Traveling can be hard on your skin. Airplane air is unfathomably foul, and recycled car air ain’t great either. Even once you get to your destination, the change in weather can be a bit of a shock to your poor skin. If your skincare regimen is anything like mine, it involves many, many bottles and steps, which is less than ideal when you’re trying to pack light. But vacations aren’t the time to slack on skincare. I’m all for downsizing skincare and beauty products during travel, but it has to be done in a way that won’t wreak havoc on my skin. I’m not trying to look gross in pictures. So in this post, I’ll share my personal travel skincare routine, as well as some tips and tricks for developing your own.
Hydration is Key
Keeping your skin hydrated while traveling is essential. I’ve got pretty dry skin to begin with, so this is no easy task, especially while flying. But I’ve learned that letting my skin get dehydrated while traveling is the quickest route to red, irritated and broken out skin so I go to extreme lengths to keep it happy and hydrated. Here’s a few hydration tips:
- Pack some sheet masks! I find that if I use one sheet mask per plane ride my skin is far less likely to get irritated and dried out. I definitely get some strange looks from other passengers and flight attendants, but it’s worth it. Sheet masks can also be great for boosting hydration mid-trip. Peach and Lily sheet masks are my absolute favorite, but if I’m flying a lot or just don’t feel like spending all my money on sheet masks, I’ll grab these Dermal masks off Amazon.
- Drink lots of water. This is a hard one for me, because I hate having to get up multiple times to use the restroom while flying. But staying hydrated from the inside out will help your skin and body adjust to the travel, so just do it. Your row-mates will forgive you. Maybe.
- Make sure you bring a gentle, hydrating moisturizer. If you can get ahold of a travel sized version of your regular moisturizer, that’s probably best.
- Avoid products with alcohol!
Multitasking Products are Your Friends
Multitasking products are great for cutting down bulk. For instance, I double cleanse my face every morning and night. I use an oil cleanser followed by a gentle gel cleanser. After cleansing, toning and serums, I slather another oil onto my face for moisture and anti-aging. At home, I use different oils for these two tasks, as my cleansing oil comes in a much larger bottle and costs less than my regular facial oils. When I travel, however, I use a multi-purpose oil (I’ll shout this out as part of my personal regimen) to save space. I’ve also got a makeup primer with 50 SPF that’s perfect for traveling! In addition to seeking out products that multitask, make sure you inspect the ingredients of each product. You may find that some of your skincare products are redundant and therefore unnecessary travel companions.
Your skin likes consistency. That’s not to say you need to bring every product you normally use with you, but it’s best not to swap out every element of your routine for a trip. I like to get travel sized versions of my normal products whenever possible. It’s also very easy to transfer products to travel sized containers. But be careful about your containers – I stashed some facial oil in a contact case on my last trip and it leaked everywhere.
Get You Some Samples
I’m very strategic about samples. Because I’m a sucker for points and samples, I usually buy beauty and skincare products from Sephora. Specifically the website, since I’m not trying to wait in a massive line and I can get way more freebies online. They’ve always got deluxe samples up for grabs with coupon codes, plus you can select up to three regular samples with each order. They almost always get the 3 samples wrong, so the deluxe samples are really where it’s at. Deluxe samples are the perfect size for most trips. Also, occasionally I’ll get single portioned mask samples, which are great for tired, congested skin. So stay on top of your samples for free high quality travel stuff!
My Travel Skincare Regimen
Note: I’ve included links to each product in their corresponding headings. The Amazon ones are affiliate links. I only used these if the prices were better than or comparable to other retailers. That said, I love what each of these products does for my skin and am recommending them for that reason alone!
This is my go to multitasking travel oil. I use it to oil cleanse, I use it as a facial oil, and I even use it to moisturize my hair and body and remove my makeup!
I’ve been a big fan of Belif’s Aquabomb moisturizer for a while now, so when I saw that they had a travel set I immediately grabbed it. I trust their products to be gentle and hydrating. The travel set I picked up has cleanser, toner, essence, moisturizer and eye cream. A little goes a long way with these products, so they last a while!
I’ve been obsessed with these two products for a while now. Both of these products are chemical exfoliants, meaning they slough off dead skin, leaving you with smoother, clearer, glowier skin. They’re powerful, yet gentle and also contain botanical oils that calm and moisturize your skin overnight. It’s important to note that using these products will make your skin a little more sensitive to the sun, so you should always wear sunscreen the next day! They’re also disturbingly expensive, but you really don’t need to use much, so they last a while.
As I mentioned before, I always bring a few sheet masks with me when I travel. I really like this brand, because it’s made with natural scents and ingredients. It’s also cruelty free, which is harder to come by in sheet masks than you’d imagine.
This may technically be makeup, but I’m including it in my skincare regimen because it’s also my daily SPF. I highly recommend a primer with SPF, since it’s a consistent way to make sure you’re protecting your skin from the sun. I tend to forget sunscreen when it’s a separate product, but I always remember to use this!
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to keep your skin happy, it still breaks out. I always bring a sheet of these babies with me on trips for times like this. They usually nip pimples in the bud pretty quickly.
And there you have it! These products usually keep my skin happy and hydrated without taking up too much space in my bag. Obviously, what works for me may not work for you, but hopefully the tips and tricks I’ve provided help you to formulate your own travel regimen. And of course, if you’ve got any game changing skin tips, you should definitely share them in the comments. People need to know.