Jet-set skincare: Your guide to glowing skin when travelling

Travel skincare: Your guide to glowing skin when travelling

Set off on your jet-setting adventures with your skincare regime firmly in place by opting for products that not only prevent breakouts and soothe flare-ups, but also enhance your skin’s natural radiance.

I always advise against overhauling your skincare routine right before a trip. The temptation to stock up on new ‘travel essentials’ is real, but it’s wise to stick to what your skin knows and loves. By opting to fill reusable travel containers with your regular products or buying them in mini sizes, you avoid the risk of adverse skin reactions.

With your trusted products by your side, it’s time to craft a skincare lineup that ensures you arrive at your destination with skin that’s nothing short of flawless and ready for the camera.

Now, imagine transitioning from the chilly, fairy-tale charm of a European winter to the vibrant warmth of an Australian summer, all within the same month. Such varied environments demand a skincare routine that’s as adaptable as it is nurturing.

Dr Andrew Freeman, a renowned dermatologist, underscores the importance of understanding and caring for our skin microbiome, particularly in the context of travel.

“I’ve seen first-hand the significant impact acne and its effects can have on people, and the complexities our skin microbiome faces when travelling,” he said.

When travelling, our bodies and our skin microbiome are subjected to a whole range of challenges, such as increased sun exposure, dehydration, and other environmental changes, all of which can exacerbate any issues impacting our skin microbiome.”

The goal? To maintain skin that’s as radiant and supple as the diverse locales you explore. Read on to discover the secrets to keeping your skin luminous and healthy, no matter where your wanderlust leads you.

Luk lipstick trio

Luk lipstick trio. Image credit: Luk.

Lip care essentials

The importance of revamping your lip wardrobe and caring for the delicate skin around your lips, especially when journeying across diverse climates in a short succession, is often overlooked. Whether it’s the recycled air of flights or indulging in a few cocktails while basking in the sun, holiday lips are prone to dryness and sunburn.

Any lip balm or ChapStick boasting SPF protection is a good choice, but my current go-to is Jack Black Intense Lip Therapy with shea butter. However, to truly elevate your lip care game, incorporate a hydrating lip scrub that gently exfoliates and lipsticks that are infused with jojoba oil into your travel beauty routine.

Luk Beautifood’s lip nourish natural lipsticks are a quintessential travel companion and versatile beauty must-have. The hydrating formula strikes a perfect balance, offering a sheer touch of colour for daytime elegance and the ability to build to a bolder hue for evening glamour. It’s versatile enough to be dabbed across the apples of your cheeks, creating a hydrating, blendable cream blush too.

The Luk lip scrubs have become a beauty insider’s secret – these scrubs are a hot commodity, known for their swift departure off shelves so make sure to get on the waiting list for the next batch. I never embark on a journey without it.

Biologi's Hydra Balance Bio Cellulose Sheet Masks

Biologi's Hydra Balance Bio Cellulose Sheet Mask. Image credit: Biologi.

Sheet mask magic

Sheet masks are an absolute treasure in the realm of skincare, not only for their wide availability and suitability for bulk purchases but also as my top suggestion for anyone pondering the perfect use of a beauty store gift card – a question I get asked quite frequently.

In the world of travel skincare, the compact and pressure-resistant nature of sheet masks makes them an indispensable part of my kit. Their slim profile means they effortlessly slip into luggage so I never travel without packing at least two or three. I’m not shy about using one during a long-haul flight – a practice I’ve noticed is becoming increasingly common among fellow skin care enthusiasts once the cabin lights are dimmed. It’s high time we normalise these mid-flight sheet mask parties!

While I’m a firm believer in the effectiveness of drugstore options, like Skin Republic’s ceramide and retinoid eye patches, I gravitate towards formulas rich in active ingredients when travelling. Biologi’s Hydra Balance Bio Cellulose Sheet Masks are a standout because of the exceptional penetration and absorption capabilities of active ingredients, ensuring optimal hydration results.

The efficacy of this mask is a result of a perfect blend of flavonoid C glycosides, tryptophan, and lignan from Kawakawa leaf extract. This potent combination addresses redness, oiliness, and bacteria-related skin concerns. It’s particularly beneficial for those with oily, breakout-prone skin or those dealing with skin congestion, offering soothing and balancing benefits.

E.S.K. Spotless Pimple Patches

E.S.K. Spotless Pimple Patches. Image credit: Evidence Skincare (E.S.K.)

Quick fixes for travel-induced breakouts

For many, including myself, travel can often trigger acne flare-ups due to changes in diet, increased sunscreen and make-up usage, fluctuating climates, and varying pollution levels.

Pimple patches justify their cost by providing a focused treatment that not only diminishes inflammation and redness but also minimises the risk of scarring. They don’t take up much space and serve as a deterrent against touching or picking at the affected area, promoting better healing too.

Evidence Skincare (E.S.K.) Spotless Pimple Patches are what I fondly refer to as the ‘big guns’ in the realm of spot treatments because they can help stubborn acne battles with quick results which is what you want when travelling. Each patch is a technological marvel, featuring 300 dissolving hyaluronic acid microneedles.

These are not just any ordinary needles; they come with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. As explained by Dr Ginni Mansberg, co-founder of E.S.K., the microneedles serve a dual purpose. Less than one millimetre in length, they gently puncture the skin, not only stimulating a healing response but also enhancing the delivery of acne-fighting ingredients deeper into the epidermis.

The result? These patches have been my saviours in reducing even the largest, most inflamed spots on my face. Given their price point, they are indeed a luxury item in my skincare arsenal, to be used judiciously. However, for those moments when you need a reliable, potent solution to tackle acute acne issues, especially while on the move, E.S.K’s Spotless Pimple Patches are worth every penny.

The Base Collective SPF50 Hydrating Facial Mineral Sunscreen + Hyaluronic Acid

The Base Collective SPF50 Hydrating Facial Mineral Sunscreen + Hyaluronic Acid. Image credit: The Base Collective.

Sun protection for all climates

I’m always on the hunt for sunscreens that not only protect but also enhance skin health, and The Base Collective SPF50 Hydrating Facial Mineral Sunscreen + Hyaluronic Acid is a standout in this category. Specially formulated for humid climates, this water-resistant sunscreen combats the challenges of increased perspiration without leaving that dreaded white cast.

Cassie Sanghvi, the visionary founder of The Base Collective, delved into the nuances of creating a sunscreen that’s both effective in humid environments and flattering on the skin saying: “The key is to opt for a water-resistant formula when visiting a humid climate”. 

One of the most impressive feats of this sunscreen is its ability to avoid the unflattering white residue typical of mineral formulas. Thanks to a blend of natural oils and magnesium, this sunscreen seamlessly integrates into the skin. Sanghvi’s pro tip for completely dodging the ghostly effect from mineral-based sunscreens is to massage the product into the skin and allow a few minutes for absorption before applying make-up.

For those with oily skin, this sunscreen is a game-changer. Dispelling the myth that oily skin should avoid oil-based products, Sanghvi emphasises how the natural lipids in their sunscreen can help rebalance the skin’s barrier, gradually reducing oiliness over time.

When it comes to maintaining sun protection while keeping your make-up fresh, I can’t help but rave about Supergoop’s (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder. This cutting-edge, non-nano mineral powder is more than just a make-up setter – it provides a mattifying effect that caters to all skin types and offers sun protection. You can brush it on throughout the day, not only to keep your make-up fresh but also to continuously shield your skin from the sun.

Plendi Outback Mud Mask.

Plendi Outback Mud Mask. Image credit: Plendi.

Multitasking miracles for travelling

I’ve discovered what I consider the ultimate, must-have multitasking skincare product, and I wouldn’t dream of travelling without it – Plendi’s Outback Mud Mask.

For someone with dry skin like mine, the usual experience with mud masks has been less than ideal, often leaving my skin feeling dry, tight, and itchy. So, you can imagine my initial hesitation with this product. But, to my delight, it’s become my absolute favourite, versatile enough to be used all over the body too. If I had to choose just one skincare product to travel with, this would be it – my holy grail.

This mask isn’t just for the face. It’s a formidable ally against buttne, bacne, chestne (and every other type of ‘ne!) by regulating oil production, soothing inflammation and hydrating your skin with the power of Australian native botanicals such as Kakadu plum, kangaroo paw extract and macadamia oil.

For those constantly on the move or preparing for a long haul trip, having skincare wipes on hand is like possessing a secret weapon for maintaining vibrant, healthy skin. Formulas that  address specific needs like Biomiq’s hydration or acne wipes are innovative multitaskers that rejuvenating your skin’s microbiome, fortifying the skin’s barrier, and soothing any redness.

Whether braving the parched atmosphere of an aeroplane cabin or embracing the lush humidity of a tropical paradise, the key to stress-free travel lies in curating an arsenal of skincare products tailored to your needs.

Carla Horvath

Carla Horvath

Carla Horvath is a journalist with a background in public relations and digital marketing.

Her dynamic career has taken her across diverse cultural landscapes including the United States, Vietnam, and Australia, further enhancing her world view through excursions in over 40 different countries. With a career spanning 13 years, Carla weaves together personal experiences, current trends, and expert interviews into compelling, insightful stories.