Let’s face it: all forms of traveling can be stressful. Whether it’s by plane, train, car, or bus, a day of traveling can take a toll on your appearance. Plus, if you’re traveling somewhere far from home any changes in weather, humidity, or water quality can play a role in how you’ll need to care for your skin. Taking these factors into consideration, below you’ll find 5 skin care travel tips to help make your travels a little bit less stressful.

1. Keep up with your daily skincare routine

cleanserWhile vacation is a time to relax and to have fun, it’s not an excuse to forgo taking care of your skin. Take your normal skincare products with you during travel. It’s true that this can be challenging at times, especially when you have to fit everything into a travel sized bag as well as meet TSA regulations. This just means you’ll have to do some planning in advance. Invest in travel sized containers so you can take a small supply of your products with you. Organize those containers into bags with labels such as “skincare” and “makeup”.

Worst case scenario, if you can only take one skin care item from home, let it be your cleanser. WebMD reports that, “An abrupt change in cleansers can disrupt skin’s acid balance and cause a vacation breakout.”

While sticking to the same cleanser is important as mentioned above, you can make adjustments with your moisturizer to better fit the climate you’re visiting. For example, your skin may benefit from using a gel moisturizer rather than a cream or lotion moisturizer when traveling to a warm, humid climate. This is because gels have a higher water content than creams or lotions, making them lightweight as well as hydrating.

2. Don’t forget the sunscreen

Daily sunscreen use is crucial all of the time, but even moreso when traveling to locations that expose your skin to more sun than you’re used to. Pack a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen. Broad spectrum provides protection against the two types of UV rays that can harm your skin: UVA and UVB. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, whereas UVB rays can burn your skin. Both types of rays can cause skin cancer. Most dermatologists agree that choosing sunscreen with SPF 30 is the safest way to go. Anything above SPF 30 is not usually necessary as it has little incremental benefit and below 30 does not offer enough protection.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

3. Moisturize pre-flight

airplaneIf your travels involve flying, it’s important to keep in mind the dehydrating effects of cabin pressure and make adjustments to your skincare routine accordingly. Most airplane cabins are only about 20 percent humidity, which can wreak havoc on your skin that is typically most comfortable when the humidity is between 40 and 70 percent. The result? Red, dry skin that is dehydrated and looking dull. No one wants to arrive at their travel destination looking like that, so what can you do?

Since there is hardly any moisture in the air during flight, moisturizers don’t work as well since their is nothing to grab onto. Your best bet is to use a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is the key molecule involved in skin moisture and has a unique capacity to bind and retain water molecules. In fact, just one gram (0.03 ounce) of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water. Apply a quarter-sized amount of a serum that’s packed with hyaluronic acid pre-flight and your skin will thank you upon arrival!

4. Blot oily skin

This next skin care travel tip is for those with oily skin that can often get out of control when traveling. Excessively oily skin can be embarrassing, irritating, and add to the stress of traveling. If this sounds like you, bring blotting papers or rice papers in your carry-on or purse during your next trip. Starting with your T-zone (the nose, chin, and forehead), press one sheet firmly but gently against the shiny areas of your face. Leave the paper against your skin for a few seconds while it absorbs the oil. Don’t rub or move the paper across your skin, but rather press and pull the sheet away from the face. This will dab up the excess oil without stripping your face of moisture.

5. Simplicity is key

Skin care travel tip number one suggested to keep up with your normal routine, but know that simplicity is key. If your normal routine involves potentially irritating ingredients, like alpha-hydroxy acids, peels, and resurfacing treatments, it might be best to leave these products at home. Stick to a simple routine, such as cleanser, toner, moisturizer…and sunscreen.