modern spas are bringing this trend back to the forefront of skin care in Tokyo.
It turns out nightingale droppings contain high concentrations urea, a common ingredient in cosmetics lauded for its moisture-locking capabilities. These droppings also contain guanine, and this substance is purported to produce a shimmering look on the skin. Nothing like a bird poop facial to keep your travels interesting.
Kangal, Sivas, Turkey
Looking to get rid of dead skin? Sit back and relax and let the doctor fish do the work for you. In Kangal, a cit in the Sivas province of Turkey, native doctor fish are a hot commodity in skin care. Thanks to the area’s high water temperature, nutrients don’t last long. This makes doctor fish a little more than hungry, and they’re more than willing to munch on dead skin.
Exfoliation is an important component of any skin care regimen, and this is a method you’ve likely never used before. Head to the Kangal spa and take in the benefits. Open for more than a century, this spa has been a treatment meccas for psoriasis patients. This disease causes skin to regenerate too quickly, resulting in itchy, silvery scales. Doctor fish love these psoriatic plaques, and will gum away at the scaly skin after it’s softened in the spa’s warm waters. Join the 3,000 annual visitors and swim with the fishes.
Colchagua Valley, Chile
Are you a wine savant? Head to a destination spot that offers delicious sips and radiant skin all in one spot. The Colchagua Valley is Chile's most revered wine growing region, and women across the country have created a skin care regimen all their own: crush red grapes, mix them with white flour, then apply it to the face for around ten minutes to revive your complexion.
Turn your favorite beverage into a radiant skin care routine and let your penchant for wine provide numerous skin benefits.
Desert Hot Springs, California
Desert Hot Springs has the only aquifer of thermal, mineral spring water in southern California and the local lagoon is mineral rich and boasts high lithium content to soothe the skin. Visitors at the Two Palm Bunches Resort can take advantage of treatments not found anywhere else. The area produces a unique green clay, observed to help catalyze important reactions that restore skin tone and rid the skin of toxins.
Two Bunch Palms is the oldest hot mineral springs in the country. The waters are low in sulfur, but rich in lithium. This means less eggy stench and more soothing relaxation. Fun fact: infamous gangster Al Capone used to frequent the area for all of his relaxation needs. It’s no wonder; the gorgeous resort is filled with winding paths, glorious mineral pools, and an adults-only policy that makes it a quiet place for rejuvenation. Calm your soul and revive your skin in Desert Hot Springs this summer.
Take a trip to Tena, Ecuador to take advantage of local masks. This Amazon basin is composed of almost 75 percent clay, rich in nutrients and minerals that can help rid the skin of toxins and excess oil that would otherwise clog pores. If you head to this hot destination spot, be sure to look for the white clay. Once you apply, let it sit for an hour, then peel it off gently.
When in doubt, look to animal behavior. Animals in this area are often observed eating clay; it’s suggested they do so because they lack certain minerals and vitamins in their diet. The benefits of the high pH level in clay can help balance the effects of acidity found in rainforest produce. Much of the fruit grown in the Amazon rainforest is affected by acidic fungi; when animals ingest this acidity, they may experience liver damage and a weakened immune system. By chomping on the clay, these intelligent animals are able to balance out this acidity and prevent these health issues.
Cape Town, South Africa
Travel to beautiful Cape Town and sip on Rooibos tea. This special tea is an acquired taste, but it contains enzymes that increase the production of healthy skin producing cells. Rooibos tea also provides healthy doses of vitamin D and zinc, two important minerals for skin health. Many acne patients have reported that topical application and ingestion of this natural ingredient has helped reduce the frequency and severity of breakouts. Those with eczema apply cold, wet tea bags to problem areas to soothe inflammation within seconds.
The extract of this red herb has long been used to cure skin ailments. Also known as red tea, the nutrients in this herb are said to increase collagen production and help heal and soothe the skin.
Book a trip down under and take in the wonderful skin benefits of Darwin, Australia. The capital of Australia’s Northern Territory serves as the gateway to the beautiful Kakadu National Park where you’ll find Kakadu plums in abundance. These delectable fruits may be the answer to your skin care woes. These little plums pack a serious punch of vitamin power; with more vitamin C than any other fruit, Kakadu plum juice is used to detoxify and brighten the skin. This little fruit also contains phytochemicals that offer antibacterial and antifungal properties, helping fight infection and soothe inflammation.
During your travels across the sunburnt country, try some emu oil. These birds are endemic to the Australia, and this oil is extracted from the thick fat of the emu’s back. Thousands of years ago, the aborigines used emu oil to treat skin infections; today, doctors recommend it for treating a variety of skin conditions. Emu oil offers anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm painful, irritated skin and reduce swelling. This oil is absorbed easily thanks to its high fat content, and it acts as a powerful moisturizer. Come back from your travels sun-kissed and moisturized—that’s a travel goal we can all get behind.