How to Deal: Sensitive Skin While Travelling

Here are a couple of scenarios we know only too well:

1. The unanticipated zit on holiday. Urgh.
2. A t-zone so shiny that the sun bounces off of it.
3. Forgetting to pack your own facial wash and having to use the hotel’s soap bar.

SOS. As in “save our skin” or “save our soul”, depending on how seriously you take your appearance. Well, we take ours pretty seriously. And after countless travels and even more trial-and-error beauty tips, products and other solutions, we think can be your travel guide come skincare savior.

#1 Be Adventurous, But Not With Skincare

Hold off on that Korean beauty haul.

Bungee jump, sky dive, free-fall, be a luxe adrenaline junkie if you must, but if you’re thinking of taking the seal off your new snail mucus facial serum right before your flight, you must be crazy. Even if your complexion has been pretty decent lately, there’s nothing like a little humidity and heat to remind you who’s boss — and that’s you. So be proactive rather than reactive (like a true boss lady) with a safe bet like Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser. This stuff won’t dry your skin out so you might not even need to moisturise after, despite what the experts tell you.

#2 Stay Away from Essential Oils

Rule of thumb: If it burns, run.

Essential oils work wonders on easy-ouch skin, right? So wrong. We’d like to know who’s been spreading this rumour, because they’ve clearly never experienced the wrath of a post-facial rash. We’re not even kidding — certain oils like ginger, peppermint, lemon and orange can make your skin more sensitive under the sun, so your tan turns into a sunburn and the premature wrinkles that come with… Just say no. Instead, book yourself a skin-relaxing papaya or aloe vera facial, or an oxygen treatment that hydrates and breathes a little more life into your skin.

#3 Always Have a Plan C

And as you can guess, it’s made of plants and other natural ingredients.

Sunblock, foundation, and loose powder? Three’s a crowd. It’s BB cream’s cooler younger sister CC cream to the rescue. Over the years we’ve had a number of issues with this tinted moisturiser wannabe: it’s sticky, sometimes it shimmers (what even) and hardly ever complements anyone with a skin tone above pearly fairy dust white. Being persistent, we’re glad we stuck it out because eventually we found the exception to the rule (every girl has one); Smarty Plants CC SPF 20 by Origins. It “corrects” your complexion, smells wonderful and comes in three shades.

#4 Sadly, You Have to Make Smart Food Choices

Cucumbers vs a rockin’ good time.

The truth hurts, but so does picking blackheads (sorry for the visual). The age old question of “does chocolate cause acne?” is one no girl should ever have to hear, ask, or read about ever again. What triggers breakouts for some people may not have the same reaction for others. So don’t avoid every “bad” choice completely, but do be smart about consuming food you know doesn’t treat your skin well (this piece of advice can be applied to other aspects of your life too). If soy isn’t your best friend, skip the soy latte but say yes to tempeh.

#5 Sadly, That Might Include Alcohol 

Red red wine, goes to your head, makes you forget (to remove your make-up).

What’s funny is that you might have a good ten year window to enjoy having a great complexion, in between your awkward teenage acne phase and your late 20s “the hangover is real” years. Enjoy it while you can because one day you’re going to party like it’s 1999 and wake up to pores the size of craters. So the next time you forget what year it is, drink a glass of water in between every alcohol beverage, and ditch the sugar-laden cocktails for red wine. If that’s what you have to have to do for a dose of skin-friendly antioxidants, then pass us another glass.

Where’s a girl to go

Photo credits: Main, 1, 2, 4 and 5.


Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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