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How to care for your skin on a road trip — 10 top tips

Summer is here and many of us are hitting the open road and traveling for the first time in a long time. But how do you look after your skin when you don’t have your usual facilities? Here’s our 10 top tips for keeping your skin happy and healthy on the road.

1. Wash your face twice a day

woman washing her face

It sounds obvious, but when you’re traveling and your schedule changes, so does your skincare routine. This is especially true if you’re on a road trip and don’t always have access to fresh water. But washing your face twice a day is the best thing you can do to keep your skin healthy, and remove all the accumulated dirt and pollution from the road.

2. Bathe in lukewarm water

woman's hand under shower faucet

There’s nothing like a hot shower, but it’s not the best thing for your skin. Hot water has a drying effect on skin, and strips protective oils. Try to keep your showers lukewarm, especially when you're traveling. Different areas have different minerals in their water, and heat plus harder water results in unhappy skin.

3. Use a good cleanser

woman hanging out of car on road trip in mountains

Even if you don’t have much time to follow a skincare routine, you can find a few moments to cleanse each night. Aim for a gentle product such as micellar water, which will remove dirt, makeup, and impurities without causing irritation. And best of all, it can easily be applied with a cotton pad and doesn’t need rinsing off, making it super convenient when you’re on the road. Try to avoid using cleansing facial wipes, as they often contain harsh ingredients that damage the skin’s protective acid mantle. If you have to rely on wipes, look for ones that are alcohol free.

4. Don’t skip the moisturizer!

woman applying moisturizer to hands

However and wherever you’re traveling, moisturizing is a must. Hot and cold climates alike can quickly dehydrate skin, while too long spent in front of a heater or AC will also take its toll. When you’re in a new environment, you might not realize the damage being done until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to pack a nourishing moisturizer and apply it regularly, to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

5. Use sunscreen

sun shining through car window

If you’re sitting in a car all day, you might not think about the effect of the sun through the windows, but those harmful UV rays can reach your skin, even if the AC is keeping you cool. Even on cloudy days, it’s still important to protect against sun damage. Not only will this help you avoid sunburn, it will keep your skin looking younger and healthier for years to come.

6. Get minis of your regular products

woman using mini toiletry bottle

Switching skincare products triggers breakouts for most of us. You already know what works for your skin, so invest in minis of your regular products, or decant them into travel-sized bottles. Keeping your routine as similar as possible will help support your skin through different environments and stressors, reducing the risk of unwanted side effects.

7. Stay hydrated

man drinking from bottle of water

Between differences in climate, increased sun exposure, and just the change to your routine, staying hydrated can be hard when you’re traveling. Keep a water bottle with you wherever possible and make a point to drink regularly. Your skin will love you for it!

8. Avoid hotel products

basket of complimentary soaps and lotions

The complimentary soaps, shampoo, and shower gels provided by hotels might look cute, but they contain a whole host of nasty ingredients. From overpowering fragrance to harsh chemicals, these products can dry your skin, strip essential oils, and leave you red and irritated. Stick to your usual products instead wherever possible, or buy better quality products once you arrive at your destination.

9. Use lip balm

woman applying lip balm

Even the most skin-conscious of us often forget to pack a lip balm when we travel, but exposure to different temperatures, dry or humid air, and UV light can affect our lips just as much as the rest of our faces. Pack a nourishing lip balm with soothing and hydrating ingredients such as beeswax or petroleum jelly to keep your lips soft and healthy.

10. Think about the ingredients in your skincare products

smiling woman facing sun while traveling

You might swear by retinol or alpha hydroxy acids in your skincare, but these ingredients can increase your sensitivity to UV light. Not only does that make you more susceptible to sunburn, it can cause long-term damage to your skin — the exact opposite effect you want! If you’re planning a sun-seeking vacation, it might be worth skipping those products for the duration. You’ll want to think ahead for this, because the effects of retinol or AHAs can last 1-2 weeks after the last application.

In conclusion

Enjoying a change of scenery this summer doesn’t have to be harsh on your skin. Find a simple routine you can stick to and take your usual products when you travel. Just a few small adjustments will ensure your skin stays healthy, hydrated, and protected all summer long.

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