Just because you’re going on vacation and escaping the daily grind for a few weeks doesn’t mean that you should forgo caring for your complexion.
With a serious chill in the air, it’s a prime time to take yourself on a vacation—preferably somewhere warm. And after months spent cooped up under heavy sweaters and clunky snow boots, the anticipation for sunny vacay days is real.
You’ll pack that bikini you bought after eyeing for months (and having nowhere to wear it), your sandals are ready to be broken out of storage, and your passport is perpetually packed.
That’s all well and good—but what about your skin care routine?
Just because you’re going on vacation and escaping the daily grind for a few weeks doesn’t mean that you should forgo caring for your complexion while you are jet-setting from city to city. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Skincare can be a bit of a challenge while traveling — especially when traveling light. Let’s cover the beauty essentials to keep you looking and feeling great while living out of a backpack or suitcase. Packing just a few of these products can make a big difference.
The packing part
Every time you board a plane, you're exposed to stale, crazy-dry, recirculated air, so even if you're only taking an hour-long flight (lucky!), you end up with a significantly moisture-sapped, duller complexion when you land. And that's not accounting for what happens on your actual vacation: using strange hotel beauty products, forgetting your favorite sunscreen, surrounded by stress in the form of family dinners.
If you are ever going to carry-on your luggage, then you have to be careful about not taking too much liquid, gel, and cream. You need to adhere to the 3oz rule (no containers over 3oz), and they all have to fit in a quart size bag. That probably means putting your liquids, gels, and creams in smaller containers.
Next, you’ll need a toiletry bag. Try to get one with a hook, so you can hang it up, as many bathrooms you encounter will have very limited sink space. Don’t forget to bring a few trusty zip-lock bags. You can also place your entire toiletry bag inside a large bag just in case there is a leak.
Relieve your skin from stress
Traveling can wreak havoc on your skin, especially if it tends to get sensitive under unusual circumstances. Proper cleansing and hydration will help your skin manage the stress and keep it looking beautiful throughout your trip. This means applying moisturizers. If you are flying, use the special water sprays and drink water.
Rather than having to carry on multiple cleansers, or use the soap provided by the hotel on your face, carry pre-moistened makeup-remover towelettes in a ziplock bag.
They're great to use on the airplane and in the hotel room, and the added bonus is that they don't count as liquid in your carry-on. The wipes are alcohol-free and won’t dry out your skin. Plus, there’s no rinsing required, so you don’t even have to leave your flight’s waiting area to use them. Even better, you can use one from the comfort of your seat on the plane, rather than cramming into the teeny tiny bathroom.
More than any other anti-aging cream, your favorite cleanser and moisturizer are the most important products to keep your skin in balance and maintain its health. Can’t find your faves in smaller sizes? No worries! You can put your skin care products into small, reusable containers.
To help prevent them from spilling, place a small piece of plastic wrap under the lid, then store them all in a clear baggie.
Your daily cleanser will ensure that you thoroughly remove impurities and makeup while traveling. Your facial moisturizer will replenish your skin with the needed skin barrier elements to avoid dehydration or irritation from environmental factors and toxins.
Adapt to a different environment
Remember, while on the road, you will always win if you adapt rather than reinvent. Wherever your destination is, carry your favorite facial cleanser and moisturizer. Rarely do you need all new products when traveling. Usually, a tweak or two will do.
When you book a trip, you likely pick somewhere with a different climate than what you live in for a new experience. That means you may want to think about tailoring your skin care routine based on where you’re going. For example, if you tend to use a rich moisturizer, but you’re vacationing somewhere hot and humid, it could be a good idea to switch to a lightweight moisturizer with a matte finish to help prevent your skin from becoming overly greasy.
If you’re traveling somewhere far and know you’re going to experience jet lag, consider applying eye cream to help address the look of dark circles and puffiness—telltale signs that you didn’t get enough sleep.
If you’re visiting somewhere tropical, cleanse your skin with micellar water. morning and night to help rid the surface of your skin of dirt, oil, and makeup.
Micellar water is a no-rinse cleansing option that’s powered by tiny micelles—oil molecules—that act as a magnet to lift dirt, oil, and makeup up and away from the skin. Make sure you bring a pack of cotton rounds with you as well. Just pour some micellar water onto the pad and wipe it across your face.
If you’re visiting a cold climate (jet-setting to a ski resort?), you may experience dry skin, thanks to the low moisture in the air. And dryness can cause your skin to look dull. Pack a cream facial cleanser, which helps to remove all traces of makeup and impurities. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells and helps enhance smoothness and radiance. Follow up with a lightweight protective cream that can help repair skin barrier for softer, smoother skin.
So, your face deserves the moisturizing, but no other part of your body does? Think again!
Your hands are out in the elements, and frequent hand-washing can cause them to become dry. Be sure to toss a hand cream into your purse so that you can moisturize on the go. Bonus point if it has SPF!
Your lips also deserve some extra love. Keep a hydrating lip balm (better if it has SPF!) in your tote, so that you can reapply on the go.
Whatever you do, don’t skip packing sunscreen. It can be hard to find and quite expensive in some places. Even if you are not going to the beach, you’ll most likely be sightseeing in the sun at least some point during your trip.
Don't forget your sunscreen on the plane. You're 10,000 feet closer to the sun and at a higher risk of a burn when you're in an airplane than you are on the ground.
Studies have shown higher rates of skin cancer in pilots and flight attendants, so the same precautions should be taken if you're traveling. You may be able to shut your window shade, but you can't control everyone else's around you.
Broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must year-round, rain or shine. When you spend time in the sun without wearing protection, this can lead to damage, which can show up as visible signs of aging down the road, like dark spots and wrinkles.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, being sure to reapply at least every two hours, or immediately after sweating or swimming.
There you have it — with these simple tips you can arrive at your next destination with gorgeous, well-rested skin, even if you had a long-haul journey.