Visiting a new or foreign place is always worth the stress and craziness it sometimes takes to actually get there (even if it is taking a budget bus for 10 hours cross-country), but unfortunately the skin on your face is always the first place to show signs of the stress, tiredness and dehydration.
Adding to that the air-conditioning on buses and planes, changing from hot to cold environments regularly, really early mornings and super late nights, and you’ve got the perfect conditions for skin that’s dry and breaking out .
So what can you do to keep your skin in tip-top condition? I’m going to share with you my tips and my product recommendations (tried and tested on my travels around Europe) 😉
1. Drink water
Water seems to be the answer to most problems you encounter when it comes to skincare, and with good reason.
With up to 60% of our body being made of water, this essential fluid not only keeps your skin looking good, but also your organs working in great condition too (which in turn again affects how your skin looks). Travelling dehydrates the hell out of you, so make it a priority to keep yourself feeling fresh and awake by sipping water throughout the day.
2. Lip balm all the way
I can’t even count how many Megabuses I’ve taken across Europe that have had air-conditioning full blast, making not only the bus freezing cold but also drying out my face and skin so by the time I arrive I feel like a dried-out raisin… but with chapped lips. And when your lips are dry you get the urge to lick them more!!
Take the pain out of having dry lips by keeping a great lip-balm in your pocket… I always have a few on me. Also, I’ll say it again – drinking water will help keep your lips nice and soft because your whole body will be hydrated. So keep sipping dat water!
Splash out La Roche Posay Nutritic Lip Balm
3. Use Vaseline Intensive Care
When in doubt, use Vaseline cream. In fact, Vaseline cream was the only cream that my friend used after the skin on her face was ripped in half after a drunk driver smashed into her car. Alongside the plastic surgery, her doctor said it was thanks to the copious amounts of Vaseline cream that she used that helped her face heal so well.
If there is just one cream to take with you when you travel, take a small bottle of this and use it for your face, your body, even taking off make-up if you want to! It’s the perfect multi-purpose cream (and it’s cheap)!
4. Use glycolic acid
I have struggled with acne my whole life. Once I started getting treated (following the acne.org method by the way that really WORKS), I introduced glycolic acid to my skin care regime.
Glycolic acid is derived from cane sugar, and to put it simply, is a really effective exfoliant. It will renew your skin by forcing the older top layer of skin cells to shed, leaving fresh, clear skin underneath. It also helps scarring and marks caused by acne and spots. Take a small bottle with you and keep your skin looking fresh!
5. Invest in hyaluronic acid
Yes, it’s another acid but don’t let that word scare you. Hyaluronic acid is actually present in the human body, and is a humectant (moisture-binding ingredient), meaning when applied to the skin it keeps the skin hydrated and plump. This means it’s especially useful for us travel types who find our skin dried-out after hours of being on the move!
6. Drink less alcohol
It’s the reason J Lo says she looks so good at 50 – not drinking alcohol!
Alcohol dehydrates you in every way – your skin, organs, brain… in fact, the reason a hangover develops after drinking a lot of alocohol is primarily because you’re dehydrated (amongst other things like your sugar levels spiking and crashing). So cutting down on alcohol can really help keep your skin and body hydrated and therefore, looking fresh and fly.
7. Use coconut oil for taking make-up off
If you’re prone to acne do not, I repeat, do NOT use coconut oil on your face. It will block your pores and give you horrible red spots. It is great, however, if you just use it for taking off your eye make-up as it’s antimicrobial, antifungal, and full of good fats that will hydrate your skin. It’s also great keeping the skin on your body soft and keeping the tips of your hair from becoming too dry).
In fact, you can take a small jar or bottle rather than a big one, and just dip into it when you need it. A small amount actually goes a long way and you can use it for a lot of different things. Just be sure to not let it get too hot in the bottle or it will melt!
8. Take vitamins
Vitamins are something you need to be consistent with, taking them everyday to supplement the vitamins and minerals that you are losing or just not ingesting. Make taking supplements a habit!
When I was suffering from super fatigue I started taking a multivitamin and a magnesium supplement and within 2 weeks I was feeling so much more energised.
It’s best to keep yourself as healthy as possible while you’re travelling because the effect stress and exertion has on your body is to lower your immune system, putting you at risk of catching bugs, getting ill, or feeling too tired to enjoy yourself. Do yourself a favour and take a daily supplement!
9. Don’t use water that’s too hot to wash your face
Simply, water that’s too hot will dry your skin out as it strips the skin of the oils it needs on the surface to keep the skin healthy. Try to use lukewarm water and a gentle face cleanser.
10. Don’t scrub your face with flannels or towels
When you scrub your face with towels or flannels or anything ‘hard’ you irritate your skin. When travelling already dries out your skin, you don’t want to exacerbate the problem by then creating micro-tears in the skin that is already dry. Just use your hands very, very gently. Then apply a gentle moisturiser (like the Vaseline Intensive Care I mentioned further up).
11. Make sure you take your make-up off at night
It’s the advice all girls who wear make-up are given over and over – make sure you take your make-up off at night. But there’s a good reason for that. If you leave it on you’re helping bacteria to clog your pores, creating spots.
I have a really bad habit of leaving my make-up on (I justify it sometimes by saying well at least I wear mineral make-up so it’s not so bad), but the truth is it’s not good for your skin so don’t do it!
12. Put a really thick layer of cream on your face at night when you’re going to bed
Slather it on and let it soak in overnight. In the morning you wake up with such a soft, fresh face! Perfect when your face is dry and dehydrated after a long day!
13. Get some good sleep
I get such bad sleep when I travel; so many early mornings and late nights. But I do try to make it a priority to get enough sleep otherwise I look and feel crap!
14. Don’t touch the skin on your face!
You’re just transferring dirt onto your face that will encourage bacteria to grow and cause more spots!
15. Use non-comedogenic/ mineral make-up
I won’t lie, it’s normally far more expensive than your budget make-up but it really works. BareMinerals is my favourite; I’ve used it religiously since I was 20! It really helped clear up my acne.
16. Eat good food!
I know the temptation to eat cheap and unhealthy food is pretty strong when you’re travelling, and especially on a budget, but sometimes you need to eat something good to get yourself some vitamins and minerals, which in turn will make you feel better, whilst also making your skin look better.
Even if you wanna indulge in chips and pizza the whole time you’re travelling, at least try to keep some healthy snacks in your bag – stuff like nuts, dried fruit etc. And try to drink a few smoothies for more vitamins!
Do you have any more tips?? Let me know in the comments below!