Korean and Japanese beauty products get loads of ink in Western media, but rarely do bloggers go to bat for the under-sung beauty booty of Thailand. After living in Bangkok for 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.
One note: While the Strategist normally tends to avoid third-party retailers on Amazon, we’ve found that with certain products from further afield, it can be worth the wait for longer, slightly more expensive, shipping.
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.
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.
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