Travel Notes from Brazil

I’ve just arrived home fresh-faced after a trip to Brazil. Before you jump to conclusions, I’m definitely no athlete and instead I took part in the tough Olympic sport of spectating (women’s diving and fencing in case you’re interested). Of course, I also used this fantastic excuse to explore the natural beauty ingredients that Brazil has to offer (spoiler: there are a LOT!).

DID SOMEONE SAY ACAI?

Acai Bowl

In the lead up to my trip, I started to make Acai bowls every morning for breakfast. My justification was that it would help ease me into the Brazilian spirit, but in reality, I need little excuse to eat Acai every day! Making my own Acai bowl with an ad-hoc recipe of frozen blueberries and freeze-dried Acai powder is really no comparison to the real deal in Brazil. Here, Acai bowls and smoothies are plentiful, all made with real Acai berries that are freshly picked and pulverised to form a frozen bowl of delight, sometimes mixed with guarana and usually topped with banana and granola. Acai berries are grown in abundance in Brazil and traditionally accounted for a significant portion of the diet of the indigenous people living in the Amazon region.

This small purple Acai berry is found in bunches on the Acai Palm Tree that can grow up to 900 berries! Besides making Acai bowls, an oil can be extracted from the seed of the Acai berry and is used for its potent beauty benefits. Acai oil has powerful antioxidant properties and an ability to help regulate skin lipids, thereby helping to promote skin repair activity. The oil is high in omega-6, omega-9, vitamin C, polyphenols and phytosterols.

We’re using this potent Acai oil in one of our upcoming Facial Oils, so watch this space.

COCONUTS!

Coconuts

Ah, the not so humble coconut. It’s prized for being the perfect morning-after antidote to too many Caipirinha’s, or a general thirst quencher whilst being under the hot tropical sun. The coconuts on offer tend to be young green coconuts – harvested from palm tree and sliced open with a machete (this part made me nervous, as the coconut sellers held the coconut in one hand and hauled the machete into the flesh of the coconut. Eeek, accuracy is everything here).

From coconut comes coconut oil! Coconut oil also packs a powerful skincare punch – it’s moisturising, hydrating and anti-bacterial – great to replenish skin after a day in the sea and sun. Our original facial oil contains fractionated coconut oil (which is an extract of coconut oil, that keeps it stable and allows it to stay liquid at room temperature. You can shop it here.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL ANYONE?

Ipanema Beach

Games of beach volleyball, or locals practising football tricks are commonplace along the beaches in Brazil. I love that people here make the time for fun, play and fitness among friends – this must be the secret to their relaxed and happy nature, and not to mention the fit beach bodies!

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Iguacu Falls

Brazil is a naturally breath taking place – if you like nature and vast geography, this is the place for you.

My personal highlights were;

  • Seeing Iguaçu Falls from the Brazilian side – nothing prepared me for how magnificent and impressive they were
  • Getting off the beaten track and driving along winding roads through small Brazilian villages
  • Venturing into the rainforest and jungle – I love exploring nature and looking at plants and species.
  • Fresh, delicious and nutritious food; from Acai, to just-caught seafood, to all-you-can-eat Brazilian Churrasco
  • The view of Rio de Janeiro from Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf mountain) also never gets old

Have you been to Brazil? What were your observations?

Alexandra x

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