Holiday season is almost upon us, which means it’s time to start planning a suitable skincare routine. A sudden change in weather can wreak havoc on the skin, and then there’s the actual journey to think about. Below, three experts share their top tips for supporting your skin throughout.
“When traveling from cold to hot climates the most immediate difference is that your skin is likely to perspire more,” says consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto. “For those with acne-prone skin, this can be a trigger for a breakout – not so much the perspiration initially, but when it is left on the skin for a long time.” Which is why Mahto insists on thorough cleansing twice a day, to remove perspiration, sunscreen and pollution from the skin. And not just on the face. “This expands to your whole body,” she says. “The neck, chest and back are also prone to breakouts.”
Opt for a pH balancing toner
As you travel from between different climates the pH of the skin can change, which is why A-list facialist and esthetician Joanna Czech always recommends using a pH-balancing toner. “Our skin is naturally acidic,” she says. “Typically it has a pH balance of between five and six.” When our skin’s pH raises towards alkaline levels, it triggers a chain reaction that results in trans-epidermal water loss, dehydration, and eventually inflammation. A pH balancing toner restores the skin to its ideal state.
“When we go from hot to cold temperatures, our blood vessels constrict to help regulate body temperature,” says Mahto. “In some people with certain skin conditions (sensitive/reactive skin/those with rosacea), this can trigger a flare up.” Here’s where your calming ingredients come in handy. In particular: niacinamide. As one part of the vitamin B3 molecule, niacinamide is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents in skincare, working to suppress the skin’s inflammatory response to calm and soothe skin – an ideal addition to the frequent traveler’s beauty kit.
Invest in a good lip balm
“The low humidity associated with cabin air can be quite drying for the skin,” says Mahto. Any flight that’s longer than four hours, and your skin is going to feel it – particularly on the lips, which are incredibly vulnerable. An occlusive lip balm applied regularly is an absolute must.
Even before you arrive at your destination, you have the journey to contend with, and all the germs and dry, cold air that comes with it. It’s a recipe for dehydration all round. This is where skincare layering comes in: think humectants, occlusives and emollients. “Extra hydration is my focus when it comes to dealing with the dryness of travel,” says Dr Barbara Sturm. “During the flight, I use my Anti-Pollution Drops and Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and seal with a cream to avoid trans-epidermal water loss.”
As for long-haul flights, Sturm reapplies her face cream throughout to keep the skin feeling fresh and moistened. “I always travel with my Hydrating Face Mist, and I’ll often apply my Face Mask and leave it on whilst I’m sleeping, too.”