Holida-ay! Can anyone really plan a holiday without the words of Madonna popping into their head? I’d argue no. Going on holidays, or as the Americans would say, vacation, is obviously a great thing. We all need some pure, honest to goodness “me time” at least once a year – one or two weeks without emails, phone calls, professional tasks of any sort. Now, I don’t follow my own rules but my skin will suffer for it so take from that what you will.
You’re probably busy getting everything organised, looking up foreign transport routes, trying to find shorts that don’t show off your literal cheeks (not the ones on your face) and maybe even exchanging currency. Is bringing your skincare on your mind too?
As a collective of skin experts, the team of analysts at The Skin Nerd (including myself) come across hundreds of people per week and of late, MANY have been asking what to do with regard to skincare and holidays.
Travelling With Skincare
I book checked luggage and bring literally everything I use in my daily skincare routine on holidays but skincare is my life, my soul and my essence, so I may be an exception to the rule.
Minimise what you’re bringing. Seeing as you will be exposed to lots of sun, the first thing that can be left behind will be your acid products, such as cleansers, toners and treatments that contain glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid, as they can photosensitise your skin which means they make it more susceptible to sun-related damage. Your skin will survive without acids for a week or two but if you’re using acids a lot, you can wean your skin back on by reducing how often you would usually use them for a while when you’re home.
You really only need a cleanser and not necessarily an active one, a means of removing makeup (your pre-cleanser), a serum, a face sunscreen and a body sunscreen. If you’re using a vitamin A serum, I would recommend bringing this as you may experience a bit of irritation if you go back to using it after a few weeks of an A-free routine.
Travelling With Skincare In Hand Luggage
One way to make your regular products hand-luggage friendly is to decant them into mini containers. Bear in mind that decanting your active products into separate containers may actually make them less effective as they will be exposed to oxygen – this is especially true of vitamin C and vitamin A (retinol, retinoids AND retinyl palmitate), hence why they’re usually packaged in such a way that air will only hit them when you’re ready to apply them to your face.
I’d also say not to remove acid-based products from their original containers as light and oxygen can cause acids to become less effective, as they may change the pH of the acids. All that fiddling around with a homemade funnel just for your products to not work the same way anyway? Skip it.
Don’t mess with your sunscreen either – the packaging that manufacturers put sunscreen in is the way it is for a reason. Sunscreen can lose efficacy if it’s subjected to heat, humidity, and light.
You CAN decant other skincare. Hydration masques, such as Yon-ka’s Masque No˚1, are fine to pop into a little mini tub. You could also cheat and bring sheet masks instead – I’ve never had trouble bringing them in a carry-on before – I do this so that I can use them on the plane (pro tip). If a cleanser isn’t particularly active, it should work just as effectively outside of its original container too, same goes for hyaluronic acid serums.
Use airtight containers such as airless pump containers if you’re going to do this. You can find them on Amazon or Ebay.
Alternatively, collect up samples that come with your usual active skincare. I can only speak for us but we send cleanser/serum samples with our client’s orders. They usually come in at 7.4ml so well within hand luggage guidelines.
Airport X-Rays & Skincare
When I was training with a brand that loves, loves, loves vitamin A, we were told that x-rays such as those at airport security could stop the ingredients from working properly. Ehm… what?! I’ve come across this a few times but couldn’t find any info on this in my own research. In some online forums, they suggest wrapping your products in tin foil in your luggage to protect them, so there’s an idea if you ARE worried.
Dealing With Holiday Skin Dehydration
Everything we do on holidays dehydrates our skin… Being out in the sun, exposing ourselves to overly air-conditioned places like hotels and airplanes, drinking alcohol and dunking ourselves into chlorine-filled pools.
Take omega supplements to ensure that your skin’s barrier won’t allow its moisture to escape, stay hydrated with water (does it need to be said?) and hydrate it on top with something full of hyaluronic acid.
Chlorine can be detrimental to skin, especially to that of people who already struggle with dryness, flaking, eczema, psoriasis and similar concerns and conditions. It strips the skin of the oils that protect it, leaving nothing to lock moisture into the skin, and as it works to kill bacteria, it can damage your skin’s own microbiome of skin-friendly bacteria. When this microbiome is thrown off kilter, our skin is thrown off kilter.
This is not to say that chlorine doesn’t serve a very important purpose – we need it to make pools safe to submerge ourselves in. However, be aware that it COULD be chlorine causing your dryness and make sure to rinse off thoroughly after getting out of the pool. Showering before the pool will also mean that your skin is less likely to take in the chlorinated water.
Dry, dehydrated and normal-skinned hoomans always know the importance of hydrating their skin and so won’t skip it but those who veer to the oilier side of things are told time and time again to skip hydrating. Hydrating may be the last thing on your mind when you are literally dripping from your eyebrows but you NEED it regardless, as if your skin becomes dehydrated (ie. lacking water rather than oil), your skin will compensate by producing additional oil.
Additional Holiday Skin Tips:
- Opt for a mineral powder foundation if you can as it will stand up against sweat better and provide you with an extra layer of sun protection
- Top up your sunscreen at least every 2 hours and every time you get out of the water and stick to the shade
- UV exposure can make us more prone to pigment so use something that includes a tyrosinase inhibitor. Tyrosinase is an enzyme that plays a role in the production of melanin so when we inhibit it it makes us less likely to pigment. IMAGE Iluma Intense Lightening Serum (€52.00) and Neostrata Enlighten Illuminating Serum (€44.05) will both help with this.
- A cool Spritz O’Clock (hydrating facial mist) will hydrate your skin and feel refreshing