Responsible Festival Skin Survival Kit

Yes, it's a first world problem, but finding yourself in a field, queuing for an overflowing, stinking portaloo with no toilet paper and the knowledge that the chilli dog you ate is going to resurface at some point, is pretty bad. That's going to make anyone rather miserable, and if you go to a festival unprepared, it's a likely outcome.

As well as navigating the bathroom situation, there's no way you can shower - the queue is even longer than the one for the loo, and for some reason the facilities smell very disturbingly of spaghetti Bolognese (there are no vendors selling Bolognese; you work it out).

 There are two things which upset me when I find myself in a scenario like a festival - the idea that I can't wash, because feeling cruddy and a bit stinky is horrible, and the idea that all the hard work that I put into my skin could be set back weeks in a couple of neglectful days.*

Here are the skincare multitaskers which will get you through a festival or camping weekend smelling (relatively) fresh, and without skin damage. 

  • Wipes

Generally, I lie awake at night thinking about people who are using face wipes. If there weren't laws against it, I would steal into people's homes as they slept, pinch their face wipes and then dance around a glorious bonfire of the nation's poor skincare choices. Truly, I would be saving you from the bad skincare decisions you make at 4am when there is kebab on your dress and you've just decided that texting your ex is definitely a good idea.

Still, if we put my unhealthy fixation aside, even I can admit that, sometimes, wipes are the only answer. I don't include laziness in that, so if you're using them in the comfort of your own bathroom, well...GMQJ


At a festival, wipes (evil though they may be) are your best friend. To get your hands on some slightly less alcohol-drenched ones, you may have to pay more, but the dehydration to your skin will be far, far less.


The This Works In Transit range is fantastic for convenient, travel-friendly skincare, and these cleansing wipes are the nicest I've encountered - alcohol is much lower on the ingredients list than you'll find in a cheaper pack of wipes. Yes, this tub will set you back €23, which is a real pain, but the option is there if you find that conventional wipes sting and redden your skin. 

666522041367_-_WaterWipes_Single_Pack_-_60_wipes The water wipes baby wants you to mind your bum
  • Water Wipes

Thank goodness for these. They contain just water and 0.1% Grapefruit extract. If you are using a harsher face wipe than the ones above to cleanse, run over your face afterward with a water wipe to remove any excess alcohol that might be sitting on your skin. These are fantastic for bathroom needs (chilli dog or none) and a pack of sixty costs just €2.99.


They will also work in lieu of a shower (in an emergency) in stinkier crevices like armpits and more...private areas. Whatever you do, avoid using baby wipes around the ol' hoo ha. Baby wipes are loaded with alcohol and using them in delicate areas can result in a nasty case of thrush. No one can handle that kind of itching at a festival, so unless you want to be scooting your parts along the tent zip in a bid to get some itch relief, use a water wipe.

Also, if I find out that you've put a baby wipe on your face...


  • Anti-Perspirant

If you're a sweaty Betty, then a stronger antiperspirant than usual may be called for. Driclor solution inhibits sweating really well. These sorts of products are handy to have at a festival, when you have less access to washing facilities.


They're also good for what your mammy might refer to delicately as 'problem sweating'. Just for festivals, mind. The rest of the time, let your 'pits breathe a bit! This is available in pharmacies at €8.99, and it works best if you apply it to clean armpits before bed. 


  • A Good Oil

A good facial oil will see you through the horrors of the weekend safely. It will comfort skin after wipes, serve as a handy lip balm, and, ironically, ensure that you don't finish the weekend with an overly oily face. Skin overproduces oil when it's stressed and you apply a lot of alcohol to it (also, when you drink a lot of alcohol, so...yeah).

This Orange Flower Facial Oil from Neal's Yard is delicious (don't eat it, though), nourishing and even works nicely as a base for makeup. It'll set you back €30.49, but feel free to swap it out for whichever facial oil your skin most likes.


  • For the Love of God, SPF

Do you have to? Yes you do. 'But it's cloudy!' I hear you protest. Hush - I'll have none of it. Opt for a high protection SPF so that you can have fun without worrying about burning. If it's too much work to apply a separate SPF, wear a BB Cream (who can be bothered to put foundation on in a field!?) that contains a high protection factor. This one, from No 7, is nice and contains SPF 30 or 50, depending on your preference. It costs €19.25, but a separate BB and SPF will cost more!


Anyone heading to a festival this year? Do you have any hilarious horror stories you'd like to share from festivals past? And remember, ditch the cleansing wipes from your everyday routine, or that's a paddlin'.

*I'm totally aware that these are pretty shallow concerns, but we all have them!

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