Jet-setting somewhere new can be glamorous and can awaken the wanderlust in you. Getting there, however — a.k.a. lots of painstaking travel — is not so fun. You might deal with not enough legroom or a crying baby onboard.
Not to mention the hot and humid temps that take a hit on your skin if you’re traveling during the summer.
“The most common skin concerns when traveling during summer months are dry, dehydrated skin, congested pores, breakouts, and recovering from sunburns,” Sarah Nicole Payne, a skin expert and licensed esthetician, explains to Lively.
Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with these summer beauty travel tips. Get ready for your best vacay ever!
How to Prep Your Skin Before Vacation
The Week Before Traveling
If you have the time (and money), squeeze in a facial a week before your flight. It’s good for your skin and self-care. “A pre-flight facial the week of traveling can help your skin stay clear and glowing!” says Payne. “Having extractions performed by a professional can help decongest pores and prevent travel breakouts.”
The Day Before Traveling
Twenty-four hours before your flight, Dr. Yoram Harth, Board Certified Dermatologist and Medical Director of MDacne, says to stay away from salty foods and caffeine.
It’s hard, we know, but also very worth it since these items can exacerbate skin dehydration.
Speaking of dehydration — one of the major summer beauty concerns — Dr. Harth says to apply an intense moisturizer the night before traveling to get the skin ready.
The Morning of Traveling
While you’re bound to be busy as heck the morning of your flight, still try to make time for your skin.
Elena Duque, a master esthetician and Med Spa owner, says to start the day with a vitamin C serum. Doing so will “help brighten your skin while fighting pollutants and free radicals. The next layer should consist of hydrating serums, preferably ones with hyaluronic acid.”
Pack the Essentials
While the products you pack depend a lot on the weather at your destination, Dr. Harth says the following items should always make it into your suitcase: a lightweight moisturizer, mild cleanser, a good lip balm, and sunscreen.
Most importantly: Never, ever forget to bring your regular cleanser. This is because “an abrupt change in cleansers can disrupt skin's acid balance and cause a vacation breakout,” says Dr. Harth. Looking for a new one to try? Check out this oil to milk cleanser from Cocokind.
Skip the Makeup (or Take a Minimalist Approach)
“Aside from heavy makeup moving around and feeling uncomfortable in hot weather, the combination of heat, humidity and makeup can irritate our pores, causing blackheads and breakouts,” explains Payne.
Long story short: Go makeup-free as much as possible. If that’s too much of a change, aim for that dewy “off-duty model” look that celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid rock often.
Make “less is more” your motto! Swap out your foundation for CC cream and heavy bronzer for a glowy highlighter.
Choose the Right Sunscreen
Choosing the right sunscreen requires more thought than just picking the cheapest one at the drug store. This is especially the same for those with blemishes or blemish-prone skin.
First, Dr. Harth says to only use sunscreens that are clearly labeled oil-free. “Next, you want to try and avoid ‘physical’ sunscreens that are based on zinc oxide and titanium oxides. These sunscreens are thicker, leave a white cast on the skin, and tend to clog pores more than newer invisible chemical sunscreens.”
Additionally, Dr. Harth says that those with acne-prone skin will want sunscreen that has high “water resistance” levels, adding: “It will not get diluted by sweat and will stay longer on the skin.”
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Keep These Products Close to You When Traveling
According to Duque, skip the makeup remover wipes and use micellar water and cotton rounds instead. “There’s no water or rinsing needed, and all of the makeup and dirt gets easily whisked away with a few gentle swipes.”
You could even do a sheet mask. Sheet mask and an in-flight movie sounds like heaven to us.
If sitting with a face mask on while flying isn’t your thing, Duque says to use a soothing facial mist instead – ideally one with rose or aloe, like Cocokind's Rosewater Facial Toner: “You’ll feel instantly refreshed!”
You also never want to leave home without your collagen! Vital Proteins makes it easy to pack a wellness boost in your bag, whether that’s with our OG Collagen Peptides or TSA-friendly Stick Packs, to find out which ones you love best!
Stick to Your Skincare Routine & Avoid Hotel Beauty Samples
Unless you’re staying at the Four Seasons, be wary of skin samples. This is because hotel toiletries aren’t usually made with the best ingredients, says Duque.
The only time you should break this rule, of course, is when you’re in a pinch and forgot something essential at home. Even so, still be careful. Payne suggests taking a look at the ingredient list and making sure they won’t cause sensitivity, dryness, or breakouts.
Hand soap is another concern when traveling. “Never leave home without a tube of your favorite hand cream in your bag,” explains Dr. Harth. “Use it liberally throughout the trip. This will help counter the effects of harsh commercial-grade soaps found in hotel rooms and public restrooms.”
Bring Travel Sizes of Your Favorite Items
Another way to avoid relying on cheap hotel samples is to bring travel-sized bottles of your regular skincare items.
To prevent a major shampoo explosion á la Ross from Friends, be sure to pack your skincare products in TSA-approved refillable bottles.
“Be sure to wrap them in plastic wrap and then put them in a sealed Ziploc bag for extra protection from spills,” says Duque.
Rehydrate Skin After Happy Hour
While drinking some cocktails on vacation is totally fine, a pro tip is to provide the skin with TLC afterwards, since alcohol can dehydrate the skin.
“Alcohol is a toxin with little nutrient value and can contribute to poorer liver function, reduced immunity, hormone disruption, and insulin issues all impacting on the quality, appearance, and aging of your skin,” explains Dr. Harth.
Since alcohol is a diuretic, he also explains that it makes you lose water from your body. This, unfortunately, leaves the skin dehydrated and dull.
If you suffer from rosacea (a red face from blood vessels expanding, explains Dr. Harth), avoid red wine. If your skin is blemish-prone, steer clear of white wine and cocktails; the high amount of sugar can cause breakouts. Before bed or the morning after, rehydrate the skin with a face mask or moisturizer. [Editor note: Vital Proteins Collagen Water can help you reach your hydration goals!]
Most importantly, stow all these tips into your mind for your next trip. It’ll make traveling a breeze!