Last updated September 27, 2023
As much as I love to travel, it really does a number on my skin—breakouts, flare-ups, parched complexion. Thankfully, you can protect your skin with simple travel skincare tips.
Confirmed by a travel expert herself with more miles than me, Beverly the flight attendant on my trip from Miami to Phoenix noted the cabin air humidity on a plane is 11%.
For comparison, the ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is 40-50%. Coming from Miami, the average air humidity is 60% on any given day. The same can be true during the winter season, when we tend to crank up the heat in colder climates, creating a perfect condition for dry skin.
Once arriving in Phoenix to my destination—CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa—I was so glad I had a facial booked to rehydrate and find my glow once again.
Quite a treat, getting to interview my esthetician after my treatment for some take-home tips to help prevent dry skin and increase moisture during travel as well as during the winter months.
Here are her top 10 travel skincare tips for putting your best face forward.
Travel skincare tip 1: use a toner
Our skin is like a living organism that has its own balance of bacteria—both good and bad. Using a toner can help to balance out the pH levels and can remove any last traces of dirt and prevent anything from clogging your pores. The right toner can help fill lines and smooth rough patches as well.
Travel skincare tip 2: sit in a steam room
With clean skin, steam can open up your pores and rehydrate skin naturally. Using an essential oil like eucalyptus or lavender to calm the skin simultaneously creates an overall calming effect for your mind, body and skin.
Travel skincare tip 3: hydrate, inside and out
Goes without saying, but make sure you’re drinking enough water. No, really. Are you? Count, add two more glasses in the winter months or if you’re in a dryer climate. What you put in is what comes from the inside out.
Travel skincare tip 4: cut back on foaming cleansers
Foaming cleansers, while great to remove dirt and sweat from your face, can also dry out your skin in the dryer months or climates. Instead, try cutting back to using only at night or three times a week, using a gel cleanser or even skipping in the mornings washing only wash daily.
Travel skincare tip 5: exfoliate
Just as important as it is to cleanse your skin, it’s equally important to get rid of the dry or dead skin cells. Using a gentle exfoliator can remove rough skin and offer your skin the chance to stay hydrated and glow. It’s important to note, not to over-exfoliate. While each of our complexions are unique, it was recommended to exfoliate no more than twice a week to prevent over-exfoliating, which can dry the skin out more.
Travel skincare tip 6: use oils
Contrary to what you may believe, your skin actually needs oil to stay hydrated and balanced. Stripping away oil can actually cause your skin to go into overdrive to produce more of them. This leads to breakouts, imbalance and lackluster skin tone.
Travel skincare tip 7: facial massage
A bonus of the last tip, massage in the oil with your hands or a jade tool to help oxygenate your skin. Oxygen is a molecule that makes up water (H20, if you recall chemistry class), therefore helping the skin to absorb the oil better and plump up your skin.
Travel skincare tip 8: reduce retinol use
I’m guilty of this one. Being in Miami and Los Angeles, I use retinol for removing sunspots and keeping wrinkles at bay; but, knowing too much isn’t a good thing either. Reducing the amount I’m using to half, and even mixing it with a hydrating blend instead can cut back on the intensity that the retinol has on my already dry skin.
Travel skincare tip 9: try Manuka honey products
Manuka honey is a natural anti-bacterial product and now is used in an array of skincare products. In addition to being anti-bacterial, Manuka honey can be an incredible hydrator for your skin. While there are plenty of products on the market, you can add a dab to your gel cleanser or spot treat for any acne-prone areas.
Travel skincare tip 10: use a serum base
Serums are, in short, a concentrated topical liquid that delivers a potent dose of nutrients for your skin in a faster time period than most moisturizers. Think, espresso, but for your face. Creating a base layer to lock in the moisture after doing the steps above for cleansing can help prevent the skin from losing the work you’re putting into your skincare routine.
Now that you’re ready for your next travel adventure, what are you packing or adding into your skincare routine to prevent dryness?