Travel is a wonderful way to enrich your life, step out of your comfort zone, learn more about the world, and interact with people from various cultures. Yet our desire for novel experiences can subject us to a greater level of wear and tear than we’ve grown accustomed to in our everyday lives. That’s bad news for anyone’s skincare routine. (Image Credits: Svetlana Sokolova/Freepik)
Getting into an airplane, for instance, isn’t merely a quick trip from Point A to faraway Point B. It brings you miles closer to the sun’s radiation. The plane’s micro-climate has been controlled for increased pressure and lower humidity. You often spend hours in cramped conditions and feel more stressed than usual.
Air travel can be harsh on your skin, but even that ordeal is usually just the beginning of a journey. Many people go to increasingly remote and exotic destinations to enjoy unique outdoor adventures.
There’s no doubt such experiences are well worth the effort. But nobody wants to dread returning to the office or putting off plans to see a matchmaker just because they need to rejuvenate their faces on returning home. How can you take better care of your skin while you’re exploring the outdoors?
Cover the Basics
There are some things any traveler must never forget when it comes to skincare. High-SPF sunscreen, cleansing wipes, and a pair of sunglasses should be in anyone’s bag when they head out.
Exploring nature is no different. Moisturizer and lip balm are particularly needed to protect against cold and dry environments, which is practically everywhere if you’re camping out.
Clothing is your friend, even in hot and humid climes. Loose, breathable fabrics help shield you from the sun without becoming uncomfortable. In colder weather, a scarf and further layers help retain moisture while keeping you warm.
Always Pack the Essentials
Heading out into natural territory usually means leaving the trappings of civilization behind. You’ll be hiking or biking several miles in a day. It’s good for your fitness, but everyone can last longer walking in the wilderness with a lighter pack.
The recommended weight of a backpack for hikers should be no more than 20% of body weight, and ideally close to 10%. Thus, if you weigh 150 pounds, you could comfortably carry a 15-pound backpack. You could add some more to that load, but don’t push past 30 pounds.
Considering that much of that weight will be taken up by essential gear, such as a sleeping bag, tent, cooking kit, raincoat, or down jacket. Then you’ll have to pack food and water, along with gadgets. It all adds up pretty quickly.
As a result, skincare products tend to get left out altogether. And that’s a problem because you’ll often need to reapply stuff like sunblock or lip balm.
The solution? Whenever possible, shop for products that come in travel-friendly sizes. If that’s not an option, hack your own containers. Used bottles of eye drops, for instance, are suitable for most liquid-based products.
Be Considerate of Nature
We use skincare products each day without giving much thought to their scent. When we do, it’s a consideration of secondary importance. You probably don’t mind if facial wipes smell like rose water or green tea, so long as they get the job done.
But when you’re out in nature, you have to consider scent. In fact, products that lack any fragrance become more desirable. Unusual scents can attract more bugs, and they can also draw attention from larger unwanted guests. Depending on where you’re traveling, that could mean a higher chance of a bear encounter.
While you’re at it, consider nature in another way: shop for biodegradable products. The hiker’s ethic is to leave no trace. But if you are unable to ensure that every last scrap of trash is brought back home with you, at least your products will have minimal impact on the environment.
Watch Your Diet
One more unexpected way in which travel can upset your skin is through diet. When we hit the road, we tend to get hungry. After all, we’re taking on more physical activity (and often, stress) than we’re used to. And when you’re in a new place, the temptation to load your pack with unusual snacks is high.
However, keep in mind that the ingredients used in foreign-made products might have a different composition than what your body is used to. Your skin can easily react in unforeseen ways.
There’s a time and place for food adventures, and it’s typically when you’re in the city and not exploring nature. Play safe during your outdoor trips. Stay hydrated with nothing but water, and pack some trusted energy-dense trail mix or other familiar products.