We all know the importance of taking care of our skin on a daily basis, but how do we take the best care of our skin when we travel?
Our bodies get used to our regular routines, diets, and climates, and when we travel and disrupt the norms our bodies are used to, our skin can become stressed and start behaving in unusual ways.
Here are five skincare tips for travel, to arrive at your destination daisy fresh, look after your skin while you’re away, and return in good shape.
- Prepare Ahead of Time
When you’re preparing to travel, whether for business or pleasure, prepare your skin and your suitcase for the change.
A few days before you leave, exfoliate with a gentle skin peel and follow with a hydration mask to arrive looking and feeling at your best. When you’re packing, find out the climate of your destination. Is it dry? You’ll need extra moisturizer and lip balm. Is it humid? You might want to pack some blotting cloth to soak up the excess moisture, as well as a light cleanser. Is it high altitude? You’ll need stronger sun protection to counter the increased UV exposure.
Be aware that plane travel takes you much closer to the sun and you can get burnt through the windows, so you’ll want to apply sunblock to any uncovered skin and request a seat further from the window if possible.
Depending on the duration of your trip, consider which of your regular skincare products are absolutely essential, and how much you’ll actually use. This can help you prioritize when space is limited. For example, hotels usually have hairdryers and hand soap, but don’t count on being able to find high-quality, natural skin care creams or lotions away from home. For a short stay, take the essentials in small, labeled bottles: a light cleanser, moisturizer, under-eye cream, lip balm, hand sanitizer, hand cream, and sun protection. For a longer stay, take enough of your usual products to tide you over until you can find suitable replacements (you may need to order these online, depending on what’s available locally).
If you’re staying elsewhere for a number of weeks, you may even find fresh herbs and other natural, household ingredients to cover some of your skincare needs if needed. Common herbs like chamomile are found in most countries and have a range of uses in skin care, and there are a number of natural DIY spot treatments that are effective for pimples, including ingredients found in your kitchen.
- Safe Storage of Creams and Liquids
Now that you know what you’re taking, make sure you pack your skincare products safely and securely to avoid losing the contents and ruining your clothes.
Whether you travel often or just as a once-off, prepare a nylon travel bag as your “skincare travel kit”. Separate small bottles of body, hair, and face products in labeled Ziploc bags in your travel kit, and you’re ready to go! Make sure to replace or refill bottles that are running low as soon as you get home.
If you’re bringing checked luggage, you can usually take full bottles and jars of whatever product you like in that suitcase (make sure it’s well sealed and away from anything you don’t want stained).
For hand luggage on a flight, liquids typically have to be in containers of less than 3.4 ounces (100ml), and placed in a clear, sealable bag of specific dimensions (check with your airline for the dimensions). Take what you’re likely to use on the flight — lip balm, sunscreen, moisturizer, toothpaste, and a toothbrush are a good starting point.
- Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize…
Depending on your mode of transportation, you’ll likely experience changes in air pressure, oxygen levels, and low humidity due to air conditioning. Dry skin can tend to become dehydrated and chapped under these conditions, whereas oily skin can produce even more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture in the air.
To give your skin the moisture it needs, cleanse and moisturize the night before you travel, again before you leave, and a third time when you arrive at your destination. Re-apply moisturizer and lip balm as needed throughout the journey, or take a hydrating misting spray. For excess oil, take blotting paper or blotting cloth, as tissues can leave a residue and touching your face with your hands can transfer germs to your face, contributing to further breakouts.
While you’re traveling, use a moisturizing soap for your face, such as one containing Dead Sea clay, which also removes impurities. Avoid skin peels, alpha hydroxy acids and harsh cleansers while traveling, as your skin is more vulnerable and needs all the nourishment and moisture it can get.
- Allow your skin to breathe
When traveling to be reunited with loved ones or to attend an important meeting for work, it may be tempting to lather on the makeup to make a good impression. However, what your skin needs the most at this time is to breathe.
Wear loose, breathable clothing for travel, and if you must wear makeup for landing, wait until the last minute to apply it, and go for the bare minimum: a light foundation, mascara, and some lip gloss.
Always remove makeup before you go to bed, and consider going makeup-free on days when you’re not in the spotlight. Foundation is particularly notorious for clogging pores and drying your skin, so avoid it as much as possible when traveling. Remember to use sun protection every day where there’s a risk of UV exposure — with makeup or without it.
- Look After Your Whole Body
The last tip is really about taking care of yourself generally. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and the healthier you are, the stronger and more vibrant your skin will be.
Even though it’s a bit more difficult when you’re out of your normal routine, make sure to drink plenty of water, eat a hydrating diet (rich in fresh fruit and vegetables), and stay physically active. Take advantage of hotel gyms, or go for a walk or hike to keep up your circulation and sweat out toxins. Being as active and healthy as possible will also help you to get your beauty sleep at night.
If you follow these 5 tips on your next trip, you are on your way to enjoying smooth, soft and healthy skin from when you leave until you arrive safely home.
Author Bio: Beverly Goldberg is a freelance writer and skin care enthusiast based in Los Angeles, CA. She loves experimenting with new products and ingredients, and frequently writes reviews about up and coming brands. In her free time, she enjoys gardening.