Travel is a fascinating experience, of course, but it can also be hard on the mind and body. All those changes, the exposure to the elements, even jet lag, can leave one feeling rather drained at the end of a long trip – or even half-way through. But the skin is what tends to suffer the most. Of course, that depends on the sort of trip you’re taking, but exposure to wind and sun – and often enough, surf as well – is hardly likely to help.
Most of my own trips are to places of historical and cultural interest, but I still find that skin care is a problem. After all, when you’re at home, your skin is more or less adapted to the climate around you. Not only is your home environment what you’re ‘used to,’ but long habit has taught you what skin products will work best in that environment – and you have those skin products right at your fingertips.
But things are very different on a journey. One is tired, one’s diet is hardly optimal, and one can be ignorant of the weather at one’s destination. But here are seven ways to care for your skin while travel.
1) Be prepared
Do a little research about your destination in advance. Where will you be going? And what will you be doing there? What is the climate like? Is there a lot of sun? Will you be spending your time indoors or going hiking? Think about these things, and include a few important essentials in your luggage. If you’re going to be exposed to heat and such and weather, sun block is essential, of course, but that’s only the most obvious thing you need to take with you. I suggest a gentle exfoliating wash, and a special mask to hydrate the skin – you’ll be surprised at the difference these will make to how fresh and ‘ready for the day’ you feel each morning.
2) Give not using makeup some consideration
Not using makeup leaves the pores clear and gives your skin the chances to breathe. Not using makeup also reduces sweating, and keeps the skin more healthy. Even using a foundation can dry your skin.
3) Make sure you use a moisturizer
I recommend a moisturizing oil. Don’t use this every day of your trip, as that might burden your skin. Instead, use it just before you leave on your trip, and then using a mist-based freshener over that day and the next to keep the skin from drying out. If you are on a longer trip, you can use the oil again on the third day, and then use the mist freshener to continue to keep the skin moist. While any journey does take its toll – it must – you’ll find that this simple procedure can allow you to return from a trip with skin that remains almost as fresh as when you left, and which immediately regains its vitality.
4) Don’t forget your sun screen
I know this must seem elementary, but don’t forget the sun screen. Protecting the skin from harsh ultraviolet radiation can go a long way towards keeping it looking and feeling fresh while traveling. Besides, getting badly sunburned is hardly going to enhance your trip. In any case, using generous amounts of sunscreen helps to retard the ageing of the skin – an inevitable result of over-exposure to harsh sunlight. Remember that whatever sun screen you use needs to be replied every three hours or so. Generally speaking, I use sunscreen in conjunction with a decent emolliating lotion to keep the skin soft and moist.
5) Use a gentle exfoliating cleanser at stopovers
Your skin is going to get dirty while traveling, and that dirt – and sweat – accumulates in the pores. This can lead to breakouts and rashes. A good exfoliating cleanser will slough off the layer of dead cells on the surface of the skin, and remove all the dirt, oil and sweat. This goes a long way to keeping your skin healthy and feeling fresh all through your trip. Ideally speaking, you should use a cleanser at least once every evening while traveling, and preferably two or three times a day, if and when you have the opportunity. However, using a cleanser more than once a day might be difficult to do, especially if you have to put on an emolliating lotion and sunscreen afterwards. If you find it so, once a day, in the evenings, and when your skin feels especially grimy, is quite adequate.
A few crucial necessities
Make sure that you take skin care products that you are used to along with you, rather than buying products that are strange to you and which may not agree with your skin at your destination. I can’t stress this enough. It’s also useful to use blotting cloths while traveling – these soak up oil and sweat from the skin very effectively. If you feel tired or weary on your journey, you’ll find an ice-pack very rejuvenating – and it also prevents dark circles under the eyes.
You’ll find that not only are these tips and ideas great for the skin, but they also keep you feeling really fresh and clear-headed, and that you’ll enjoy your trip so much better for using them.
About the author
Antonina is a Ukrainian expat in India, mom of three beautiful kids, freelance writer and a travel blogger. She enjoys reading, parenting, and exploring places rife with natural beauty, or of architectural significance. Read of her cultural experiences and travel adventures around an incredible country on her blog at www.indiapalette.com.