10 Travel Skin Care Tips: Essential Rules To Maintain Your Skin On-The-Go

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD
by Ramona Sinha

Traveling is the healthiest addiction, don’t you think? While traveling can be relaxing for your mind, body, and soul, it’s equally stressful for your skin! Before you travel, a million things run through your mind – from getting your passport, travel card, and clothes to packing your bags. I bet skin care is the last thing on your mind, which is unfortunate because the changing weather, routine, and travel stress affect your skin a lot! But, you don’t need to worry. Your travel skin care routine does not need to be elaborate and complicated. All you need is a bit of prep – and this article will tell you how to do that.

Before we dive in, let’s take a minute to talk about how exactly traveling affects your skin.

How Travelling Affects Your Skin


When you are traveling, your daily skin care routine takes a back seat. You are also exposed to different weather and environmental conditions (including pollution levels), and you will probably eat a variety of foods (including junk food). All of these factors affect your skin when you are traveling. Let’s look at them in detail.

  • The Changing Air

Remember this: your skin breaks out when it lacks moisture. Whether you are traveling by plane or the air at the place you travel to is dry, it is going to affect your skin. Moreover, when you travel, you often forget to drink enough water. This dehydrates your skin further.

Also, check the weather of the place you are traveling to. If it is cold, the air will be dry, and your skin will dry out quickly. If it is a warm place, it will be humid, and your skin will release sebum and be prone to comedones (clogged pores).

  • A Change In Your Daily Skin Care Routine

When you are traveling, it is impossible to follow your daily skin care routine religiously. In between your overnight flights, train journeys, and road trips, you will not even get the time to wash your face properly. When your skin is not clean, the dead skin cells accumulate on its surface, leading to uneven skin tone and breakouts.

  • Changes In Your Skin Care Products

You check into a hotel, and just when you plan to take a shower, you see these small skin care products (usually face and body lotions, face wash, cleanser, shampoo, and soap) provided by the hotel. While it is hard to resist the temptation, you need to remember that these products don’t address specific skin problems or are not designed to suit your skin type. Using them will only lead to breakouts and other skin issues.

  • A Change In Your Schedule

When you are traveling, your sleep and wake up cycle becomes erratic. Hence, you might not be able to follow the usual skin care routine that you do when at home.

Well, the good news is, there are fixes for all these travel skin care woes. You don’t need to invest in new skin care products while traveling. All you need to do is tweak your routine and bring take along only the “must-have” products. Here is how you can do that.

10 Essential Skin Care Tips To Follow While Traveling


1. Carry Facial Wipes Or Towelettes

If you don’t want to carry a facial cleanser or use the cleanser provided by the hotel, pre-moistened facial wipes or makeup removing towelettes are your best option. Carry them in a ziplock bag. You can use them anywhere – in the airplane, while traveling in a bus or car, while sitting at the beach, or in your hotel room.

Make sure to carry good-quality facial wipes. If you don’t know which ones to go for, check these out:

  • Neutrogena Cleansing Towelettes – Buy here!
  • Garnier Skin Active Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes – Buy here!
  • Simple Exfoliating Facial Wipes – Buy here!

2. Carry A Facial Mist Spray

This is a must-have for everyone! Whether you are on a weekend trip or a long vacay, never forget to carry a facial mist. It is hydrating and will keep your skin refreshed throughout your trip. When you spritz it on your face, you add moisture to your skin. This is especially helpful if you have dry and combination skin or if you are traveling to a colder climate.

Check out these hydrating face mists suitable for all skin types:

3. Carry Your Favorite Facial Cleanser

A facial cleanser is more important than your serums and under eye creams. A daily cleanser makes sure that at the end of the day, your skin is devoid of dirt, pollution, and impurities. Unclean skin is a strict no-no wherever you are!

Some gentle cleansers that you may try include:

  • Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub – Buy here!
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser – Buy here!
  • Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser – Buy here!

4. Don’t Forget Moisturizer

A good face moisturizer helps maintain your skin’s health. It keeps your skin hydrated, which prevents breakouts and skin issues caused by excessive dryness. Remember to moisturize your skin before you board your flight. The air inside planes is drying and can damage your skin.

Here are some best-selling moisturizers that you can check out:

  • Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream – Buy here!
  • Paula’s Choice Omega +Complex Moisturizer – Buy here!
  • Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer – Buy here!

5. Don’t Ditch SPF

Ask anyone which product they can’t do without, and they will tell you the secret – a good sunscreen. Sunscreen goes a long way in taking care of your skin and the way it looks.

Here are a few travel-friendly sunscreens you can carry with you:

  • Colorscience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Brush – Buy here!
  • Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 – Buy here!
  • Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen SPF 60 – Buy here!

6. Pack Some Sheet Masks

Sheet masks don’t take any extra space in your luggage and are great for your skin. These treatment-soaked papers can be an excellent alternative for the serums and special creams that you will miss while traveling.

Here are a few sheet masks you can carry with you:

  • Verso Deep Hydration Mask – Buy here!
  • Charlotte Tilbury’s Revolutionary Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask – Buy here!
  • Laneige Water Pocket Sheet Mask – Buy here!

7. Avoid Touching Your Face Often

Keeping your hands off your face helps minimize breakouts. Strictly abide by this rule when traveling. This is because you might pick up unknown bacteria that can cause multiple skin issues. Wash your hands with an antibacterial hand wash or sanitizer as much as possible.

8. Skip Makeup

Whether you are about to board your flight or check out some tourist spots, makeup is a strict no-no. Many prefer using a tinted moisturizer while traveling, but it is better to stick to your daily day cream and SPF to let your skin breathe. This is because the changing weather conditions and atmosphere may cause your skin to break out.

9. Carry A Good Eye Cream

If you are constantly battling eye puffiness, carry a good under-eye cream with you. As an alternative, you may also wrap crushed ice in a washcloth (if you don’t have an ice pack) and apply it on your eyes. This will rejuvenate your eyes immediately.

Here are some good eye creams to say goodbye to puffiness:

10. Don’t Compromise On Your Beauty Sleep

Not getting enough sleep while traveling can make your skin more prone to issues. So, try to get a good night’s sleep even when you are traveling.

We all want to look good in our vacation pictures. If you take good care of your skin while traveling, you don’t need to rely on foundation to make your skin look and feel good. Follow these simple tips to avoid worrying about your skin during your trip.

What are the skin care hacks that you abide by while traveling? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.