Travel Beauty Tips for When You’re on the Road, in the Air and Away From Your Skin Care Routine

BY Jessica Griffiths · August 1, 2017

woman on vacation

To travel is to escape the every day, to unravel yourself from your obligations and embrace the unexpected. Changing your routine can be liberating for your soul, but tough on your skin. If you’re flying high, your skin is sure to dry out and maybe even break out from the lack of moisture in the plane cabin. Traveling to a new climate can, likewise, take a toll on your skin—from humid destinations that make you sweat more than normal, to drier terrain where your skin is begging for hydration.

Although leaving your troubles at home when you travel is key, there are some things you’ll definitely want to take with you, and that includes your beauty and skin care essentials—at least whatever you can pack in your case. We sought advice from two frequent travelers: Lauren Devereux, a bicoastal chief of staff who travels weekly from NYC to SF, and Abby Lauren, an experienced makeup artist who travels often and advises many clients who do the same. Here are some of the best travel beauty tips we received from these on-the-go women.

1. DIY Travel-Size Versions of Your Skin Care Essentials

Travel-size products are a must, especially when we live in the era of the carry-on. To keep the TSA happy, you need to keep your beauty products at 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) or less. For Lauren, if she can’t get the travel size of her chosen cream/serum/etc., she’ll DIY them with little bottles she already has. A great tip she shared is using contact lens cases to store small amounts of a product.

2. Keep Your Must-Haves Near and Dear

If you’re packing heavy, make sure your carry-on is where you store your favorite facial products (the ones you can’t live without). This is especially important if your big bag ends up at a different destination. While certain products won’t be available where you’re heading, others may be really expensive, so you’ll be happy to have your essentials with you.

3. Pack Some Extras to Refresh Your Skin on Long Road Trips

Hours on the road can really tire you (and your skin) out. Keeping a refreshing spray like rose water or a soothing toner on hand “helps to keep your skin hydrated and awake,” Abby says, even if you’re on cruise control. Dermstore recommends the UltraCalming Mist by Dermalogica, which is great for sensitive skin and comes in a travel size as well. When you pop out for those crucial photo ops, be sure you’ve got your sunscreen on to protect your skin. And after a long day of driving/adventuring, a serum or other under-eye treatment will be a lifesaver for those bags.

4. Flying Somewhere? Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize 

Up in the air, moisturizing is key because you’re certainly not getting moisture from the recycled, cabin air. For Abby, she suggests shying away from makeup on the plane and prepping by using “a really good night cream the evening before.” When you’re getting ready to get on the flight, “slather on moisturizer—really glob it on,” Lauren says. While you might feel slimy in the air, it’ll help you avoid dry, crusty skin when you land. You could also try a hydrating face mask on the flight because it’ll leave your skin refreshed and glowing when you leave the plane.

Dermstore Recommends: TULA Skincare – Hydrating Day and Night Cream

5. Skin Care Dos and Don’ts for Frequent Flyers

  • Do moisturize and hydrate your skin—especially on a plane or in a dry climate.
  • Do apply lip balm liberally to keep your lips from getting dry.
  • Do protect your skin by wearing sunscreen.
  • Don’t skimp on drinking water. Did we say hydration is important? It is.
  • Don’t wear makeup while traveling—especially not foundation.
  • Don’t sleep in your makeup; always have wipes on hand.

As Abby reminds us, “You don’t want to slack on skin care just because you’re going on a trip!”


Jessica Griffiths

Jessica Griffiths is a writer and content manager living in Brooklyn. Her essays have been published on The Hairpin and Narratively. She loves many things including puns, pups and police procedurals. She strongly believes there’s no wrong way to ea... Read More >