In my suitcase: Europe to California

I live between California and Europe and have been travelling back and forth on that same route for at least 24 years...

Eugenia Melián. 24/12/2015

Because I live between California and Europe and have been travelling back and forth on that same route for at least 24 years, I have a list of things that I bring with me and keep a reserve of since they are my staples and sometimes difficult if not impossible to find in these countries. Ok so when I travel from Europe to California I bring:

Deodorized Argan Oil and Boules Quies. Click to buy

Deodorized Argan Oil from Inkanat. It is cold-pressed, has no odor and is very reasonably priced. I have been using argan oil on my face everyday for years. For my body I use the big bottles for cooking that you find at the Moroccan stands in all Southern Spain markets… or middle eastern supermarkets in Belleville, Paris or Lavapies in Madrid. Inkanat delivers worldwide.

Boules Quies natural wax earplugs. They work so well that I bring dozens of them for desperate friends who cannot find them in the USA, the foam ones just do not work: snoring bed partners? a noisy flight?  an afternoon nap? construction next door?  you can’t hear a thing with these once the warm wax has worked its way into your ear conduits.

Aspirin to dissolve in water. Click to buy

Super important too: UPSA aspirin to dissolve in water, the strong one, 1000 mg, if you feel fluish you take one of these and you are set, aches and pains gone. And nothing works better at curing a cold, or if you just have a headache take half.

I have skin allergies on my hands, due to liquid soaps and products that I cannot avoid using like dish-washing liquid or dispenser soaps in public places, so when this happens I will use La Roche-Posay’s Huile Lavante Lipikar in the shower and the Cicaplast Baume B5 on my skin 2 times a day and it goes away. Actually the Baume B5 is so good at keeping the allergies away that I use it every day on my hands.

Cicaplast Baume B5 and Posay’s Huile Lavante Lipikar La Roche-Posay. Click to buy

For everyday showering I use an ayurvedic green soap called Chandrika which smells deliciously of Indian herbs and costs $1.34 from Wholefoods or in Madrid from the indian supermarkets in Lavapies for 1 euro. It looks so pretty in its simple green box that i thought I should post a picture of it even if I do not have to bring it from Europe because I can find it here. I know already 3 adults and one child whose psoriasis-like symptoms have disappeared since I told them to stop using liquid soaps and move on to Chandrika soap or any natural bar soap with no more than 4 ingredients in them.

Chandrika soap
Chandrika soap. Click to buy

Because in California you are in the sun 350 days a year, and a lot of it is spent driving around in the car, I am always slathering strong sunscreen on my face and hands. I bring from Spain big tubes of the ISDIN brand because their gel cream range is not sticky and greasy even when using the highest sun blocks. I also like using it in tropical beach getaways because you can put it on fast and get dressed without feeling like all your clothes are sticking to your body and getting stained.  I bring all three protections: 50, 30 and 15 and my boyfriend has finally converted too, from Banana Boat (very sticky) to ISDIN.

Isdin gel cream. Click to buy

For preventing a bad cold and if my throat is sore I use Pholcones Bismuth suppositories.…yes, I know, suppositories, Americans have hangups about them but in Europe we have no problem because so many remedies are in suppository form. So it goes up the bum? get over it !  Pholcones works so fast that you feel much better within 2 hours of using them. Last thing you want when you are traveling is to be grounded in your hotel room with a bad throat and chest cold.

Pholcones Bismuth suppositories. Click to buy

Keops spray deodorant Fraicheur by Roc is what I bring because I hate scented deodorants and those thick antiperspirant roll ons that stain your clothes and make your armpits white: not a sexy look! This one really works. I use the Spray Fraicheur, unscented spray, not aerosol, not roll on. How bizarre that you cannot get it in the USA.

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré which is a paraben-free moisturizer and multi-tasking cream which contains  shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera, and soy proteins and has a very mild sampaguita (jasmin ) scent.  I started using Embryolisse because I saw that all the professional make-up artists I worked with used it as a base on a model’s clean face before applying foundation. Every one of them and I really mean everyone, swears by it, so I gave it a try years ago and now I always have a large tube on me. It is not expensive, it is quickly absorbed …what else do you want from a moisturizer?

Keops spray deodorant Fraicheur by Roc and Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré

And Last but not least for your teeth: Bicare Giffer Plus (baking soda  dental care ) is a powder for oral hygiene containing sodium bicarbonate with withening and cleansing properties.Use it after you brush and rinse with your normal toothpaste.  Baking soda is known to neutralize acidity. As such, it prevents bacterial growth and helps prevent the formation of cavities. The bromelain is an enzyme that comes from pineapples, is anti-inflamotory and neutralizes bacteria. This miracle powder is super cheap and keeps my teeth white and plaque free. When I go to my dentist for a clean once a year he always tells me : but there is nothing to clean!

Bicare Giffer Plus. Click to buy

Just do not use it right after drinking coffee or wine because  otherwise  it will just push the acids deeper into the enamel. Wait at least an hour and then brush. And now, in my suitcase from California to Europe … click here.

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