• Travelling and Your Skincare

Travelling and Your Skincare

For most women it is almost impossible to step out of the aeroplane with fresh radiant skin. Although lack of sleep during a long flight causes bags and a pale skin, there are also other reasons why flying can be a drain on your skin. Fortunately there are ways in which you can limit the damage or even avoid it when travelling.

Both feet back on the ground again?

It has emerged from very recent research that interference with your body clock after long flights can, during the course of the day, cause your skin to become less efficient at protecting against outside influences. So theoretically jetlag can prematurely age your skin. This effect is more noticeable if you are older; when you are younger your body clock has much less difficulty with this change. This makes it additionally important after a long flight to protect your skin with a sun filter and a cream with higher concentrations of anti-oxidants. Good anti-oxidants are, for example, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and Vitamin E (Tocopherol).

An occasional spray…

Apart from the fact that your skin has difficulty in adjusting to the new rhythm, it also has trouble retaining moisture during the flight. The dry air in the aeroplane dries your skin out very quickly and an over dry skin is more susceptible to external irritants. So your skin can feel not only dry after a long flight, but also look red and blotchy. This can also be largely avoided. Keep your skin damp while travelling by spraying it with water (water from the tap is also good as you may not get through customs with a plant sprayer).

And smear in extra hydrating substances!

If you want to avoid dry skin then the trick is to seal it off while it is still damp with a cream which stops moisture from evaporating! The best thing is good old fashioned Vaseline; it is a bit sticky and shiny but it works a treat. And it is a myth that it causes spots, it so happens that it doesn’t block the pores. If you want to do it really thoroughly, firstly apply onto your damp skin a Moisturizer which contains substances that retain the moisture like a sponge in your skin (such as Hyaluronic Acid) and substances which can strengthen and soothe it (eg. Niacinamide). Then over this apply a layer of Vaseline! You know, for sure, then that you will step out of the aeroplane with lovely smooth skin.

The ‘basics’ at your destination

At your holiday destination you often have to deal with high temperatures, a lot of sun and a variable humidity. If you want to avoid sun damage (the cause of wrinkles and pigmentation) then it is better to protect your skin not only with a sun cream but also with a cream containing anti-oxidants. If you are on a city break this will also protect your skin against the increased air pollution. Apart from a sun cream and a cream with anti-oxidants, a mild, preferably un-perfumed, Cleanser wouldn’t go a miss in your travel bag. At the end of the day you can use this to remove the last traces of dirt and sun cream from your face with ease.

The temperature and humidity

If you are travelling to a country with high temperatures and humidity, then it’s best not to use an overly rich cream; otherwise there is a big chance that you will suffer from fluid filled bumps or blisters. A water based cream or serum will then be sufficient. If you go to cold climates or often sit in hotels then you most probably have to deal with low humidity. In this case apply the tips that I gave about skincare during flights. It may be wise in this situation to wash your face with a Cleanser in the evenings only; cleansing your face twice a day may be just too much of a good thing!

Which factor should you take when travelling?

One more tip about the sun cream; unless you have extremely pale skin, using a factor 15 or 30 is likely to be high enough. If you apply a sun cream properly and according to the rules a factor 15 will give just 6% less and a factor 30 just 3% less protection than a total sunblock. Furthermore, the lower factors are often more pleasant to use and generally contain less irritating ingredients.

Regards Jetske.

(Dr. Jetske Ultee-Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)

You can also read:
‘Luxury Ingredients for Your Skin’,
A Healthy Barrier Function, a Healthy Skin‘,
What Is a Serum?’,
Such Dry Skin“, and
Winter: What Does It Do to Your Skin?