How Traveling Affects Your Skin
There’s nothing more exciting than taking a well-deserved vacation.
And there’s nothing that puts a damper on that excitement quite like a flare-up of dry, rough or inflamed skin.
Stress, temperature, allergens and humidity can all change rapidly during travel, and all can have terrible impacts on your skin.
Plus, it’s harder to stay consistent with your skincare when you’re on the go. And without a steady routine, your skin can behave in all sorts of unpredictable ways.
So when you’re preparing for a big trip, take the time to take care of your skin. Here are our top ten travel skincare tips to keep your skin healthy and picture-perfect while you’re away from home.
Top Ten Ways to Keep Your Skin Beautiful While Traveling
1. Stick to Your Normal Routine if You Can
A vacation can be a great excuse to go shopping. But while we won’t stop you from picking up new luggage, new clothes and new gadgets for your trip, new skin products shouldn’t be on your shopping list.
Your skin loves consistency, and adding or removing products from your routine will throw it off-balance. If you’re lucky, your skin will bounce back quickly — but if you’re not, you could end up spending your trip battling breakouts, irritation and other woes.
So keep your typical skincare routine going while you’re on the go. Stick with tried-and-true products and try to keep your original schedule if possible.
2. Focus on the Essentials When Traveling Light
If you’re not able to bring your entire arsenal of products with you, make sure you focus on packing the products you need most.
Facial cleanser, moisturizer, makeup remover and sunscreen are the most essential products, so don’t leave those behind. If you use any medicated products to treat skin conditions, make sure to bring those, too.
But things like toners, serums and oils are generally safe to leave at home if you can’t fit them in your bag.
3. Get Travel Sizes When You Can — And Be Creative When You Can’t
The last thing you want is for airport security to confiscate your skincare products because they exceed the volume limits for carry-on bags. And sure, you could put them in your checked baggage, but if the airline loses your bag, your skin will suffer.
That’s why we recommend buying travel-sized versions of your favorite products and leaving your full-sized versions at home.
If your preferred products don’t come in travel sizes, transfer them into smaller containers and bring those along instead. You can find many different varieties of TSA-approved travel containers at camping specialty stores.
And when you only need to bring tiny amounts of something, get creative to save space. Small pill bottles, contact lens cases and even pre-soaked cotton swabs can help you bring everything you need while still packing light.
4. Don’t Bother with Complimentary Soaps and Lotions
It’s hard to resist the allure of free stuff, but you’re better off avoiding those free hotel soaps, shampoos and lotions if you can.
Unless you’re staying in a super-luxurious hotel, chances are that those complimentary toiletries aren’t the greatest quality. They’re often full of drying ingredients and can be tough for your skin to adjust to.
This ties back to our first tip: sticking to your normal routine is the best thing you can do for your skin while traveling. Adding anything new to the mix, including hotel toiletries, can be a recipe for disaster.
5. Tailor Your Skincare to Your Method of Travel
Your environment can change rapidly while you’re traveling, and that can be tough for your skin to deal with. You’ll need to plan accordingly and give your skin some extra care when it needs it.
The air on planes, for instance, tends to be extremely dry. Your skin may fare better if you apply your nighttime moisturizer before boarding, even if you’re flying during the day.
Pressure changes and poor air quality can also make your skin freak out in-flight. Consider bringing a facial mask or misting spray to pamper and soothe your skin during your journey.
6. Try Not to Touch Your Face Too Often
You shouldn’t be touching your face even when you’re not traveling, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re rushing through airports or trying to sleep on the plane. Imagine the life of a pilot!
But as you move through these crowded, busy places, your hands pick up a ton of strange debris and bacteria. None of this is good for your face, so only touch it after washing or sanitizing your hands — and even then, keep the touching to a minimum.
7. Make Room in Your Bag for a Personal Humidifier
Dry air isn’t just a problem on planes. The air in hotels is often overly dry, too, and the problem gets even worse if you turn on the heat or the air conditioning.
But you can combat this by bringing a mini personal humidifier with you. These inexpensive devices are compact and effective, providing targeted humidity in a travel-friendly package.
The best part? Many personal humidifiers run on USB power, so you can plug them in at the airport, on the plane and in your hotel without searching for an AC outlet.
8. Be Prepared for Skincare Emergencies
You’ve got all the products you normally use packed up and ready to go. But what will you do if you get a big mosquito bite on your face, or a nasty sunburn on the backs of your ears?
If you’ve got the room, pack a few skincare first-aid products in case of emergency. These may include antibiotic ointments for small cuts, anti-itch creams for bug bites and aloe gel for sunburn relief.
You may also want to pack some salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in case you develop a surprise pimple or two.
9. Don’t Skimp on Sun Protection
Hopefully you already use sunscreen every day at home. But even if you don’t, bring some with you when you’re traveling, even if you’re not planning on being outside.
Just sitting by a sunny window or running out to your car exposes you to damaging UV rays. Broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 protects you from these rays, reducing your risk of sunburn and cancer.
If you’ll be swimming or sweating, make sure you pack a water-resistant sunscreen. And all travelers should bring a quality pair of sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat — you never know when you’ll need extra protection.
10. Prioritize Your Beauty Rest
Even if your skincare routine is perfect, stress can throw your skin out of balance in the blink of an eye. In particular, lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your skin, canceling out all the hard work you put into keeping it beautiful.
So make sure you get plenty of beauty rest before and during your trip. Just try not to let jet lag get you you — too much sleep can be just as harmful to your skin as too little sleep!