Whether you're constantly on the go on business trips or vacations, these 14 best travel skincare tips will help you keep your skin looking its best.
When it comes to traveling, one of the last things on our minds is our skin care routine.
But with all the new environments, weather changes, and different types of pollution our skin is exposed to when we travel, it's more important than ever to take extra care of our skin.
To help you, we've put together 14 of the best travel skincare tips to keep your skin looking healthy and happy no matter where you are.
14 Best Travel Skincare Tips
Here are 14 best travel skincare tips to help you take care of your skin while traveling:
1. Purchase travel-sized skin care products or invest in some empty travel-sized containers.
Having to carry around full-sized skin care products can be a pain, especially when trying to save space in your suitcase.
So, instead of bringing your regular-sized products with you on vacation, purchase travel-sized skin care products to save space in your suitcase to keep your skin care routine consistent while on the go .
You can either purchase travel-sized versions of your favorite products or invest in some empty travel-sized containers that you can fill with skincare products you already have.
You can find travel-sized versions of almost any type of skin care product these days, from face wash and moisturizer to serum and sunscreen.
2. Pack a separate bag for your skin care products.
Packing your skin care products in a separate bag from the rest of your belongings will help keep them organized and easy to find.
It'll also prevent your other belongings from getting damaged if your skin care products leak during transit.
3. Cleanse your skin every day.
Traveling can take its toll on your skin because of the change in climate and environment but cleansing your skin will help remove any dirt, sweat, pollution, or makeup accumulated on your skin throughout the day.
Be gentle when cleansing your face, use a mild cleanser that won't strip away your skin's natural oils, and avoid using hot water, which can further dry your skin.
It can be tempting to over-cleanse your face because it can feel like the only way to clean it but cleansing more than twice a day can strip away its natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and irritated. So, stick to cleansing your face once in the morning and once at night.
4. Exfoliate your skin once to twice a week.
Exfoliating your skin when you're traveling can get complicated because you often don't have access to all the skin care products and tools you normally use at home.
But, the skin of adults renews itself every approximately 28, and as we get older, our skin's natural exfoliation process slows down. This leads to a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of our skin to reveal a dull, rough, and dry appearance.
Which is why exfoliating your skin at least once a week while traveling – despite not having all your favorite products at your disposal – will help remove all the dead skin cells that have accumulated on your skin from all the environmental pollutants it's been exposed to, to prevent clogged pores and, eventually, breakouts.
Exfoliating is also a good way to prep your skin for the rest of your skin care routine by helping your other products absorb deeper into your skin to act more effectively.
All these lead to brightening your complexion and making your skin feel softer and smoother.
Many different types of exfoliants are available on the market, from physical exfoliants (like scrubs) to chemical exfoliants (like AHAs and BHAs).
Choose an exfoliant that's right for your skin type, and be sure to use it in gentle, circular motions, avoiding any areas of your skin that are irritated or broken. Do it no more than once or twice a week to avoid damaging your skin; if you have sensitive skin, you may want to exfoliate less often.
5. Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize your skin.
Dry airplane air, harsh winds, and sun exposure can all affect your skin, leaving it feeling dry, tight, and irritated. When traveling, it can be easy to forget to moisturize your skin because you're often on the go and don't have time for a lengthy skin care routine.
But, if you can wash your face every day, you can make time to moisturize it; you don't want to skip this step. It doesn't have to be a complicated process - just apply a small amount of moisturizer to your face and neck after washing it every morning and evening.
And, if you're traveling to a place with a sunnier and drier climate, make sure to pack a heavier moisturizer to help keep your skin properly hydrated throughout the day.
Choose a moisturizer that's appropriate for your skin type – if you have oily skin, look for a light, oil-free moisturizer, and if you have dry skin, opt for a heavier cream or lotion.
6. Sunscreen is a must.
The best way to protect your skin against the sun would be to avoid the sun completely; however, we all know that's almost impossible – especially when you're on vacation.
And while It can be easy to forget to apply sunscreen when you're on the go, no matter where you are or what you're doing, you must wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays; especially if you'll be spending time outdoors.
Choose a broad-spectrum and water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and a PA++++ to protect your skin against UVA and UVB rays which can cause premature aging, fine lines, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.
UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes so apply it liberally to all exposed skin before you leave and reapply every two hours, or more often if you're sweating or swimming.
Limit your time in the sun as much as possible, especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the sun's rays are the strongest, but if you can't avoid sun exposure and must be in the sun for extended periods of time, be sure to wear protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses, reapply sunscreen often and seek shade.
7. Use a face mist.
A face mist can do wonders, especially when you're traveling and feeling tired after a long day, as it will help hydrate, refresh, and cool down your skin.
Face mists are also great for setting makeup or giving your skin a boost of antioxidants and vitamins.
When traveling, pack a small bottle of face mist in your carry-on bag to help refresh your skin during long flights or car rides.
To use, hold the mist about 6-8 inches away from your face and spray evenly. Let it dry naturally or blot with a clean tissue if necessary.
There are many different types of face mists available on the market, from simple, refreshing mists to those packed with skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and aloe vera; check out these 10+ best facial mists to keep your skin hydrated all day.
8. Use a sheet mask.
Sheet masks are another great way to give your skin a quick boost of hydration, and they're perfect for travel as they're easy to pack and don't take up much space.
Sheet masks are thin sheets of fabric soaked in a serum or essence and can be found for every skin type, concern, and need.
To use, remove the mask from its packaging, unfold it and place it on your face. Leave it on for the recommended time – usually 15-20 minutes – then remove and discard.
Gently pat the remaining serum into your skin and follow your regular skincare routine.
Most sheet masks are single-use, we recommend you try these first; however, some reusable options are available. If you're looking to be more eco-friendly, opt for a reusable sheet mask or make your own.
9. Bring along a lip balm.
Chapped lips are not only uncomfortable, but they can also be very painful. And while there are many causes of chapped lips, the most common are cold and dry weather, sun exposure, frequently licking of your lips and dehydration – all of which can be exacerbated when traveling.
Lips don't have sebaceous glands like the rest of our skin, meaning they can't produce their own natural oils to protect themselves, which is why it's so important to keep them hydrated, especially when you're traveling.
To avoid dry, chapped lips while on the go, when packing your travel skincare essentials, be sure to include a lip balm or ChapStick in your bag and apply it regularly, especially in dry or cold climates.
There are many different types of lip balms and ChapSticks on the market, from basic to those packed with skin-loving ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, and vitamin E.
For an extra boost of hydration, look for a lip balm that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin, and for added protection from the sun, choose a lip balm with SPF.
10. Avoid touching your face.
Did you know that we touch our faces an average of 23 times per hour? And while touching our face is a natural part of everyday life, it can actually be quite harmful to our skin because our hands are one of the dirtiest parts of our body; our hands carry an average of 3,200 different germs and 1,500 bacteria on each square centimeter of skin.
Touching our face can spread germs, bacteria, and dirt, which can lead to breakouts, and if you have open cuts or wounds, it can also lead to infection.
And while it may be tempting to rest your chin on your hand or rub your eyes when you're tired, it's important to be mindful of how often you're touching your face.
When traveling, it's best to avoid touching your face altogether if possible; if you must touch your face, make sure your hands are clean first.
11. Remove your makeup before bed.
When you're traveling, you're tired, you're jet-lagged, and all you want to do is crash into bed.
But even if you're exhausted, it's important to take the time to remove your makeup before bed and cleanse your skin, no matter how tired you are.
Sleeping with your makeup on can clog your pores which leads to breakouts and cause premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles.
If you're short on time or feeling lazy, you might be tempted just to use facial cleansing wipes to remove your makeup, but makeup wipes don't clean the skin as thoroughly and are actually quite harsh on the skin causing irritation.
The best way to remove your makeup is with a double cleansing method; first, use an oil-based cleanser to break down your makeup, then follow with a water-based cleanser to cleanse your skin so you can quickly and easily remove your makeup no matter where you are; here are other tips to help remove all traces of makeup.
12. Drink plenty of water.
This one seems obvious, but it's often easy to forget to drink enough water when you're busy traveling.
Staying hydrated while traveling is important for your overall health, but it's also essential for keeping your skin looking its best on a cellular level. Dehydration can cause a number of skin issues like dryness, flakiness, fine lines, and wrinkles and can even make your skin appear dull because your skin cells shrivel up.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day and even more if you're in a hot or humid climate. If you're not a fan of plain water, try infusing it with fruit or herbs for a refreshing twist.
In addition to drinking water, you can also increase your intake by eating foods high in water, like cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit.
13. Eat healthily.
"You are what you eat," and that saying couldn't be more true when it comes to your skin; what you eat can have a big impact on your skin. Eating a healthy diet is essential for maintaining clear and youthful-looking skin.
So while you're traveling, make an effort to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins to nourish your skin and keep it looking its best.
And while you're at it, try to avoid sugary and processed foods as much as possible as they can cause inflammation and lead to breakouts.
If you're feeling the urge to indulge, go for something good for your skin, like dark chocolate.
14. Get enough sleep.
When you're traveling, it can be hard to get a good night's sleep; between jet lag and exploring a new place, it's easy to let your sleep schedule fall by the wayside.
But getting enough sleep is important for your overall health, including your skin, because being sleep deprived raises your cortisol levels which leads to:
- A breakdown of collagen because the skin cannot repair itself from damage caused by UV rays, pollution, and other environmental aggressors, which causes fine lines and wrinkles.
- An increase in oil production in your skin glands, which leads to clogged pores and, as a result, acne breakouts.
- An increase in inflammation can aggravate skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
So when you're traveling, make an effort to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night to help keep your skin healthy.
If you have trouble sleeping on planes or in unfamiliar surroundings, try taking a natural sleep aid like melatonin or valerian root.
Assuming you have your basic skin care needs and all of the above covered, these are extra steps you should take to make sure your skin looks amazing on your next trip depending on your skin type.
1. If You Have Oily Skin…
Don't forget to pack blotting papers and a mattifying moisturizer to help control oil and shine and keep your skin looking fresh throughout the day.
2. If You Have Dry Skin…
Make sure to pack a hydrating moisturizer and consider using face oil to help give your skin an extra boost of hydration.
3. If You Have Sensitive Skin…
Pack a gentle cleanser and moisturizer, and make sure to use SPF. You may also want to pack a soothing face mask to help calm your skin if it starts to feel irritated.
4. If You Have Normal Skin…
You're lucky! You can pretty much get away with using any type of skin care product. Just make sure to pack the basics, a good cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, and you should be good to go.
5. If You Have Acne-Prone Skin…
Make sure to pack a good cleanser and spot treatment to help keep breakouts under control. You may also want to consider packing a light moisturizer to help control oil without clogging pores.
6. No Matter What Skin Type You Have…
Don't forget to pack your sunscreen! No matter what type of skin you have, sunscreen is a must when traveling.
Following these best travel skincare tips can help keep your skin looking its best no matter where your travels take you – your skin will thank you for it!