Blog post by guest blogger: River guide and Peak Scents Brand Ambassador-Tess McEnroe
Skinny Dipping & Skin Care on the River
When in nature and near water – skinny-dip!
Humbly, I have mastered this outdoor life skill, and being naked and clean in the wilderness is a feeling second to none. Spending over 100 nights a year on the river for 16 seasons has allowed me to have some incredible experiences in beautiful places with amazing people all over the world. I’m so grateful and want to acknowledge what a privilege all of these moments are as well.
But my job is not always as glamorous as it may seem. My body is pretty beat up, my hands are aged beyond my years, and all of this time in the elements has taught me quite a bit – yet perhaps the most important lesson is to take care of myself, especially out there. Part of that means taking care of my skin, but more on that later.
As the saying goes, “you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.” It’s true. River guiding, especially in Grand Canyon, involves quite a bit of caring for people. It’s hot in the desert, the trips are long, and we work from sunrise to sunset. We make your coffee, we row the boats, we cook, we hike, we set up camp, we laugh together, we share knowledge about this place we love, and try to do it all with an open heart and mind. So, when your river guide goes quiet for a minute in the boat or wants to just stare at the big walls and silently drink their coffee – please let them.
After a long day of work on the river, one of the simplest pleasures I find is to walk away from camp and take a bath. As a woman working in the outdoor industry, sometimes embracing our femininity goes on the back burner. However, I want to also stress that feeling like a strong, sexy person (no matter what gender you identify as), is incredibly important. I believe that skinny dipping facilitates self-love, body positivity and empowerment.
This also allows us to take some alone time every day to check in with ourselves. So, when it’s time, I grab my beverage of choice and bath kit, find a safe place to get in the river (shallow sand bars for wading are great) and get completely naked (privacy is given!). Sometimes there’s time for a nice, leisurely scrub down and air dry, other times it’s a quick dunk with Dr. Bronner’s and some lotion before going back to cook dinner. But no matter what, you never regret feeling clean and refreshed.
In my experience, there are some essential items for a river bath. These are a sarong, (I now also bring a lightweight, funky river robe for post baths and changing), and a small ammo can or toiletry bag for my products. (Yes, we bring a lot of stuff on river trips!) No matter what, I always have good soap, shampoo, a deep conditioner or hair mask (I also use some on my ends in the morning to leave on all day too), and Peak Scents skincare products.
I have used Peak Scents’ plant-based, all-natural products for the past 10 years – they are literally the only thing I put on my skin and have made all the difference. When I first discovered them in my 20s, my skin care routine was not a high priority, and it showed. Now in my mid-30s, I’m making up for lost time, and I honestly see their ability to reverse damage from sun, acne scarring, and unevenness. My go to products are the Power Repair Foaming Cleanser, Hyaluronic + C Serum, Vitamin C Solution and Face Cream, and my new favorites, especially as I age are the Multi-Action Eye Lift and Rose Phyto3 line.
So, after I get out of the river and dry off, I walk back to my boat and do my skincare routine. I breathe in their aromatherapy scents, let the glow set in, and embrace taking care of my body. I put on a cotton sundress, comb my hair, and feel damn sexy in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Tess McEnroe is long-time river guide who is honored to be a Peak Scents Brand Ambassador. She is excited to share the plant-based skincare love on her river trips in Grand Canyon and Idaho this summer and beyond. If you’d like to learn more, check out www.peakscents.com.