reality tv

Island facials, plus 5 other Survivor beauty tricks that are actually kind of genius.

Previously, on weird reality TV beauty practices that make a fair bit of sense, we brought you three hair and makeup hacks from the cast of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

There was reality star Charlotte Crosby’s DYI hair straightener that actually worked. And Australian entertainer Rhonda Burchmore OAM’s eyebrow pencil made from charcoal from the fire.

Now, it’s time to turn our attention to the salty shores of Australian Survivor: All Stars.

You can watch a snippet of Survivor contestant Shonee’s facial trick in the video below. Post continues after video.

Video by Ten

You see, in all their free time stuck on a Fijian Island thinking about how they can outwit, outplay and outlast one another, some of the Survivor Australia: All Stars contestants have come up with some pretty nifty island beauty hacks.

From salt water facials to braided mullets, keep scrolling for our thoughts on whether these tips would stack up in the real world.

P.S. Full transparency, a few of these island beauty hacks are… questionable. But there are definitely some nuggets of wisdom to take away.

1. Mud baths.

Some of the challenges Survivor host Jonathan LaPaglia has the contestants going through are downright barbaric. But the ones where they end up covered head-to-toe in mud could actually be contributing to their beauty routines. Maybe.

Theoretically speaking, mud contains a bunch of minerals and clays that work to draw out impurities from the skin. Even the fictional character Louis Litt from Suits raves about the benefits of ‘mudding’ (laying in a bath full of mud), so it must be good, yeah?

That feeling when your mud mask is making your skin glow. Image: Ten.

Sure, you can dunk yourself in mud if you want to, but if you want to give mud a try, just be selective with where you get your mud from. For example, mud found in a random puddle in a swamp? Probs don't smother that all over your body. Ask yourself, would my health be in danger if this mud made its way into any of my bodily orifices? If the answer is yes, steer clear.

At home, your best mud beauty option is a face mask with clay in it. Pro tip: clay masks do their best work when they're still moist (sorry). To avoid the mask drying out your skin, try not to leave it on for too long once it's gotten to the dry, cracking phase.

2. Island facials.

So far, Shonee has been one of the most social players on Survivor Australia: All Stars. She's everyone's friend, and being a good friend means giving great skincare advice.

In an un-aired clip from the series, Shonee can be seen teaching Harry all about his skin's barrier and why hydration is king. She also showed Zach the power of exfoliation. On the island, that looks like rubbing some wet sand on your face.

So, should you exfoliate your face with wet sand? Short answer: no, but if you're stuck on a deserted island and that's all you've got to work with, sure.


In 2020, chemical exfoliation (products that use an acid to eat away dead bits of skin and any gunk) is where it's at. That said, some people still love a bit of physical exfoliation with a scrub. Just be gentle, OK?

On the flip side, salt water is actually great for your skin, which is why everyone always says to go swim in the ocean to fix any and every ailment. A bit of salt water can help to clean pores, balance oil and sebum production, and kill the bacteria that can contribute to acne and rosacea. But too much can dehydrate the skin, so do it in moderation.

Flick gets the power of a good salt water rinse. Image: Ten.

3. Beach body exfoliation.

Another fun Survivor pastime is sitting on the beach and exfoliating. As we already discussed, you could do this on your face, but we'd prefer it if you kept it to your body.

Grabbing a handful of wet sand and gently rubbing it into your skin can help to slough away dead skin cells for glowing skin.

In the real world, those with normal skin that doesn't throw tantrums when you put things on it can go for beach exfoliation. But if you're someone who has easily-irritated skin, stick to a dermatologically tested scrub with an oil base that exfoliates and adds moisture back into the skin.

Shonee and Nick doing some exfoliation. Image: Ten.

4. Charcoal teeth cleaning.

One of the biggest questions we have around Survivor and hygiene is, what do the contestants do to clean their teeth?

When we spoke to Monika from Survivor Australia 2018, she said they'd cut up little bits of palm tree leaves and brushed their teeth with those every few days. Another trick from this season? Go at your teeth with charcoal from the fire.

There are a lot of charcoal teeth cleaning and whitening products on the market that claim to draw impurities from the teeth, but we wouldn't recommend dipping your finger into the remnants of a fire to do so. In the real world, stick to dentist-approved toothpastes. And if you're stuck on an island, do what you gotta do.

We asked a former Survivor Australia contestant exactly what happens to your body when you go on the show, listen in this podcast episode below. Post continues after audio.

5. Salty hair braids.

This season, John has been keeping his mullet in top condition by braiding it every few days. This keeps the hair from getting too knotty, especially considering it's wet 89 per cent of the time on the island. This hack actually holds up in the real world.

If you're someone who tends to wake up with Hagrid hair, plaiting it or winding it into a low bun before bed is a great way to A) keep it from tangling and B) wake up with loose waves. Genius.

Stylish AND practical. Image: Ten.

6. A no junk food diet.

Probably the hardest thing of all for Survivor contestants is living without decent food. Aside from rice, beans and the occasional sliver of fish, these guys are basically living off water. No coffee. No lollies. No chips. No booze. With this comes hunger pangs, but also a clearer complexion.

Of course, we do not recommend... not eating for good skin. More, we all know we should be consuming all the fun things like sugar, caffeine, trans fats, but mostly sugar, in moderation for overall well-being, right? Because as the (annoying, but true) saying goes, beauty starts from within.

And that, folks, is all we've got time for in this instalment of beauty tips from people stranded somewhere with just the clothes on their backs. Until next time.

Feature image: Ten.

Are you watching Survivor Australia: All Stars? Who do you think will win? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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