Our beauty expert Julia Alfert was in Mexico and brought us her Top 3 Beauty Favorites
Yucatán may sound like an exotic species of bird or maybe even a Japanese fighting sport, but it’s actually a peninsula and state in southeastern Mexico – and recently where I went on vacation. And I have to say: Yucatán is beautiful – actually really beautiful: white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters, colorfully decorated streets and houses, embroidered dresses, art, and Mayan pyramids.
This stretch of land will also make beauty-inclined hearts beat faster: mud baths that work their magic with full-body packs. And avocado, the queen of kitchen cosmetics, is everywhere. And then there are still the lovely old towns, houses, haciendas, and hotels like the ones by Coqui Coqui that provide not just the most stunning locations and décor, but also their own product lines.
I could go on forever about what this patch of earth has to offer, but I’d rather use my time to list out my Top 3 Yucatán Beauty Favorites:
1. Mud Bath or »Baño maya«
Way up in the north of the Yucatán Peninsula lies the little village of Río Lagartos, which is located in the National Park of the same name. In this gorgeous and peaceful reserve, you can only relax and look on in awe: at the cacti, the palm forests, the jungle, the pale pink-colored water in the lagoon, and most of all at the flamingos frolicking there.
If you can take your eyes off those beautifully pink feathered birds for a moment, you can pay attention to the rest of the beauty around you. And even with a little DIY beauty treatment: first by taking a swim in the very saline lagoons waters and letting yourself drift. The salt water keeps you on the surface and you can float looking up at the cloudless sky even without an air mattress.
Following this with a mud pack ensures you’ll leave with smooth skin. The best is taking the slightly musty, but very healthy and mineral-rich, healing mud from the bottom of the lagoon and rubbing it over your entire body and face. Rub down once for an exfoliating effect, then put on another layer and let it sink in. Then go rinse off in the clear lagoon waters or in one of the nearby Cenoten (natural fresh water pools).
If you’re not going to Yucatán, you can also replicate this “salt and earth ritual” at home: with a bath in the Himalayan Healing Salts by Mauli Rituals and a finishing shower with the Wascherde (Pure Lava Clay) by Safeas. This fine powder froths up when mixed with water and cleanses the skin gently but thoroughly. In addition, try applying The Clean Dirt Cleansing Clay by May Lindstrom or the Healing Earth Mask by Susanne Kaufmann for the same deep cleansing and pore refining effect on your face.
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2. Avocado en masse
Absolutely my favorite vegetable – or is it a fruit? It doesn’t matter, I could eat avocado after avocado without pausing and still not have gotten enough of them: as guacamole, in ceviche or a salad, on toasted rye bread, or simply on their own with a little salt, lime, and chili. I’m very lucky that avocados are so healthy and I can use that as my alibi for my permanent consumption habits. The vitamins they contain and the unsaturated fat are good for your body, and they don’t just make you beautiful on the inside. Used as a masque (for your hair or face), this oil-rich fruit is deeply moisturizing and provides your skin and hair with essential nutrients.
In Yucatán, avocados really are everywhere and whenever a little extra portion of personal care was necessary (and I hadn’t already eaten them), they came in handy. And at home? These products just aren’t avocado green, they also contain a high percentage of the fruit. The Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo by Philip B. provides for clean and healthy, shiny hair. The Fortifying Body Lotion by Tata Harper with Avocado Oil for well nourished, soft skin.
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3. Coqui Coqui
The Coqui Coqui Hotels are spread out in five locations across the Yucatán Peninsula. The Tulum property is in a charming location between palms on the beach. The flagship perfumery in Valladolid also doubles as a one-room hotel and offers captivating décor that one would place in a Mexico of long-forgotten times.
My favorite location, however, was the hotel in Coba, very near the impressive Mayan ruins and with a view of a lagoon. In this secluded residence with simple stone buildings and natural pools, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into another world. Complete quiet, the swooshing of the palms, and the cool rising off the stones transform this place into a paradise of relaxation in the otherwise hot, colorful, and loud Yucatán. You almost have the feeling that the nearby Mayan sites are giving off some of their mystic aura and tranquility.
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This relaxing atmosphere can be felt at every property and the reserved, lovely style in which they’re decorated is an inspiration. The hotel’s own line of personal care products and scents, which can be tried out in the spas in different treatments, aren’t just good when you’re in Yucatán, but also in your bathroom cabinet at home. Especially the Linen Spray, which lends pillows and sheets a fresh vacation scent, really impressed me. But also the very first (and still worthy of its cult status) product, the Coconut Oil that gave the perfumery and the hotels that followed their name “Coqui Coqui”, wasn’t just always with me in Yucatán. It also has a dedicated place as a bath and body oil in my Berlin bathroom. The scent of this nourishing oil is also available in a lightly refined variation as a spray.
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Inspired by the rich colors of Yucatán, I also rediscovered my love of lipstick. As someone who uses little make up and places her focus completely on care products, experiments with color are sometimes too rare. With the embroidered dresses, colorful flowers, and fruits, however, sometimes I was suddenly overcome with the urge to put some color on my face. How fitting that Kjaer Weis, the natural cosmetics company that makes my absolute favorite highlighter, also recently introduced lipstick into its line.
I discovered the six lip colors shortly after I returned home. Moisturizing plant oils and natural pigments bring out these lipsticks’ intense colors. From matt, soft pink, plum, and coral (beautiful on tanned skin), to bright red, it’s all there.
And since red lips go best with white Mexican tops and colorful ribbons in your hair, I’ll definitely be taking one of these lipsticks with me in my suitcase on my next trip across the ocean, and maybe leave my hair masque at home. That can be made on location, self-mixed from an avocado fresh off the tree
Originally from Hamburg, Julia Alfert moved to Berlin from Paris in 2010. After completing her studies in Art History and trying out different jobs, her path led her to Harper’s Bazaar, where she worked as Fashion & Beauty Assistant until mid 2015. While she’s harboured a love for all things beauty-related for as long as she can remember, her discovery of the written word is recent. When Julia isn’t busy trying out different creams, oils, and sprays she writes and styles for an assortment of magazines and websites.