A Canadian in Tel-Aviv’s Summer Beauty Product Guide

By Zoe Freedman

What to pack, what to leave behind, and what to avoid entirely

Think you can get away with sticking to your usual at-home beauty routine while in TLV for the summer? Think again.

It’s hot here. Everyone knows it’s hot here. As a very self-aware shvitzy lady, I was pretty prepared to keep wearing my usual amount of make up and spend my days blotting away.


By 11:30 of my first day here, most of my makeup had melted off my face, and by day 3, I was way, way, WAY over it.

Since luggage space is prime real-estate (especially in this age of being forced to pay, like, 4 million dollars if your bag is overweight), I have compiled a list of beauty essentials and top tips for any North Americans spending time the Holy Land during the stinkin’ hot summer months.


I like to think we’re past the whole “I guess I should probably wear sunscreen, eh?” stage, and more onto “Obviously I wear sunscreen daily, which one of my 4 different SPF products do you want to borrow?” While I’m a firm believer in wearing SPF every single day no matter the season, summer in Tel Aviv is no time to mess around. The sun here is NOT like the sun we’re used to back home, and you’ll be seriously sorry if you skip out on protecting your skin.

And I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is NO – wearing sunscreen isn’t going to keep you from looking like a sun-kissed golden-brown local by the end of your trip. Promise. Here’s what it will prevent, though.

For your face, try:

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen in SPF 30

(Super lightweight and ideal for acne-prone skin)

For your bod, try:

Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray Clear in SPF 30

(I don’t do sports, but I’m usually just as sweaty as someone who does. That’s how it works, right? Also, sprays are WAY easier for all-over coverage).

Got ink? Keeping your body art protected from the sun is textbook Tattoos 101. Don’t worry about expensive special tattoo sunscreen – anything with a high SPF will do. Try:

Neutrogena’s UltraSheer Face + Body Stick in SPF 70


Everyone’s got different skin. Generally, you shouldn’t need to switch up your usual products. Here are a few options for different skin types, anyway.


Try The Body Shop’s Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion. It’s lightweight and oil-controlling, and, ding ding ding BONUS, has SPF 15.


Try Lush’s Celestial moisturizer. It’s got a cocoa butter base and is filled with ingredients like almond oil and orchid extract to soothe any redness or irritation. Mix it in your palm with some sunscreen, and you’re good to go.


Try First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer with SPF 40. This lotion is specially designed for folks with dry skin, and is even safe for those with irritations like eczema or atopic dermatitis.


I’ve recently discovered Origins’ GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream and it’s A+++++++. I’ve been using it daily and am 100% less self-conscious about my under-eye circles (especially since I’m not wearing concealer daily). Worth the money, promise.

Dry Shampoo

Let’s face it, you’re gonna sweat while you’re here. While I 100% condone daily showers to rinse off any grime (and please, do shower, especially after a beach day), washing your hair that often is not a good idea. Depending on what kind of hair you have, try washing less frequently and refreshing your roots with dry shampoo.

My personal faves are Batiste if you like a spray and Lush’s No Drought if you like a powder.


Even if you’re not wearing a full face of makeup, cleansing before bed is probably the most important step after sunscreen. Just like moisturizers, different skin-types react differently to cleansers. While you know what’s best for your skin, here are some of my top favourites.

Top tip: Don’t buy anything with micro-beads. They never actually dissolve and end up washing down the drain and into the water where the fishies eat them and croak. Make conscious choices

If you haven’t yet, try a cleansing balm. Reminiscent of cold cream, balms are meant to be rubbed over a dry face to pull out any makeup, dirt, or other yucky things you don’t want to go to sleep with. Wipe off with a hot wet washcloth and follow with toner on a cotton pad to sop up anything you missed.

Try Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm and Pixi by Petra’s Glow Tonic (alcohol free, so it’s nice and gentle)

If you like a more traditional liquid cleanser, try First Aid Beauty’s Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay. Its combo of red clay and rosemary leaf oils give a thorough, deep clean and controls oil production. Perfect for post-beach days when your face is covered in the remnants of 4 re-applications of sunscreen.

Skin on the dry, sensitive side? Try a cleansing oil. It may take a while to get used to the idea of washing the oils off your face with more oil, but it’s definitely worth a go. Try Murad’s Renewing Cleansing Oil – it’s super-gentle, and helps maintain your skin’s natural moisture barrier.


This may seem like a total no-brainer, but anyone who knows anything knows that nothing is worse than being squished in between people’s stinky pits on a packed Tel Aviv bus (especially on a Saturday night heading out to Clara). Please, for everyone’s sake, wear deodorant.

If you’re a classic, solid-deo type of person, try Arrid Roll Extra Dry Roll-on. Great if you’re scent-sensitive.

Israelis are super into spray deodorants, for whatever reason. I actually bought one when the solid I brought with me from home fell and broke. If a spray sounds like your thing, try Lady Speed Stick Deodorant Spray

Looking for something more natural? Try Sage Natural Wellness’ Peaceful Warrior Deodorant. This spray uses liquid mineral salts, rosewood, patchouli and lavender to neutralize the bacteria that makes you smelly instead of just masking it. A tad musky-smelling, but if you’re into that, give it a shot).

(Also, gender-specific anythings are dumb, especially antiperspirants. If you like the way something smells/works, use it, silly).