Know Before You Go: Travel Skincare Habits for Different Trips

8 September, 2020

Skincare is probably not the first thing on your mind when you’re traveling. But truth be told, the sleepless flights, dry plane air, and hotel facial cleansers can all make your skin act up and spoil the amazing vacation you’re supposed to have.

This is why in between planning your itinerary and preparing essentials for your first backpacking adventure, a good travel skincare routine should be one of the top priorities when going on a trip.

Photo courtesy of Arnel Hasanovic via Unsplash

With the right regimen, you can keep your skin healthy and glowing even though you have a packed schedule. Consider incorporating these skincare tips in your beauty regimen to keep the breakouts at bay and experience the best vacation ever:

The Best Skincare Routines for Various Modes of Travel

In airplanes:

Your skin’s worst enemy during flights is the lack of humidity. Usually, the cabin air has less than 20 percent humidity. Compared to the air you're used to at home, which has 30 percent or more, plane air would send your skin into a dry spell. This can sometimes lead to redness, itching and cracking, and horrible breakouts. To avoid these problems, make sure to do this in-flight skincare routine:

Photo courtesy of Ross Parmly via Unsplash

  1. Remove your makeup as soon as you’ve settled on your seat. Apply micellar water on a cotton pad to wipe off everything.
  2. Spray some mist to hydrate the skin. This will also help it get ready for the other products you’ll be putting on. You’ll be able to keep the skin fresh and hydrated even before putting serums and oils.
  3. Use an antioxidant serum to keep away the nasty free radicals, which exacerbate skin dehydration. Just pat it all over your face. Don’t massage or rub it in.
  4. Apply a nourishing oil all over your face, neck, eyes, and lips. Remember that these products are highly concentrated so a little goes a long way.
  5. Wear a moisturizing mask and then get some beauty sleep.

By bus or car:

Long road trips are fun, but like long-haul flights, they can ruin your skin. In planes, dry air is the culprit behind your worst skin problems. In buses or cars, it’s the air pollution while your windows are rolled down, enjoying the rush of winds in the freeway.

In this case, the best travel skincare routine is protection from environmental elements that could contribute to skin aging, brown spots here, and dull skin tone there. 

By doing these skincare routines, you can avoid these skin sins.

Photo courtesy of Lili Kovac via Unsplash

  1. Cleanse your face. When stopping at a gas station or restaurant, wash your face. Grab the facial cleanser from your travel essentials bag and start removing all the dirt off your skin. Remember that cleansers should match your skin type. If you have dry and sensitive skin, go for unscented, hypoallergenic products. If you’re oily, foaming and gel cleansers are ideal. 
  2. Apply some antioxidants, such as vitamin C, as these will neutralize free radicals and help promote the skin's natural repair process. This will keep it protected from pollution damage. Find the right antioxidant moisturizers for your skin type and stock up on it for a better skincare routine.
  3. Use a few drops of anti-pollution serum to improve your skin's outer barrier and keep it protected from smoke and smog. Some products also have brightening properties, which can give you that perfect glow needed for the long road trip. Don’t forget to include the anti-pollution serums your skin needs.

By boat:

Sun exposure is your main enemy here, especially because the rays bounce off the water. Staying on the deck, enjoying a drink, and chatting with friends, you’re vulnerable to photoaging, which can manifest later as dark spots, drooping skin, and wrinkles. Thus, it is important to incorporate a skincare routine that would protect the skin from the sun. While you find shade and wear your most stylish sun visors on the deck, you should have these travel skincare tips:

Photo courtesy of Bobby Burch via Unsplash

  1. Wear sunscreen. Make sure that yours has broad-spectrum protection, offering coverage from both UVA and UVB rays. The sun protection factor (SPF) must also be 30 or higher for better skin protection. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. And take note: you need to wear this not only in the heat of the morning or afternoon but even at night.
  2. Apply some tinted moisturizer. This will not just offer hydration but even out your skin tone as you get that natural summer tan. Remember, it’s best to put this on after cleansing your face, when it’s a little bit damp.
  3. Use aloe vera gel for sunburns. Providing soothing relief, this will reduce the swelling and keep the burned area moisturized.

The Best Skincare Routines for Weather Conditions

In warm climates:

It’s always nice to be in a tropical paradise, like Boracay or Palawan, but the warm weather there can make your skin act up if you don’t have the right travel skincare routine. 

Avoid sun damage and clogged pores with  these tips in protecting your skin:

Photo courtesy of RJ Baculo via Unsplash

  1. Swap your thick moisturizers for lightweight ones. The former, which are actually ideal for the cold, dry weather, take longer to seep into the skin, sitting atop and resulting usually in clogged pores. Choose lightweight products instead for your summer travel skincare.
  2. Wear sunscreen. You’ll be under the sun most of the time, so as mentioned above, broad-spectrum protection is important. Use a spray for easy application.
  3. Exfoliate sparingly. Your skin is exposed to a lot of things under warm weather like pollution, sweat, and SPF. These can clog your pores and again, increase the likelihood of breakouts. That’s why it’s important to shed off dead skin cells as part of your skincare routine. 

    However, it’s worth taking note that over-exfoliating can weaken the skin's protective barrier, making it very sensitive to sun damage. With that, use your exfoliating products sparingly.

  4. Use acne facial cleansers and spot treatments. In case you do experience clogged pores and breakouts, use spot treatments to get rid of those pesky red bumps and clear your skin. Apply these at night before going to bed.

In cold climates:

If you want to chill and relax in cool places, like Baguio and Sagada or Russia and Alaska, you should have a cold weather-ready skincare routine. Here are some important rituals you should include in your regimen:

Photo courtesy of Thom Holmes via Unsplash

  1. Use a warming cleanser. Aside from the sauna-like feel on your skin, this habit is satisfying as it melts all the make-up, dirt, and other residues. These gentle products are easy on the skin, preventing irritation and redness common in cold weather conditions.
  2. Apply some cold screen to keep yourself warm while outdoors and ward off dry skin. Of course, it’s important to use sunscreen still. Even though you see little to no sunlight in the place you’re visiting, its harmful rays are just as present. Don’t ease up on the sun protection. Find one that has hydrating properties to keep a good travel skincare.
  3. At night, apply a warming clay mask. It will not just heat up your face, but nourish your dry skin and soothe the dryness and irritation.

In humid climates:

In most instances, places with hot climates tend to be more humid since the warm air holds more water. So along with the travel skincare tips mentioned above, do these following practices for a better regimen in humid climates:

Photo courtesy of Apple Bautista via Unsplash

  1. Cleanse your face to remove that sticky, uncomfortable feeling after your long day outdoors. Removing dirt, oil, sweat, and other residues, you’ll be able to maintain clear skin. As always, make sure that your cleanser matches your skin type.
  2. After cleansing, use a toner to get rid of remaining unwanted debris. Make sure to have a non-drying, alcohol-free formula to avoid skin irritation during your travel.
  3. At night, deep clean your pores with a cleansing mask. This will help purify them, removing dead skin cells.

In dry climates:

If you’re planning to book a trip to the desert safaris and stay there for days or months, then hydration should be your first priority. Practice these beauty habits after going on an outdoor adventure:

Photo courtesy of Giorgio Parravicini via Unsplash

  1. Swap to a hydrating face wash. Normal cleansers can strip off your skin's natural oils, so you may want to push this aside to make way for hydrating products.
  2. Massage your skin with good old face oil. This will amp up your skin's moisture. Do this care routine on damp skin, say, after taking a bath or spritzing some face mist.
  3. Before going to sleep, apply night face creams to replenish the skin's moisture. If you want something lighter though, you may use a hydrating face mask as part of the care routine. With your skin well hydrated, you can see a more supple surface and a bright glow.

Just as your travel destinations change, so should your travel skincare routine. Remember, the different climates and environments you’ll be in can take a toll on your face. If you want to keep your skin healthy through and through, adjust your beauty regimen. Give your face some TLC as you scratch those itchy feet.