What products do you usually never go without?
Hayley: I always start the day with sunscreen – the Australian sun is so intense. Right now I am using La Roche-Posay’s BB Cream with SPF50. And I end the day by taking off my make-up using Bioderma Micellar Water and some cotton buds. Then, at night I apply a moisturising oil - since returning from the outback I have been indulging in Aesop’s Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Treatment. Aesop products are a complete luxury to me, particularly the gorgeous smells (you can imagine how bad we smelt in Survivor!).
How did you feel about not being able to take any kind of skincare with you into Survivor?
Shannon: What I love about Survivor is being stripped back from all your comfort items and seeing who you truly are underneath. It was so refreshing not having to look in a mirror for weeks on end.
Hayley: I was worried about not having moisturising products while I was on Survivor. It gets really hot and really dry, so my face and especially my lips were very susceptible to the elements. But enduring all of that is part of the game, and I’m a big fan so I knew what I was in for!
Laura: It’s all a part of the challenge. No creature comforts, no routine. It was actually really lovely to step away from my normal skin care routine and just succumb to the harsh nature of the outback.
Did you notice any changes to your skin? How long did it take?
Shannon: I instantly had a small outbreak from not having beauty products on hand. Once my skin got a bit of sun and I had a clean diet of rice and water- I have never seen my skin so clean and even. I think not having sugar and alcohol for weeks helped my skin.
Hayley: My lips became really dry, really fast! I think it was the second day when they started cracking. We didn’t have lip balm!
Laura: We don’t have any mirrors in the outback so was hard to tell visually at the time. We were constantly dirty from challenges and sleeping on the ground, that a layer of grime built up immediately. I definitely needed to exfoliate, and eventually used the river sand and small rocks to exfoliate my face!
How was your hair after weeks without washing it?
Shannon: My hair smelt of smoke for days and there was red dirt coming off my scalp.
Hayley: I usually use purple shampoo to eliminate the brassy tones in blonde hair, and I didn’t have that in the Outback. So, my hair colour changed slightly and certainly became drier.
Laura: My hair was filthy and smelt like smoke when I did eventually get to wash it and took about three washes to actually get clean. The swims in the billabongs did nothing to get it clean … I don’t think my hair has ever been so filthy.
Did you have to do any prep in advance in terms of shaving or lasering body hair?
Shannon: LOADS OF LASER!!!! Laser hair removal was great as I didn’t have to feel insecure during challenges.
Hayley: Unfortunately, we are not given razors on Survivor so I started laser treatment a few months before the show, but it wasn’t enough time in advance for it to work. I certainly shaved before I went out there, but that didn’t last too long.
Laura: I went and got a top up of laser all over my body before I entered Survivor. We don’t get razors and the machete and hatchet aren’t exactly shaving-friendly! It worked a treat, I never had to think about body hair while I was there, although, it’s all natural so If it did grow I wouldn’t have had an issue with it.
What was the deal when it came to brushing your teeth? Were you allowed toothpaste?
Shannon: Luckily with the rice diet you don’t notice furry teeth or bad breath as much as you anticipate. We had no access to dental hygiene and would on occasion break up coal from the fire, mix it with water and use it as paste to brush our teeth with a stick.
Hayley: No toothbrush. No toothpaste. My dentist recommended using a soft piece of cloth to wipe my teeth, rather than scratching the enamel off with a stick. The cloth seemed to work. Plus, we were only eating rice and lentils so we didn’t build-up as much plaque as you would from other foods.
Laura: This was the thing I thought I would struggle with the most, no toothbrushes or toothpaste. I brush my teeth three times a day and floss and to go into an environment where you can’t do that I thought would be super challenging and feel disgusting, but you really do get used to it. It helped that we only ate rice and lentils and drank water as well. Our teeth weren’t that furry. But I did use my Survivor buff and spinfex grass to clean my teeth with.
Do you have any recommendations for products that helped your skin or hair after filming?
Shannon: When it comes to skin I lathered myself in Nivea (oil in lotion) to rehydrate my skin. I went straight to the hairdresser and got a Kerastase deep condition and maintained my hair with Aveda. The Intense Repair Mask is my Sunday night ritual.
Hayley: After Survivor, my hair really needed some TLC, so I’ve been using Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 to help restore strength and Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask to restore moisture. But I was most excited to get back to lip balm! I use Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm and it has totally restored my lips back to normal.
Laura: Weleda Skin Food. Layers of it soaking into my skin, and a good facial exfoliant. I used Alpha H. A body brush and body exfoliant were the game changers though. I spent about 45 minutes scrubbing my body to remove the embedded dirt.
Australian Survivor: Brains v Brawn airs Sunday – Tuesday at 7.30pm on 10.