I’m an overpacker. I have to bring everything I use on a daily basis and everything I may want to use, just in case. Since I haven’t traveled by plane since these crazy one-bag-per-person luggage restrictions, I am in for some serious packing anxiety soon. Probably half of my suitcase is needed for my skin care, bath and hair products. I just don’t trust whatever the hotel may have as far as shampoo and body lotion. Sometimes good, sometimes bad and sometimes, nothing at all except a bar of soap. (Yes, sometimes I had to travel on a tight budget and wound up at a less than high end hotel. My travel agent wasn’t too happy about an 11pm phone call with me sobbing hysterically for him to get me out of there even though every room in the city was booked. Somehow it happened. But anyway…….)
Packing Your Skin Care Essentials
What can you leave at home without sacrifice? Well, nothing really but space is at a premium in your suitcase so get creative. I say carry on whatever you desperately must have but keep in mind the 3.4oz liquid rule for your carry on. As far as make-up, everything I need for an entire face is in my handbag every day no matter what. Ya never know. Scour the cosmetic counter for sample bottles of foundation, mini mascaras, eye shadow sets and teeny blush sets. Come on, you know what I mean. These are included in the gift sets that major cosmetic companies give away several times a year. Buy something, anything, just so you can score make-up minis for your kit. If your skin is anything like mine, after a long flight you’re going to need to re-do your face before you get off the plane. That recycled airplane air is smelly and gross and makes a disaster of your skin. Bring your make-up on board!
Mile High Skin Care
The humidity level on an airplane is about 10-20 percent, lower than the typical 35-60 percent we are used to indoors. This can dehydrate skin making it dull and dry looking. Slather on a protective cream before boarding to coat your skin with an extra layer of protection from these conditions. Pack a moisture mask that you can do at the hotel before bed to do some damage control from the long flight.
On the other hand, strange as it may seem, some skin types gush oil when sitting in a dehydrating airplane. I don’t know if the long exposure to dry air stimulates the oil glands into overdrive but I can tell you, it happens. It happens to me and it’s not pretty. If this sounds like you, carry along a small bottle of astringent and some cotton pads so you can do a quick mop up when things get out of control. Oil blotting papers are great for this too. Just don’t sop up the gushing oil with your compact sponge and put it back in the compact. You are asking for skin problems by doing that, not to mention ruining the powder with moisture. Pack a clay mask to do before bed to tighten pores up and get things back to normal.
You're On Vacation, But Your Skin Care Regimen Isn't!
Get a hold of some 2oz travel bottles for your cleanser, toner, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. These can easily be found in a drugstore or cosmetic store especially with the recent baggage and carry on limits, they are now more widely available. As for your sunscreen, bring a full size since research shows we never apply enough to get the protection we need. 1oz (the size of a shot glass) is the minimum that should be slathered on us at least 20 minutes before getting on the beach. Wrap all your liquid products in plastic storage bags to prevent leaks. Nothing worse than opening your suitcase to find all your clothes reeking in perfume or lotion that leaked on everything.
How come the sun is always stronger on vacation? Sounds funny but laying out at your own pool in New Jersey in the summer is a heck of a lot different from laying out on a tropical beach near the equator where the sun’s rays are much stronger. Load up on the sunscreen and keep reapplying, often. Don’t forget to protect your hair when you’re on a beach vacation. Bring a long a bottle of spray in conditioner that will keep locks moist when you’re out in the sun and it will help you comb through your hair after you take a dip in the ocean.
Other Skin Care Considerations for Traveling
How is the change in climate going to affect your skin? Have you thought of that? You will need to pack some special things for a ski vacation versus a beach vacation, obviously, but I don’t mean clothes. Cold, blustery weather can chap your face so a thick protective cream with sunscreen is a necessity. Your regular moisturizer will not cut it for a day on the slopes. A lip balm with sunscreen, super thick hand cream and body lotion would make sense here too. Does warm, humid weather cause your skin to breakout and act erratic? Add in too many margaritas, not enough sleep, and the inevitable diet-ruining feast, and your skin might not be in good shape. Bring along some acne spot treatments just in case.
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Plan ahead so you can have great skin and enjoy your vacation without any stress. Happy packing!