When you think of traveling, the first thought that comes to mind is very rarely what your skin will look like once you arrive back home. Nevertheless, chances are you’ve experienced some dryness, puffiness, or a lack of brightness after coming home from vacation–especially if you traveled by plane, and changed time zones. Even if you have your perfect eight-step routine down when at home, you might find it hard to travel with all that skincare, no matter how much baggage the airline allows. It’s a great idea to have a simplified travel skincare routine to keep skin glowing when on the go, and when you get home.
Here’s a simple yet effective plan to keep your skin healthy while you’re away from home:
Hydration and then some more hydration
The best thing you can do for your skin is to drink plenty of water every single day. This becomes even more important when you’re traveling. Pressurized airplane cabins are extremely dehydrating, and hot and humid weather will cause you to sweat more. Sweating is great for natural detox, but can lead to dehydration, so you’ll need to put in extra effort to replenish the H2O stores. The NAM recommends that women should drink 11 cups of water per day, while men should aim for 15.
It’s also crucial to hydrate the skin on the outside, and seal that moisture in with a balanced moisturizing regime.
Don’t experiment with products
Going away on a trip is not the best time to try out a new product–you never know how your skin will react to it, mixed in with the stress of travel and exposure to different conditions. It might be tempting to go the convenient route with hotel samples, or try new products from a resort spa, but a skin reaction to an unfamiliar ingredient could ruin your vacation.
Stick to items you know work well for you, and buy them in minis for the trip. If travel sizes are not available (or if you want a more eco-friendly option), you can buy refillable, reusable empty travel-sized containers.
Find a good travel toiletry bag for your essentials, and don’t leave anything lying around in the hotel room – if you have everything in one place, it will be much easier to stick to your routine.
Always wear sunscreen
When traveling to hot, sunny destinations, you should definitely aim to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays–especially if it’s winter back at home, or you live in a place that doesn’t normally get direct sun.
Always wear an SPF 30 with broad-spectrum protection, no matter where you’re traveling to, and make sure to re-apply it generously and consistently. Don’t forget to wear protection on the plane as well if you get a window seat! You will be tens of thousands of feet closer to the sun, which instantly means your exposure to its harmful rays increases.
Face wipes are your friend
Having non-toxic face wipes (not hand wipes or hand sanitizers, by any means!) with you at all times is a great way to give your skin some extra care when you’re out and about. Being in unfamiliar environments means that your skin is exposed to different environmental pollutants and potential allergens (including the air and water in your hotel room). This tip won’t work when you’re wearing makeup, but when you’re out at the beach, being active, or just having a makeup-free day, give your face some extra TLC with gentle wipes.
Skip the setting spray
Setting, or finishing sprays have become very trendy in efforts to make your makeup stay put longer–but don’t bring them on vacation with you.
Most finishing sprays contain occlusive ingredients. When you spray them on your face after it has already been exposed to pollutants and allergens, you end up trapping these particles on your skin, and risking absorption.
Even if you’ve showered and applied makeup before a night out, toxicants from the water or the harsh hotel linen detergent could still get trapped under the spray.
Don’t forget your lips
Your lips are as likely to get sunburnt as the rest of your face, so bring a lip balm with a broad spectrum mineral SPF too (for lips, we prefer zinc oxide over titanium dioxide). The lips are also more susceptible to sun damage than the rest of the face, because they have much thinner epidermal layers, and less melanin protection.
In addition to directly protecting the lips with sunscreen, it’s important to wear hats to protect them from overhead. The lower lip is actually more likely to suffer sunburn and sun damage due to overhead sun exposure, so pack those wide brim hats!
Bring a sheet mask
Sheet masks are an excellent way to give your skin some added care while you’re away. Depending on what your usual skincare needs are, you can have something to calm your skin down or give it an intense boost of hydration. The great thing about these masks is that they are very user-friendly, and they’re much lighter to pack than a whole 75ml bottle.
As mentioned above, make sure the sheet mask you choose is one that you’ve used before and already know your skin doesn’t adversely react to. With the growing popularity of sheet masks, there are also many organic and non-toxic options available.
Final travel skincare routine non-negotiables:
After all, you want to look and feel your best, whether you’re on vacation or a business trip. In addition to following the plan outlined above, remember to cleanse and moisturize every single day.
Take your makeup off every night no matter how tired you are, and protect and hydrate your skin the best you can.
No excuses! If you get to the beach five minutes earlier but go home a bit red in the face, you’ll wish you had those five minutes back.
What’s your must-have travel skincare routine?
Please share in the comments below!
About the author:
Caitlin Evans is a bookworm, writer and recreational dancer. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and the Universe, Cate is researching and writing about various health and well-being related topics. Connect with Caitlin on Twitter.
Photos from unsplash