Traveling around the holidays can be stressful – whether it’s loading up the car for a family road trip, heading home to visit loved ones, or finally taking that ski trip or beach vacation you’ve been waiting all year to take. One thing that can remain simple during this hectic time is your skin care routine.
Air planes have recirculated air that is lower in humidity. (You also have this problem with heat and air conditioning in hotels.) This can leave your skin feeling dry and tight – in one word: dehydrated. Dehydration is the skin’s inability to retain it’s limited moisture in the epidermis. It can cause your skin to look dull, tired and sometimes red and flaky. It can make fine lines appear more prominent. It doesn’t “bounce back” as easily from changes in your environment and is more prone to congestion and breakouts. Keeping hydrated – both from the inside an out – is key to keeping your holiday glow.
When you don’t get enough sleep, it shows. Dark circles, puffy eyes and pale, dull skin are all side effects of not enough shut eye. Try to get in a full 7-8 hours of sleep and grab a few cat naps if you can!
Stress also has a negative effect on your skin. It raises the level of cortisol which can in turn lead to increased inflammation and can cause oil glands to over produce. Try to plan ahead as much as possible, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, and don’t forget to squeeze in a little “me time.”
What is the best way to protect your skin from these things while traveling? Keep up with at least the bare minimum routine. Skin care you should stick with while on the road:
- Cleanser: Cleanse your skin in the morning and evening to remove excess make up and dirt. This will allow your skin to breathe and rejuvenate at night.
- Moisturizer: Pack this for the climate you will be in. Heavier moisturizer for winter climates, lighter for warmer or humid climates.
- Sunscreen – damaging UV rays are everywhere at all times of year. Don’t forget your broad spectrum sunblock – it is the anti-aging product you should not skimp on.
- Collagen spray – Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that is found in the skin, tissues and bones; in the skin, it is found in the lower dermis layers, and is responsible for maintaining skin structure and strength. Using collagen spray helps your skin retain moisture, stimulate tissue growth, reduce inflammation, and lengthen the life of your moisturizer.
- Eye cream – Want to hide those tired traveling eyes? Eye creams can hide and delay the formation of wrinkles and fine lines and also reduce bagginess, dark circles and and puffiness.
If you are going to be gone for longer than a weekend, you might want to consider bringing a moisturizing mask and some kind of gentle exfoliant. Don’t overdo the scrubs though – if your skin is feeling a little red and irritated, skip it altogether. This is also not the time to try out new products. You don’t want to find out on vacation that something doesn’t work with your skin type or other products. Stick with your basics, keep hydrated, and get enough rest.
Tips for airplane travel (and travel in general)
- Keep your essentials in your purse (remember the FTA guidelines of 3.4 oz.): Cleanser or cleansing wipes, moisturizer, sunscreen, lip balm, hand cream, hand sanitizer
- Reapply your moisturizer and avoid wearing a lot of make up as it can dry out your skin. A little mascara and some lip gloss can add simple, instant glamour. And don’t forget your sunscreen – the airplane windows do not filter out the damaging UV rays. (You should have this on already…) Also, your moisturizer or lip balm applied lightly in the nostrils helps prevent germs from entering your body and helps your sinuses from drying out.
- Stay hydrated and avoid salty, sugary snacks. (Yes, that means those cute little pretzel bags.) Cut up veggies and fruit are a great alternative. Bring a water bottle and fill it up after security or ask the flight attendant to fill it for you – don’t wait until they come around, it won’t be often enough. You should be drinking at least 8 oz. of water for every hour you’re in flight. Caffeine and alcohol are not your friend. If skipping your coffee or a glass of wine on board doesn’t make you a happy traveler, make sure to drink more water to make up for it.
- When you reach your final destination, cleanse your skin with a gentle facial cleanser to help remove the dry skin cells and excess oils that may have built up during the flight. Be careful with any exfoliants or scrubs as your skin my be irritated from travel.
**Extra Pampering In-Flight Tip: Long flights are great for a simple mask. Just wipe your skin clean with a cleansing wipe, apply the mask, relax, wipe off and apply your moisturizer and sunscreen.