Monday, 20 June 2016

Fannies, Flights and Festivals – Festival Skincare - Cheat Sheet

Some of these people belong to me. You're welcome world.

I suppose there’s not much point in having a saying if you never use it or address it. ☺

Festivals. God knows what possesses you, but thousands of you will insist on sleeping in a tent in the pouring rain, drinking yourselves into oblivion and having at best, questionable hygiene habits for the duration. This, we call ‘entertainment’.  Personally, I prefer a day ticket, AAA pass and a nice hotel with hot showers but that’s me.

So you’re packed and ready for Glastonbury/Reading (see you there)/Leeds/V Festival etc – what’s in your skincare stash?

If you’re the type of person that keeps their wits about them, you can do most of your normal routine. If, however, you know you’re going to party non-stop for 3/4/5 days, I would just take wipes and SPF and deal with the carnage when you get home. At least you’ll have a great time and won’t add sunburn into the mix.

*This is a long post, like the queue for the toilets at an festival. A full list of products is available at the bottom of the post.

If you’re going to use a wipe, now is the time. Bear in mind, like good tea and 80s rock bands, all wipes are not created equal.
Here’s some I don’t hate.

Ole are the ones I reach for first. They work (as best wipes can) and cause me no irritation. The purple also work on waterproof, but I would go in with a micellar water/dedicated EMU remover for that.

Clinique TTDO 'cleansing towelettes' are the latest addition to the TTDO franchise and they also work. Obviously I prefer the balm, but no-one wants to be trying to remove that outside of a lovely bathroom with flowing hot water.

MAC wipes work. Good for makeup removal. 

I would always pick up these Sensibio wipes in Paris before they were available here. Great for emergencies, hands and festivals... 

The Yes To range have a large selection of wipes available. I haven't used them but they proved very popular on twitter when I put the question to everyone.

All of these are good at getting a lot of crap off of your face, but if you’re wearing a face full of makeup and SPF you’ll have to use quite a few to do so.

However: if you can, I’d go with a micellar water/eye makeup remover and cotton wool pads. They just do the job better.

The Body Shop's Camomile Eye Makeup Removers are brilliant. I use this one all over the face like a micellar water.

They've changed the packaging (I prefer the old to be honest) but the juice is the same. This, on large cotton pads, is how I would do an overnight stay at a festival (assuming I was under threat of death and had no water - obvs). There's a waterproof version also.

Bioderma was made for this situation. Like The Body Shop, quick, easy and works.

Clarins One-Step Facial Cleanser is great. It also smells delicious which, let's face it, is an added bonus given the surroundings at festivals. 

I also love a good traditional milk cleanser in this situation. One that can either be washed off in the shower (literally going against my religion here I know) or removed with cotton pads. Clarins again would be my first port of call.

But still, if you’re boozing, stick to wipes.

Acid: here’s the thing. I would probably not bother with acid during the day at a festival. You’re going to be outside all day, sitting in the sun (although if you’re in the sun, you’re probably not in the UK), you may be drunk tipsy and forget to apply your SPF… is it worth it?
For the sake of three days you could give it a miss. If, however, you’re going for longer and want to use acids almost to ‘back-up’ your wipes, use them in the evening and make sure you have your SPF for the next day.
Ready-soaked pads are an obvious choice here.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads are great and Dennis Gross MD are pre-packed for you.

Failing that, pre-soak your own cotton pads in your chosen acid toner and put them in a ziplock lunch bag. It's what I use to do on flights before they made pre-soaked pads...

If you have time, can be bothered and know you will use it, I would take some Serozinc with you. It may help keep your skin hydrated, can be used to help remove wipe residue and is antibacterial. It also comes in a travel size. Well handy.

Serum. There’s really only one choice for festival serum and that’s hyaluronic acid. You need it. Whether you’re boozing or not, the weather, sun or wind or rain, will all take its toll on your hydration levels, so the easiest way to keep it topped up is with a dose of hyaluronic acid. This is not the time for your expensive anti-ageing serums. Save your money. My first choice would be Hydraluron, purely for the ease of use and plastic tube. There are brilliant hyaluronic acid products out there, but a lot of them are in fiddly packaging or glass, not what you want in a tent, or god forbid, a shared cubicle shower monstrosity. *shudders*

Moisturisers. For ease, use one with SPF included (this post will bring me out in hives at this rate). For safety, I’d personally use a good hydrating moisturiser and a bloody high SPF on top.
If you can take your normal moisturiser and it’s not in any heavy/glass packaging, do. If you need something new just for the festival period look at Nuxe, Caudalie, REN and Pixi. All make great moisturisers in tubes, which is what you want.

At a push I'd trump for Pixi's H2O Skin Drink. The product and the packaging is the perfect festival pick.

SPF – Anthelios is hard to beat on value and performance. Get SPF 50, don’t faff about with a 15. Pointless in this scenario. I'd go Ultra Light Fluid untinted. Easier to remove than a thicker cream, great coverage.

Where to do it all in a routine?:
Assuming you’re doing the festival in a fairly controlled manner and get up and go to the showers at a decent hour in the morning:
Cleanse with your micellar water or milk cleanser and flannel if you can (please).  Make sure your skin is as clean as you can get it; apply your hyaluronic acid and your moisturiser, then your SPF.
I know for a lot of you this will be your only cleanse of the day that goes anywhere near water. If in the evenings, you get back to your tent half-cut, and manage to wipe your face down a few times and apply a moisturiser on top, well done. If you can, use your wipes/micellar water, then acid, then serum, then moisturiser. Just do your best. You can fix the damage when you get home.

Have fun ya filthy animals.

Products mentioned:

Ole Henriksen Wipes

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Towelettes

MAC Wipes

Bioderma Wipes

Yes To Wipes

The Body Shop Camomile Eye Makeup Remover 

Bioderma Sensibio


Clarins One-Step Facial Cleanser

First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads

Dennis Gross Pads (varying strengths)

Clarins Cleansing Milks


Pixi H2O SkinDrink

La Roche Posay Anthelios

*Not a sponsored post in any way. Some links are affiliate links, which help to support this blog. If you are happy to use my links, thank you kindly. If not, simply google the brands in a new page. It's all good.


  1. Are there any moisturisers with SPF included that you could bring yourself to recommend? (no hives pls & thank you)

  2. I love that you posted this Caroline! Especially since you are avid against regular use of wipes. I went camping last summer and used Simple's Micellar water morning and night to clean my face, and I must say, I was pretty happy with how well my skin behaved!

    xoxo Mollie

  3. Fantastic timing thank you ! Not that you'll find me at a festival over night (I'm with you on that one) but I do flamp !
    That's camping for people who fly their own rust bucket planes.

    Over the years I have learnt a few things I can't do inside a two man tent such as get skinny jeans off even tho I'm only 5ft 1 , and do a full skin care routine whilst balanced on a sloping blow up mattress ..I tried and the 6ft husband just gets in the way rude!

    So now I can fling my Korres wipes (previously checked for alcohol) serum and SPF around happy in the knowledge there will be no klaxons going off in the Hirons household 😁

  4. The Bodyshop Eye Make Up Remover is good for the face. But I used it for face because it stings my eyes as hell and I just didn't want to waste it, so I cannot recommend to people with sensitive eyes.

  5. Hi Caroline just some info for everybody following a horrible incident we had. Face wipes are not intended to go into the toilet if you do follow the fannnies, flights and festivals rule please save yourself the trauma I went through and throw them in the bin :) the very nice man from the waterboard tells me toilets should only see the three P's poop pee and paper xxx

  6. Just a word of caution on the Ole Henrikesen vitamin C wipes: I rather stupidly used these on a trip to Israel last summer, not realizing how photosensitive they'd make my skin. Even with SPF, I ended up with hideously burned neck, throat, and chest. I wouldn't use again in summer. (And I HIGHLY recommend Eve Lom Morning Cleanser as a healing balm to recover from such burns or ANY skin irritation - it does the trick. Pomade Divine irritates my burns but the Lom Morning Cleanser works miracles.)

  7. (To be clear, I use the Eve Lom Morning Cleanser as an overnight balm, no rinsing, to help soothe irritated skin.)

  8. So useful! Thanks! I recently picked up Pixi's makeup remover cleansing wipes for a 14 hour flight and am happy to report that it's brilliant! No residue, smells faintly like roses & works well!

  9. great to know what skincare products you can get away with and have the Caroline seal of approval (for use in the middle of a field only of course)

  10. I've been using the Bioderma micellar water option for the past few Glastonbury's, even after a few too many shandies ;-) Slathering on the moisturiser and SPF is a must! Any tips on how to rescue skin when you're home?

  11. Ever since you asked on twitter I have been waiting for this post. Did it physically hurt to write it?

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  12. I always decant Bioderma into a mini Muji botle and take with cotton pads if I won't be able to access a sink (pretty much limited to flights and my desk drawer - I'm NOT a happy camper). I had an absolute horror show with the Yes To Cucumber wipes (which are indicated for sensitive skin) which I purchased a while back for keeping in the office. Used before going straight out on a Friday resulted in the mother of all allergic reactions and I was an hour late to dinner waiting for the antihistamines to kick in. I would definitely say AVOID Yes To if you're sensitive unless the cucumber ones are just a duff in a good range? x

    1. I tried the cucumber ones as well and they made my face uncomfortable, w/ burning sensations and reddish/irritated. I'm not sure how those are marketed for sensitive skin.

    2. Yes me too! No horrible reactions here but definitely redness and discomfort. They are still sitting in my bathroom used only for cleaning makeup off hands etc.

  13. Loved this post! I cannot bear festival toilets, so much so that I've stopped going altogether (to festivals not the toilet) but laughed a lot imagining you writing this post....

  14. I bought some of the Body Shop eye make up remover and I had to give it away as it had absolutely no effect on my (non-waterproof) mascara - weird! I mean it didn't even remove part of my makeup - definitely would go with Bioderma

  15. As if it is even possible to love your blog and you any more than I already do this has just made me smile so much - I just lost my Mum and my Grandma in the last 4 months - have fun ya filthy animals is just what they both said to me when we went to our 1st festival xx

  16. Dear Caroline,
    Sorry for raising the topic again about alcohol..But the Anthelios XL ultra light fluid has it as 3rd ingredient. I've read a lot about it and am aware of the confusion, but do you recommend an SPF like this? (And no, I personally have to visible reaction to products contacting SD alcohol, but concerned about the long term effect, esp. using it when out in the sun)
    Many thanks!

  17. Thank god those years are over for me!!!

  18. Love this post - helpful info. =D I could see these tips working for a camping trip.

  19. I'm a "fix it when I get home" person cause I go camping a lot (week long trips) and there's often no running water. I don't do anything to clean my face, and just make sure I got SPF on, yeah I end up with some spots by the end of the trip. To "fix it" I specifically keep the 5 packs of the Dr Gross extra strength pads that you can get in the mini section at Sephora around and use them nightly when I return. I normally use the regular strength ones every other night. So the extra strength pads plus a few extra masks usually does the trick by the 5th night.