Protecting Your Skin Barrier: A Traveler’s Guide to Dry Skin Care

Maintain Your Skin's Health While Traveling: A Comprehensive Guide to Protecting and Nourishing Your Skin Barrier Against Dryness and Damage
AuthorBy Amira Nouh, MD

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2024

Traveling can be surprisingly rough on your skin. Exposure to the various environmental factors that damage your skin is a part and parcel of international travel, and when combined with potential dehydration and too much time spent in the sun, it is easy to see why skincare can take a beating on vacation.

As a result, protecting your skin barrier is hugely important when traveling. Maintaining your skin’s moisture is a vital part of avoiding dryness, irritation, and discomfort, and helps make your adventures much more enjoyable.

So if you are planning a 2024 cruise orpacking your bags for a long-haul flight around the world, take a look at the tips below on how to care for dry skin while on the road.

Hydration Starts from Within

Keeping your skin hydrated is, unsurprisingly, the best way to avoid dryness. However many people forget that the foundation for healthy skin is hydration from within. You can use as many hydrating products and any best moisturizers as you like, but if you aren’t hydrating internally they will struggle to have an impact. So when you are traveling, remember to drink plenty of water before, during, and after. This will give your skin a strong foundation and help it retain moisture better, combatting the dehydrating effects of travel.

Gentle Cleansing Routine

Cleansing your skin is an important part of your skincare routine, but harsh cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils making it harder to hydrate. When you are traveling, look for a more gentle option, ideally a hydrating cleanser that includes hyaluronic acid or glycerin, as these ingredients will help to maintain your skin’s balance and keep it moist. Discover the best cleansers of 2024 on our site for your skincare needs.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

As you might imagine, moisturizing is a crucial part of avoiding dry skin! A rich, hydrating moisturizer is a great way to give your skin what it needs to stay hydrated. Look for mini versions of your favorite product (or decant your own into a smaller tub) so you can keep your skin nourished on the go.

Invest in a Quality Sunscreen

The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in a number of ways and are a huge part of why skin gets dry. While many people might think sunscreen is just for beach vacations, it is actually important to protect your skin at all times, even on cloudy days. Invest in a quality sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and use it whenever you plan to be outside for an extended period. If applying sunscreen is a pain, look for beauty products with SPF for a low-effort alternative.

Pack a Facial Mist

These are the canny traveler’s secret weapon. By carrying a hydrating mist with you wherever you go you can give your face a spritz to instantly refresh and revitalize your skin whenever it feels dry, plus it feels great on a hot, humid day too! Standard sprays are fine, but if you can find a mist that includes gentle, soothing ingredients such as aloe vera or rosewater, so much the better!

Avoid Long, Hot Showers

While ‘more water’ might sound like a good idea to combat dryness, long hot showers can actually have a negative impact on your skin. The heat strips your skin of essential oils and can wash away protection, so stick to shorter, lukewarm showers where you can, and be gentle when it comes to toweling off to reduce damage.

The tips above give you a great headstart in keeping your skin fresh and protected, and avoiding the dryness and irritation that can come from traveling. With hydrated skin you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation in full, looking as good as you feel!


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