Korean and Japanese beauty products get loads of ink in Western media, but rarely do bloggers go to bat for the undersung beauty booty of Thailand. After living in Bangkok for the last seven months, I’ve become an evangelist for multiple Thai products — especially ones that keep me dry and prettyish-looking in such an oppressively hot environment. By the time I split town, my suitcase was loaded for bear, but I didn’t need to raid every Boots and Watsons on Sukhumvit — many of my favorite finds are sold on Amazon.
No exaggeration — I can apply this jet-black waterproof eyeliner on a Tuesday, and if I wash my face carefully around my eyes, it’ll still be perfect on Thursday. (I know, I know … bad practice.) The fine tip of the pen is ultraprecise and the matte liquid withstands Bangkok’s wettest, smudgiest monsoon season.
Bangkok’s sweltering humidity is famously debilitating. Some bodies adapt; mine never did. That’s where this stuff comes in. It’s a fine, white dusting powder that you pat all over your skin after a shower. It goes on cool and tingly, and it’s a godsend for thick thighs, although I needed to reapply throughout the day, since I’m prone to fiery-hot chub rub.
Locals rave about this 69-year-old beauty company’s Tanaka Gold Powder Mask, but I found it chalky and overdrying. My preferred go-to is Srichand’s translucent face powder. It goes on light as a feather and sucks up my greasy face slick like a superstrength blotting paper. Plus, the retro floral packaging makes it pretty enough to gift.
If you can’t tell by now, I sweat a lot. Which means I also shower a lot. The best way to wash away the ickiness of the day is cold water and this powerful old-school soap. It’s clean and lemony-smelling, and a single bar lasts for months.
This pearlescent cream cuts down my skin-care routine by rolling three steps — cleansing, toning, and moisturizing — into one. It lathers up real nice, is faintly redolent of rose oil, and never leaves my skin feeling flaky or tight.
Thais don’t just use ya dom, or nasal inhalers, when they have a cold or vertigo; they huff them all the time. Old men sniff them. Teenage girls sniff them. I’ve even seen tuk-tuk drivers with a tube stuffed up each nostril. The scent — typically a mash-up of menthol, peppermint oil, camphor, borneol, and/or eucalyptus oil — will bowl you over, but when you live in a hot, stinky, polluted city, it immediately (if temporarily) clears your nose of noxious scents. Totally addictive.
This apple-green goo feels a little slimy when you first rub it on your body, but the fine-grit exfoliant works well to slough away dead skin on your back, bum, and feet. The secret ingredient? Snail slime.
Don’t judge this compact by its cheap, flea-market packaging. The powder itself, made with avocado oil and pomegranate extract, is lovely. It goes on light and smooth, but offers surprisingly good coverage. Bonus points for the 25-plus SPF coverage.
Do you know what a muggy, 97-degree day does to long hair? Mine is straighter than pickup sticks, and the weather still frizzles it out and makes me look like a damn rodeo clown. This intensive treatment mask, sold in cute, single-use packets, beats the clown out of my hair and smells salon-fresh in the process.
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