Many of us are itching to pack our bags and travel, something most people haven’t been able to do in the last two years due to lockdowns and strict travel restrictions. But now that countries are gradually easing Covid protocols, many are looking at long vacations, staycations, working holidays, and more. And while you may be having a party travelling from one region to another, your skin surely won’t. Long flights, frequent weather, water and diet changes and many more factors can impact your skin while travelling if not taken care of.
But if you think travel skincare needs a lot of time and you may end up missing out on having fun, Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra, chief dermatologist and director, Alive Wellness Clinics, busts that myth stating that “travelling is stressful, and all of this stress can disrupt your body, and particularly your skin. However, it is not necessary to have a long and sophisticated travel skincare routine, all it takes is a little planning.”
When it comes to flights, “a little pre, during and post flight care will keep your skin fresh and glowing,” advices Dr Rinky Kapoor, cosmetic dermatologist and dermato-surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics. She also shares the following pre, during, and post-slight skincare routine to ensure no significant impact on the skin:
- Before the flight – Make sure you remove most of the makeup and cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser. Layer your skin with a hydrating toner and serum before massing a layer of moisturiser. Cover your face, lips, neck, and décolletage too.
- During the flight– The air in the flight is full of germs and low in humidity, therefore, your skin needs hydration regularly. Keep drinking water regularly. If the flight is long, make sure to cleanse and moisturize your skin at regular intervals. Get up and stretch every half hour. Another simple trick is to use heavy eye creams or products containing humectants (like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, etc.) and emollients (like shea butter and olive oil) that seal in the moisture. As a last step to the routine, use few drops of facial oil.
- After the flight– It should be about taking care of the skin and protecting it from the damage done by stale air in the flight. Therefore, wash your face as soon as possible. Use a scrub if you can and a salicylic acid cleanser to prevent breakouts. Use a good toner, serum, and face cream (hydrating ones) before applying makeup. Avoid hot water showers at all costs. If you have time, use a hydrating face mask to get rid of the dullness and puffiness post flight.
Holidays are also the time to relish everything you like. However, like always, moderation is key as too much fried, junk, and sugary foods will not only upset your stomach but also show up on your skin. Remember, you can also control how your skin will react to the travel by monitoring what you eat while travelling. Dr Kapoor says “it is best to have light, filling, and hydrating foods during and before you start your travels — like banana which is rich in potassium, oranges that are loaded with vitamin C, apple, kiwi, smoothies, water, coconut water. Avoid sugar, and limit the intake of protein. It is tempting to binge on caffeine, salty nuts and even alcohol, but try to avoid it.” She further adds: “Your travel meals should be light and a mix of complex carbohydrate and proteins such as whole wheat crackers, low fat cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, avocados, dark chocolate, nuts etc.”
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Dr Kapoor also recommends checking the weather of the place you’re travelling to. “The best way is to make sure that you include skincare products according to your destination. If you are travelling to a cooler temperature, carry a heavy cream-based moisturizer and cleanser; for warmer temperatures, lighter skin products will be most helpful. To adapt your skin to the new weather, start on the way and slowly incorporate the skin care products in your routine.”
Both the doctors stress on the importance of using sunscreen while travelling, “You are at an increased risk of sun’s exposure, especially if you’re travelling at high altitudes during summer months. Be very sure to apply and reapply your sunscreen after every 2 hours. Always apply it 20 mins before stepping out for trekking, beach, swimming, sailing and skiing. Use SPF 15 or higher or look for ‘blocks UVA and UVB or ‘Broad Spectrum’ on the label,” states Dr Chhabra.
Post your holiday, you should focus on nurturing your skin back to its pre-holiday health. Following are what Dr Chabra suggests:
- Include rejuvenating eye cream in your skincare kit
- Take a peeling treatment
- Use a hydrating serum
- Use refining body scrubs
- Include a moisture replenishing cream
- Rely on overnight spot treatments
- Incorporate an exfoliating toner