Glowing on the Go: How to Stay on Top of Skincare while Traveling

By Jessica Varner

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Travel brings out the worst in everyone’s skin. Airports are teeming with germs and bacteria, and airplane air leaves our skin dehydrated and more susceptible to breakouts. Keeping up with skincare is difficult in general — finding a routine that works, sticking with it, adjusting as our skin changes and so on. I’m sure you know how it goes. To find out what really works I watched Youtube videos and read up on blogs, searching for inspiration. After picking up some face masks, travel-size face wash, and assembling my necessary skincare products I felt ready for my trip to Dallas, Texas, and hoped that my skin was too.

Since I had an early flight, I starting preparing the night before. Using a collagen peel-off face mask that suited my current skin condition (which was a little dry but somehow STILL breaking out), I felt like I had a decent base. The next morning, I washed my face using a Neutrogena daily scrub — nothing too harsh that would open my pores and invite the airport germs in — and was on my way to the airport. A few blogs and youtubers had suggested doing a face mask on the plane to keep fresh, but I opted to wait until I got to my hotel because masking on the go sounded like a sticky situation.

When I got off the plane, my skin was feeling more oily and, as everyone feels after a flight, dirty. It was time to put my skincare plan to the test.

At the hotel, I washed my face with the daily scrub again, and immediately put on a detoxifying face mask. Feeling clean once again, I put on my usual amount of makeup and carried on with my day. After an active day walking around in the ninety degree heat of Dallas and attending a Taylor Swift concert, I was ready to take off my makeup and hoped my skin was going to survive the change in climate. At this point I knew I needed something stronger than my daily scrub, so I dug out the travel-size exfoliant I had purchased the day before. Having never used this product before I was a little nervous. The bottle claims it “deeply exfoliates and removes impurities for glowing skin,” and sure enough, it really did. I felt refreshed and my skin quite possibly looked better than when I left Boston.

For the rest of my trip I used my daily scrub, moisturizer, and exfoliator when I felt each was necessary. In my daily routine I use my daily scrub, moisturizer, retinol, and a glow serum but only brought the essentials for my trip. I generally use exfoliator when my skin feels extra oily, and I use a sheet mask depending on how my skin is feeling as masks can vary in which areas they help. When I felt a little extra dried out from the Dallas heat I used one of the hydrating sheet masks I brought. Before my flight home, I went easy on my skin. The end result: my skin was not noticeably better than when I left, but it was definitely not worse.

My biggest tip for travel skincare is to be aware of everything. If you are prepared with the essentials, and actively think about what is affecting your skin throughout your trip you can stay ahead of potential breakouts. Bringing travel-sized products and sheet masks made packing easy as my products did not take up too much precious luggage space, nor was I worried about having to throw away expensive skincare products while going through security. I brought with me: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Daily Scrub (with white tea and vitamin e), Glossier Rich Priming Moisturizer, St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub, and a few sheet masks from Sephora and Target that focused on moisturizing, detoxifying pores, and reducing redness. If you’re worried about remembering to think about your skin while traveling, set a reminder in your phone, or try to keep to the timing of your regular routine.

I’m definitely not a skincare expert (I’m actually pretty new to the whole face masks and serum thing) and I was able to keep up with my skin and not feel super gross while traveling across the country. It’s totally possible to keep your skin glowing wherever in the world you are!