Traveling Skin Blues
Over the last weekend, I had a lot of new and regular clients ask about the inevitability of stressed skin during travel. I was certain that I addressed this on a blog somewhere but realized that this subject has been skipped almost entirely in the last 2 years of the blog! What a disservice this has been! Traveling is already so frustrating and stressful so the last thing you want to worry about is your skin having a meltdown as a result. Though I’m not the expert on extensive travel (I’ve never been to Europe or across any major ocean), I have traveled for 24 hours plus before and to multiple climates. I also have experienced just about any major setback as in lost luggage, flights canceled, and the sprained ankle while crossing borders (remember that?), so I can speak to the unexpected. Since I have a major trip aka my HONEYMOON coming up soon as well I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about prep for in case of emergency so your skin doesn’t go crazy.
The key is to successful skin while traveling is to take into consideration all of the environmental factors that change when you travel. Yes, the airport and the plane atmosphere itself is gross with filtered air however what about destination itself? Consider the notes in my previous blog post about city transplants and how the environment can affect your skin as a reminder that our skin does best in the environment in which we grew up in. So if you’re from the midwest and you’re traveling to the Caribbean during winter, that can heavily stress the skin on more levels than just excess sun exposure. Water quality is also a huge factor when dealing with different locations because it’s often much different than what we are used to. Lastly, what if you end up eating foods that don’t agree with you or drinking more than you’re used to. Your body will respond accordingly and your skin will reflect that imbalance. So what do we do and how can we do this simply? Create a go-to travel kit that supports a full body approach. Here is what I usually consider.
For skincare at the airport, don’t hesitate to go makeup free because the last thing you need is to fall asleep with anything on your skin other than pure nourishment. Misting on planes can help you fight off any bacteria as well as boost your natural hydration so you don’t feel incredibly dried out from the cabin’s lack of quality air flow. Just keep a hydrating mist in your carry on as well as a balm to help with dried lips, nostrils, eye ducts, and any area on the skin that is already sensitive. Lastly, you want to avoid touching your face at all costs! With so many people having sat in your seat previously and touched the screens in front of you, you don’t want that bacteria to end up on your face. The skincare part is very simple but in order to set yourself up for whole body success consider the following 5 steps as well.
1 - You will need a probiotic, digestive enzyme and liver support to help combat all of the changes your digestion will experience. The Super Elixir packets are easy to blend with coconut water while traveling and will provide you with all of the supplemental care needed. Another option to bring along would be charcoal pills if you’re prone to an upset stomach as this can help stabilize any irregularities.
2 - If you’re like me you might get super bloated when traveling so try to fast on the plane ride or just bring predigested foods so you don’t experience discomfort. I bring baby food, coconut butter, or a nut butter that I do well with so that I can get some nutrients but don’t have to work really hard to break anything down. It’s also ideal to drink warm fluids while you travel so ask your local coffee stand for a cup of warm water and sneak in your favorite calming tea like peppermint or ginger.
3 - Give yourself designated times to try to eat by once you arrive at your destination. Between 8-9 am for breakfast, between 12-1 for lunch and between 6:30 - 7:30 for dinner. Lots of digestive enzymes for each meal will also help you with digestion since you are not used to the food sources of the local dishes.
4 - If you start to feel anxious, try adding in an adaptogen like Spirit Dust by Moon Juice (they also have great sachets for on the go) or Gaia’s adrenal health blend. As someone who struggles with adrenal fatigue, these blends help me reduce my cortisol levels so I can actually enjoy my time away.
5 - If you tend to get sick while traveling I would suggest adding in some of the Four Sigmatic’s Chaga packets to help with immunity and avoiding any sugar while in transit. Our lymphatic system becomes very stagnant when sitting on a plane or car for hours so make sure to get some movement in to keep your skin from suffering with blocked infections.
Once you’ve arrived at your location make sure to wash your whole self as soon as you can. Even if it just starts with a little hand wash after you get off the plane. Getting rid of everyone else’s germs asap plus it’ll feel good to just cleanse your body of the air quality completely.
Bringing tons of skincare isn’t ideal but you do want to make sure you have your basics covered:
Gentle cleanser - This is essential for AM and PM use to reset your skin each day.
Toning mist - Water infusions for the skin so you can adapt to excess humidity or even the dryest climate.
SPF - Make sure your SPF is always new since they lose their potency after several months.
Balm - For the extra dry areas and can be used as a multipurpose salve if needed. My favorite is the coconut oil by Conscious Coconut because not only is it TSC approved, multi-purpose, Organic/fair-trade/cold-pressed, but with every tube sold a child in need gets a meal through feeding banks for America!
Mild exfoliating scrub - This is ideal post excursion or day in the sun prior to lots of nourishing.
I don’t love bringing all of my serums with me while I’m traveling because they are typically the most expensive part of my routine and I can’t afford TSA to lose or take them. I also wouldn’t get a treatment done prior to going on a trip or even while on a trip since you don’t necessarily know how your skin will respond. If you do decide to opt for that spa day make sure to tell your technician that you are traveling and to treat your skin with extra sensitivity and care.
At the end of the day, you can only do your best and prepare for so much. Just make sure to educate yourself ahead of time of the water quality at your travel location as well as the expected weather. From there you may find suggestions from expert travelers to be sufficient or simply ask your hotel for assistance in your local education. Just the fact that you are trying to be mindful is what it’s all about. Have fun and know that you can always get a facial whenever you come back home for a nice reset.