Photographed by Angelo Pennetta, Vogue, April 2014

BY ALEX COOK                                 


We are a mere 2 short weeks away from Reading Week 2017… Can I get a HELL YEAH!? This article is for the all the lucky students that get the opportunity to travel over reading week to somewhere warm (check out my Winter Skincare Tips article for how to survive if you’re staying home). Below I will be listing the absolutely essentials needed to help prep for a warm tropical vacay away. We Canadians can’t just hop on a plane after being stuck in winter for 3 months and expect to adjust naturally to the warm weather- I’m here to help make the transition as easy and beautiful as possible.

Beauty Prep:


  1. Exfoliate!

Us soon-to-be sun bunnies are travelling from a very cold climate where dry skin is a REAL problem. No one wants to be walking around in shorts and a tee-shirt and have their flaking skin as the main attraction. To solve this, the week leading up to your departure, invest in a cheap exfoliating scrub from Shoppers or any grocery store to use every time you shower in order to smooth and even out your skin tone for the sun! This will also help you achieve a more even tan- no one wants a streaky sally!

St. Ives Apricot Scrub. $4.87 at Walmart

2. Get a pre-vacation glow!

I am fortunate enough to be travelling somewhere warm for my reading week and I am NOT excited to walk my pale snow white skin onto the beach amongst all the existing tanned bodies already there. I don’t want anything drastic, I’m not talking a full on spray tan like Snooki, but a subtle glow will help me ease my way into the tanning crowd without sticking out like a sore thumb. If anyone feels the same way I do, invest in a drugstore cream application tanning lotion! These spread on easy, non-streaky, and don’t give you a colour that you’re hoping to earn naturally. Just a subtle, half a shade darker does the trick and we can all walk out confidently ready to soak up some REAL sun!

Jergens Natural Glow Tanning Cream. $11.09 at Target

3. Invest in Sunscreen and Tanning Oil!

The only thing worse than coming home from vacation without a tan is coming home with absolutely destroyed, burnt, bubbling skin. Sun protecting is SO important when travelling. I personally only use sunscreen on places where I easily burn (still want to get that good good tan on) which is my cheeks, T-zone, shoulders, chest, and under my bum! If you do not desire to burn at all then slather sunscreen all over every part, but if you like my idea of covering the essential areas then applying tanning oil everywhere else is the way to go. Tanning oil is tricky because you won’t feel the burn till you have it. My tips for a healthy tan is to only tan before 12pm, and if anything DO NOT stay out past 12 more than half an hour, or tan after 1:30p.m.

SunBum Sunscreen Face Stick. $12.31 at Ulta.


Hawaiian Tropic spf 8 Tanning Oil. $7.99 on amazon.

4. Aloe Vera Moisturizer

If you do get that dreaded burn that I mentioned above make sure you invest in aloe vera moisturizer. I repeat MOISTURIZER not just aloe vera. Aloe Vera is a placebo in the sense it provides temporary relief but does not actually do anything significant for your burn. Moisturizing with aloe vera in it helps to set your burn and keep it hydrated, and most often it will only take a day for it to turn into a tan if you consistently take care of it.

Holy Grail, there is no other: Hawaiian Tropic Aloe Vera Moisturizer. $8.90 on Amazon.

When Anorexia Comes To Your Lecture With You