While Burning Man opens the mind to new experiences and cultures, life at The Playa can do some harsh things to the body. The varying desert conditions and dry, dusty air in Black Rock City means cracked lips, dehydrated hair and burnt skin if you’re not careful. Even though you can’t control the damaging elements, you can protect yourself during this weeklong festival with Travelle’s tips for body care at Burning Man.
Stay Hydrated And Prevent Irritation
The alkaline dust found in Black Rock City can be very harsh on your skin. To neutralize the dust, fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water and apply to your skin as needed. This will prevent any irritation and chemical burns that exposure from the sand may bring. It’s important to focus on your feet and treat them every night with this solution to prevent the painful cracks and sores known as Playa Foot.
Shield Your Skin
With the hot Nevada sun beating down on you all day, being diligent about sunscreen is a must. Use a Broad spectrum 50 SPF sunscreen to block both UVB and UVA rays, and be sure to reapply it every 2 hours.
Wipe Down to Stay Fresh
Depending on where you’re staying, the opportunity to take a shower may be slim. If that’s the case, wet wipes will be your best friend. Try to avoid using wipes that contain a high amount of alcohol, as this will further dry out your skin. Wipe your skin down every night and as often as you wish throughout the day to keep feeling fresh.
Use Soap Alternatives
Another beauty tip: avoid using soap or a foamy cleanser and cleanse your skin with a balm or honey. Balm cleansing won’t dry out your skin and honey is a humectant that will actually draw water from air to your skin.
Stock Up on Lip Balm
Lip balm is one product you should have on you at all times. With all the talking, drinking and walking around the dry and sandy environment, your lips will take a beating. A lip balm that contains an SPF, vitamin E, and aloe vera will help prevent and treat desert dry lips. It’s a good idea to pack a few extra so you can always have one with you and have the extras back at camp.
Keep Hands Clean
Hand sanitizer is always a good idea as long as it’s not used excessively. A good sanitizer will contain 50% or more alcohol which is great for killing germs, but bad for retaining skin moisture. Only use it when you absolutely must.
Go With Polished Nails
Being active in the desert can unfortunately leave you with visible dust under your fingernails. Luckily painted nails can hide the dust and make your nails look clean. The dry conditions will make most nails chip, but a gel manicure is your best bet to outlast the environment.
Choose Light Makeup
Powder based makeup and dry weather don’t really work together. Try a tinted moisturizer, as this will provide some coverage while adding moisture to your skin. Tinted moisturizers also make your skin look good without having to apply makeup!
Do Some Heavy Moisturizing
Layer a good, thicker serum under your normal daytime moisturizer. Like winter clothing, layers are key, and a serum under your moisturizer will ensure that your skin absorbs lots of nutrients. This goes for the body as well. Layer body oil under a thicker cream if you’re very dry. For most, applying body oil when you skin is still damp will be enough.
Keep Your Eyes and Nose Happy
Moisture is necessary in your eyes and nostrils to keep microbes from coming into your body. Prolonged exposure to dry, dusty air will put you at risk for picking up germs and cause discomfort. Carry a saline nose spray or Neosporin and Visine - you mucous membranes will thank you.
Rock a Braid
Braids are easy to maintain, give hair body and work with any hair type. Braiding your hair will not only tame it in desert conditions, but also help keep it clean and prevent dullness.
Smooth Your Strands
Keep hair from looking dull and dry by conditioning it with oils such as coconut or jojoba. These oils will replenish your hair’s shine while protecting it from the heat and preventing split ends. If you have the opportunity to wash your hair, use a heavy leave in conditioner afterwards to lock in moisture.
Sleep in Silence
After biking around the playa all day, your body is going to want a good night’s sleep to recoup. A good pair of ear plugs will help ensure your body gets the uninterrupted beauty rest it needs.