Happy Holidays! This is a busy time of year for travel, and I’ve been asked a lot of questions about how to keep skin looking fresh and glowy all winter long—especially when traveling.
Airline travel is the enemy of hydration. Air in plane cabins tends to be exceedingly dry and depletes your skin’s moisture reserves, so the trick to flying with gorgeous skin is making sure you lock in hydration before you fly. Pre-flight, I do a full routine with a gentle cleanse and several hydrating layers. That can include a mist, a hyaluronic acid serum, an oil, and maybe even a balm to top it all off.
During the flight, don’t touch your face. There’s a current trend of performing extensive in-flight facial routines, of which I’m not a fan in most instances. Trying to work through a full routine on a flight gets messy and complicated. Unless you’re lucky enough to fly first class on a long haul or intercontinental flight, you probably don’t have access to the amenities necessary for a thorough cleanse. Plus, the interior of a plane is covered in the bacteria of everyone who rode before you—Purell can only do so much. Your best bet is to avoid touching your face to prevent spreading germs from your environment to your skin.
Once you reach your destination, go through your full skincare routine and feel free to supplement it with an additional hydrating gel mask. And don’t forget to rehydrate! Drinking plenty of water is a good habit to practice every day, but it’s especially important on travel days.
When I’m traveling, I rely on a minimalist routine of 5 key products. I use my Matinee Gel Cleanser to cleanse in the morning, and my After Show Treatment Cleanser to break down SPF and the grime of the day during my PM routine. Morning and night I’ll use my Hydrate Facial Serum and a facial oil, both of which can be layered to build more moisture in the skin. During the day I top it off with a facial sunscreen like the Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50. Even in winter, SPF remains crucial!
A lot of tips for travel apply to general winter skin woes, as well. Cold wintry air doesn’t hold as much moisture as warm air does, and running a heater dries out the air inside your home even further. Using a humidifier maintains moisture in your environment and helps to counteract winter dryness.
As far as products go, a lot of people gravitate towards heavier cleansers and creams in search of replenishment. I find that adding more layers (rather than richer products) works well for all skin types. If richly textured products are appropriate for your skin type, then that’s absolutely fine! However, a wider range of people can benefit from layering hydrating mists, toners, serums, or facial oils. Apply each new layer when your skin is still damp from the previous product to ensure maximum moisture, and apply an oil as an occlusive last step to lock in all of that hydration. I’m a big fan of using an oil after a lotion or cream to seal it all in.
Lastly, stay away from foaming cleansers in the winter. A true oily skin type may be able to get away with it, but even they would benefit from a non-foaming gel cleanser. Dry skin in particular should seek out cleansing balms, oil cleansers, or cream cleansers during these colder months.
Tell me about your winter skin-saving strategies in the comments below, and I hope you travel safe this holiday season!