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13 Travel Tips for Healthy Skin on Holiday

The only thing better than going on holiday is looking good in your vacation pictures. But so often, we get caught up in the rest and relaxation when we’re away, and our skin suffers.

With the light at the end of the lockdown tunnel growing brighter, and travel restrictions easing, holiday seasons are looking more appealing than ever. But if you’re going somewhere warm or humid, the last thing you want is to rely on a heavy foundation to give your skin that coveted glow.

Which is why we’ve put together our top tips for keeping your skin healthy and happy while you’re away, so you can look as good as you feel!


1. Try to stick to your normal routine if you can

Easier said than done, we know. No one wants to lug their entire bathroom cabinet through the airport. And restrictions on liquids often mean we can’t be as thorough as we’d like. But if you know what works for your skin, sticking as close to your usual routine as possible is your best bet.

When we travel, we’re often putting our skin under added pressure from temperature and climate changes. And that’s both during travel and throughout our stay. Not to mention the stress that all too often comes with preparing for travelling!

Irritated skin and flare-ups of eczema and acne are common occurrences on holiday. Though we can’t put it all down to travel itself, some of that irritation is likely to be down to a simple change in routine. So try to keep to your regimen where you can.


travel bottles for healthy skin on holidays

2. Invest in travel bottles

These days, there’s a vast range of skincare and general travel essentials available in miniature in most stores. However, don’t swap out a tried and tested product just because your usual doesn’t come in a tiny bottle. There are alternatives to make sure you can take your favourites with you.

Many places stock small, empty containers so you can decant your own product; that way you can take it with you without breaking the rules at the airport. Outdoor supply stores and many pharmacies stock these in all shapes and sizes, depending on which product you want them for.

And if you really can’t find what you need (or you only need a tiny amount for your trip), a contact lens case often does the trick.


3. Carry Facial Wipes

Please, we beg of you… don’t use hotel soap on your face! Instead, take moist facial wipes with you to remove your make-up or refresh your face. Yes, normally we’d say that this is an inefficient way to cleanse away the day’s dirt. But it’s a much better option than cheap, off-brand soap!

Facial wipes have the added benefit of being portable. Which means you can use them while in the air, or even on the beach for a quick refresh. Plus, the wide range now available means you can do much more with a wipe than ever before.

Just be gentle: don’t rub and scrub!


4. Consider a Mist Spray

This is one travel tip you may have heard before, and can be quite divisive. But we’re firmly on the side of taking a mist spray on holiday to refresh and hydrate your skin.

But don’t forget, if a mist spray isn’t a normal part of your routine (which we’re betting it’s not), then be careful when selecting one; you’ll need to choose something that works for your skin type.


closeup of person's face, hair over half the face, eye, nose and lips visible

5. Don’t forget your eyes and lips

If you’ve ever been away to a drier climate, or even sat under the air conditioning on a plane for too long, then it’s likely you’ve found yourself with cracked, dry lips on holiday.

Similarly, the change in time zones and unsociable hours of some flights can affect your sleep cycle, and leave your eyes puffy and sore.

These two things in combination are enough to put a downer on many travellers, which is why it’s so important to head off the hurt before it happens. Make sure you include your favourite lip treatment in your carry on. And throw in a soothing, cooling eye cream to keep you looking and feeling your best.


6. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!

You’ve heard us say it before, but we’ll say it again. Moisturiser helps to keep your skin healthy and hydrated, which keeps you from flaring up or breaking out. Neither of which anyone wants while on holiday.

Flights can be dry and more than a little airless, so remember to moisturise before you board. And keep up the routine once you’re off the plane, especially in tropical climates!

But don’t forget, a non-comedogenic moisturiser is your best friend on holiday; the last thing you want is products that don’t let your skin breathe when you’re warm and sweatier than ever.


7. Remember your SPF

If your skincare routine is comprehensive, then you should already have great habits with SPF. It’s a product you should use at home and on vacation. Because the sun can cause damage pretty much all of the time. Even through windows.

Not only does the right sunscreen protect you from skin cancer, it can also reduce the early signs of aging from marring your skin. So this isn’t a tip to brush off. It’s essential.

That said, sunscreen isn’t always enough to give us the best protection on holiday. Don’t forget sunglasses; try to keep covered up where possible; and a wide-brimmed sun hat can be an excellent choice too.


8. Try a sheet mask

Small but mighty, a sheet mask or two won’t take up too much space in your case; and can make all the difference to your skin on holiday. Pre-soaked in skin-boosting treatments, sheet masks can be a significant addition to your evening routine. Plus they allow for a little relaxation time after a long hard day of seeing the sights.

Remember to choose a mask that’s right for your skin type and needs, though!


9. Keep your hands off your face

Recently, we’ve all learned how important it is not to keep touching our face, and how bacteria can be easily spread. But this is even more important when travelling, not just for your health but for your skin too.

Planes, buses and trains are all hubs for bacteria.

Remember to wash your hands regularly with antibacterial hand wash or hand sanitiser, and keep your digits off your face. The chances of coming across unknown bacteria are heightened when we’re on holiday. And besides adding dirt and grime to your skin, you also run the risk of infections.


black and white person holds hand up to obscure her face

10. Skip the Make-up

Whether you’re a fan of a light and dewy look, or something with heavier coverage, it can benefit you to avoid wearing make-up when travelling.

We’re not saying you can’t wear it at all while you’re away. But even a tinted moisturiser or BB cream can be too much for your skin when the climate and weather are changing fast around you.

To let your skin relax and breathe in the new atmosphere of your holiday destination, it’s better to avoid going all out on the make-up whenever you can.

Instead, keep your skin moisturised and don’t forget the SPF.


11. Eye Cream is Your New Best Friend

As we mentioned earlier, changing routines and different time zones can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle; this can lead to sore and puffy eyes. If you’re already prone to a little puffiness, then a good under eye cream can be a lifesaver on holiday.

But if you’re short on case space, try an ice pack or ice cubes wrapped in a towel or flannel. This will cool and rejuvenate your eyes.


12. Catch up on your Zs.

Speaking of sleep, make sure you’re getting enough of it! Long days of tourist activities, or even just sitting on the beach, can take it out of you. Especially in a different time zone, after the mental and physical stress of travelling.

Lack of sleep can lead to serious issues with your skin, so catch up with a cat nap whenever you can. Whether that’s sleeping on the plane, train or bus, or getting an early night rather than staying up with a cocktail, you need to get a good eight hours.


13. Don’t forget to plan for emergencies

We know the goal is to pack light, but keeping your skincare essentials at hand is, well, essential. And when we say essentials, we mean more than just serums and moisturisers.

Skin emergencies happen, and often they happen when we don’t have the right products to hand. So in case of cuts and scrapes, pack an antibiotic cream with your skin care products.

Even with the best of intentions, our skin might not take kindly to the change in climate no matter how on the ball we are. That means packing your emergency products for break-outs and flare-ups is a great idea too. Hopefully, you’ll never need them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!