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Summer is here, and while it’s the perfect time to relax on vacation, returning home with stressed and distressed skin can be a downer. If you’re dealing with post-travel dryness, dehydration, or blemishes, giving your skin some extra care can help it bounce back quickly. In this guide, we’ll explore our favorite tips, tricks, and products for revitalizing your post-vacation skincare routine.

Before You Travel: Pre-Trip Skin Prep

Skincare is as much about prevention as it is about treatment and this principle applies equally to travel. Having a consistent skincare routine before, and maintaining a routine during, your trip lays the groundwork for smoother post-travel skincare recovery. By prioritizing pre-travel skincare, you can better protect your skin from the stressors of the journey and ensure a more effortless recovery after your trip.

Establishing a Solid Skincare Routine Before Travel

Preparing your skin before travel is crucial for maintaining its health and resilience throughout the trip. Follow these steps to establish a solid pre-trip skincare routine:

Know Your Skin Type: Understanding your skin type is the foundation of an effective skincare routine. Identify whether you have dry, oily, combination, or sensitive skin to tailor your products accordingly.

Cleanse and Exfoliate: Start by cleansing your face twice daily with a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser to remove impurities and excess oil. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week to slough off dead skin cells and promote a radiant complexion.

Hydrate and Moisturize: Keep your skin hydrated by using a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer. Look for products containing hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and plump the skin.

Sun Protection: Never forget to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before heading outdoors. Sun protection is crucial in preventing sun damage and premature aging.

Target Specific Concerns: If you have specific skin concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation, or fine lines, incorporate targeted treatments such as serums or spot treatments into your routine.

Eye Cream: Invest in a nourishing eye cream to keep the delicate skin around your eyes hydrated and minimize the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.

Essential Skincare Products for Travel

While you don’t need to bring your entire skincare routine on your trip (who has the space or time for that?) don’t forget to bring the essentials. Alongside a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, consider adding a few extra items for ultimate vacation skincare.

Travel-Sized Cleanser: Opt for a compact version of your favorite cleanser or choose a gentle formula that effectively removes makeup and impurities without stripping your skin’s natural oils.

Face Wipes: Perfect for cleansing your face on the move, face wipes are especially handy during flights or situations where water access is limited. They are travel-friendly and take up minimal space in your bag.

Hydrating Face Mist: Combat the effects of long flights or dry climates with a refreshing hydrating face mist. It serves as a toner replacement and can be spritzed throughout the day to refresh your skin.

Travel-Friendly Moisturizer: Opt for a lightweight, travel-sized moisturizer that keeps your skin nourished without feeling heavy. Look for one with ingredients like hyaluronic acid to maintain optimal hydration levels.

Sunscreen: Never compromise on sun protection, even when traveling. Pack a travel-sized sunscreen that you can easily apply throughout the day. Consider a stick or spray sunscreen for convenience.

Sheet Masks: Sheet masks can instantly revive dull skin and provide a much-needed hydration boost, and are easy to slip into your luggage. Using one during your flight can also help prevent dry and irritated skin.

Acne Patches: A travel essential for unexpected blemishes. Also known as hydrocolloidal bandages, they protect from irritation, reduce swelling, and absorb excess moisture for faster healing. Bonus? Acne patches take up minimal luggage space.

Tips for Healthy Skin During the Journey

Maintaining healthy skin during your journey requires some extra care and attention. Follow these tips to keep your skin looking radiant and fresh:

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout your travels to keep your skin hydrated and counteract the dehydrating effects of air travel.

Avoid Heavy Makeup: Minimize makeup during the journey, as it can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Opt for a natural look and focus on skincare instead.

Blotting Papers: Keep oiliness at bay with blotting papers. Gently dab them on your skin to remove excess oil without disturbing your makeup.

Hand Sanitizer: Prioritize hand hygiene to prevent transferring bacteria and dirt from your hands to your face, leading to breakouts.

Sleep and Rest: Get enough rest during your journey to allow your skin time to rejuvenate and recover from the stresses of travel.

Common Skin Concerns After Travel

Travel can have diverse effects on our skin due to various factors, including changes in environment, jet lag, dry airplane cabin air, increased food and alcohol consumption, sun exposure, and lack of sleep. These factors can manifest in different ways, impacting the health and appearance of our skin.

Dehydration and Dryness

Dehydration and dryness are common skin concerns during travel. The journey can disrupt your skin’s natural moisture balance, especially in dry airplane cabins and harsh weather conditions. Additionally, we tend to consume less water and indulge in alcohol and salty foods while on vacation which can further contribute to visible dryness in the skin.

Sun Damage and Hyperpigmentation

Sun damage during travel, especially in tropical destinations, can cause sunburns, sunspots, and hyperpigmentation. Unprotected sun exposure leads to premature aging and an uneven skin tone. Even on airplanes, altitude and airplane windows can expose the skin to harmful UV rays, making sun protection so important during all stages of your vacation.

Puffiness and Dark Circles

Puffiness and dark circles often occur after travel due to factors like disrupted sleep patterns, jet lag, changes in altitude affecting blood flow, fluid retention from long flights, and limited movement causing poor circulation. These issues can make the eyes look tired and swollen, affecting overall appearance.

Breakouts and Congestion

Constantly touching your face during travel, exposure to different environments, and not following a consistent skincare routine can trigger breakouts and congestion. Air pollution and excess oil production can contribute to clogged pores and acne flare-ups.

Post-Travel Skincare Routine

Making the extra effort in your skincare routine after your vacation can help to reduce some of the effects travel can have on your face.

Cleansing and Removing Impurities:

Begin your post-travel skincare routine by thoroughly cleansing your face to eliminate dirt, sweat, and impurities that have accumulated during your trip. Opt for a gentle cleanser to avoid over-drying your skin. The double cleansing method can help further cleanse the skin, by first using an oil-based cleansers to gently break down and wash away oil-based impurities like pollutants, sunscreen, and sebum before following up with a gentle water-based cleanser to remove dirt and sweat.

Sun Damage Repair and Brightening:

Reverse the effects of sun damage from your vacation and achieve a more radiant complexion by using products enriched with brightening ingredients like antioxidants or niacinamide. Consider incorporating a serum containing vitamin C, which can deliver concentrated and long-lasting antioxidant support, effectively combating visible signs of aging caused by sun damage.

Reducing Puffiness and Under-eye Care:

Jet lag, dehydration, and lack of sleep can wreak havoc on the delicate skin under our eyes, but under eye creams, patches, or rollers can help. Caffeine-infused treatments can temporarily reduce under-eye bags and dark circles by calming the skin and narrowing blood vessels. Additionally, soothing eye creams or gels with cucumber extract or hyaluronic acid can further address puffiness. Store these treatments in the fridge for a cooling effect to enhance their effectiveness.

Hydration and Moisturization:

Replenish your skin’s moisture balance with hydrating toners, serums, or essences. Use gentle products infused with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, green tea extract, and centella asiatica. These ingredients provide deep hydration, support the skin barrier, and soothe irritation. Seal in moisture with a gentle moisturizer to enhance hydration retention and promote skin elasticity.

Face Masks:

Face masks are an excellent choice to revitalize your skin after your vacation. Sheet masks offer targeted hydration and nourishment, while clay masks effectively purify pores by removing impurities and excess oil. For enhanced moisture and skin barrier repair, consider using an overnight sleep mask. Incorporating these skincare masks into your post-travel routine will help rebalance your skin.

Treating Breakouts and Blemishes:

After your travels, tackle any breakouts and blemishes with spot treatments that contain ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil. These treatments specifically target problem areas, making them effective and gentle on your skin. If you’re experiencing dryness or post-vacation irritation, be cautious with spot treatments that contain potentially drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Apply these treatments only to the affected areas to avoid further irritation on the more sensitive parts of your skin. A targeted approach will help heal blemishes without causing unnecessary dryness.

Must-Have Skincare Ingredients for Post-Vacation Skin Recovery

Once you’re home from your vacation, choose skincare products that contain hydrating, soothing, and healing ingredients. Some ingredients to use after your travels include:

Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides for Deep Hydration: Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture, while ceramides support the skin barrier, providing deep hydration and a revitalized complexion.

Antioxidants for Sun Damage Repair & Brightening: Combat sun damage and achieve a brighter complexion by incorporating antioxidants like vitamin C, green tea extract, or ferulic acid.

Caffeine for Reducing Puffiness Under Eyes: Combat under-eye puffiness caused by travel fatigue with products containing caffeine. Caffeine’s vasoconstrictive properties help reduce swelling and dark circles.

Salicylic Acid for Blemishes: If you suffer from post-vacation blemishes, look for products containing salicylic acid to exfoliate and unclog pores, treating and preventing breakouts.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits for Post-Travel Skin

Skincare isn’t the only way to treat post-vacation skin. It’s important to take some time after your travels to get your internal health back in line. We usually indulge while on vacation, drinking and eating more, getting less sleep, spending more time in the sun and our body needs some extra TLC inside and out when we return to the real world.

Drinking Plenty of Water: Hydration is key for skin health. Drink plenty of water to replenish lost fluids and maintain a well-hydrated complexion. Water helps flush out toxins and supports overall skin function.

Getting Adequate Sleep: Prioritize getting adequate sleep after your vacation to combat jet lag and restore your normal sleep schedule. Quality sleep plays a vital role in promoting cellular repair and rejuvenation, leading to a more radiant and revitalized complexion.

Foods for Skin Health: Incorporate foods rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and essential nutrients into your diet. Foods like fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats provide the building blocks for healthy skin.

Avoiding Excessive Alcohol and Caffeine: Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption can dehydrate the skin and disrupt your sleep patterns. Choose hydrating alternatives such as herbal teas and infused water, which offer skincare benefits like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Recommended Post-Vacation Skincare Products

If you want to give your skin a little extra TLC after your vacation, consider incorporating some additional products into your routine. Our recommended picks address common post-travel concerns such as dryness, blemishes, and dark under eye circles.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask lives up to its name. The relaunched version is now fragrance and essential oil-free, while incorporating new soothing ingredients like Vitamin B5 (panthenol), chamomile, and comfrey alongside its original heroes: niacinamide, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. This new formula nourishes, hydrates, and calms the skin, reducing fine lines and pores, brightening the complexion, and promoting an even tone and texture. With added antioxidants, the mask provides lasting hydration for a soft, glowing appearance, making it the perfect solution for combating post-travel skin fatigue.

Buy Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

Emerage Cosmetics Emer Skin Intense Hydration Mask

Emerage Cosmetics Emer Skin Intense Hydration Mask is a gentle, anti-inflammatory biocellulose sheet mask. It soothes parched, stressed out skin after travel, reducing redness and irritation. Infused with calming ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and licorice root, it restores your skin’s protective barrier, leaving it smooth and dewy. Aloe vera also cools and soothes irritation, making it ideal after sunburn or in-office treatments like lasers and chemical peels.

Buy Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion

Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion is perfect for targeted post-travel blemish control. It combines salicylic acid to combat acne-causing bacteria and sulfur to disinfect, while calamine and camphor help to cool and soothe irritation. This lotion works overnight to reduce blemishes. Simply dip a cotton swab into the solution and apply it directly to the affected area.

Buy Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion

Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots

The Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots utilize hydrocolloid technology to extract impurities and protect against external elements. These patches contain salicylic acid to target acne, aloe vera to soothe redness, and vitamin A (retinol) for skin clearing. Formulated with clean hydrocolloid polymer technology, they minimize breakouts overnight, making them the first of their kind to combine these technologies.

Buy Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Healing Dots

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches rejuvenate the delicate under-eye skin that easily dries out during travel. Infused with hydrating ingredients, these under eye patches instantly improve fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. The formula includes multiple sizes of hyaluronic acid to attract moisture, ceramide NP, collagen, marshmallow root extract to smooth and soften fine lines, caffeine for puffiness, and arnica to reduce dark circles caused by jet lag.

Buy Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches