6 Ways Summer Travel Can Affect Your Skin

July 11, 2017
Jessie Quinn
By: Jessie Quinn | skincare.com by L'Oréal
6 Ways Summer Travel Can Affect Your Skin

Summer is a perfect time to set your worries aside and enjoy all the beauty that this world has to offer—add traveling during the summer months to that mix and you have a perfect recipe for relaxation! That is, until you look in the mirror after a long flight—or after a few days sitting by the pool—and notice some repercussions from your vacation time. From basking in the warm weather to exploring a new city, summer travel may be a great time to renew and refresh our minds—but, we can’t always say the same for our skin.

Have you ever gone on a trip and experienced an abnormal breakout? How about a bad sunburn? A dry complexion? When it comes to traveling, the list of possible skin ailments can go on for as long as a flight from New York City to Thailand. And though sometimes experiencing a little turbulence when it comes to our skin during travel is inevitable, there are thankfully a few ways to make sure you’re in for more smooth sailing. Below, we share six ways summer travel can affect your skin—and how you can prepare!


A change in the weather can really take a toll on the skin. In humid climates, the skin can appear to be oilier than usual, which in turn can lead to breakouts. And in drier weather, the skin may be more susceptible to dryness. One way to avoid these mishaps is by checking the weather before you go. If you are headed into a humid climate, pack products that are more lightweight and can allow your skin to breathe. You also may want to up your cleansing game, so consider bringing along a cleansing brush—we share our favorite cleansing brush for traveling, here. If the weather is dry, stick with your “wintery” products, like thick creams and oil-based cleansers.


Another factor to keep in mind while traveling this summer is the strength of the sun. The closer you get to the Equator, the more intense the sun can become. If not protected, you’re looking at sunburns, the premature signs of skin aging, and a tight, dry-feeling complexion. Pack broad-spectrum sunscreen and plan to reapply often. We also recommend transferring some aloe vera gel into a travel-sized container to provide your skin with some after-sun relief.


Ever notice that dehydrated feeling you get when you’re traveling above 30,000 feet? No thanks to cabin pressure, airplane travel can wreak havoc on the skin—but don’t worry, there are ways to counter said havoc and it begins long before boarding. The night before your plans to jet set across the globe—or even just one state over—apply a hydrating facial mask to your skin. This can help your skin lock in extra moisture before being exposed to the ultra low humidity levels in a pressurized plane cabin. On the morning of, make sure to apply an SPF 30 or higher, as you may still be exposed to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB through the plane’s windows.

Another way to avoid dehydrating your skin is by steering clear of the bar and being conscientious of your water intake. Alcohol can be rough on the skin and can be linked to dehydration both in the air and on the ground. Pack some TSA-approved in-flight skin care products into your carry-on. And once you’ve deplaned, it may be a good idea to treat your hands to create a quick on-the-go sugar scrub using this flight attendant-approved recipe.


With a change in time comes a change in your sleeping patterns—or lack thereof. Not getting enough rest can do a number on the skin. Sleep gives your body time to refresh and renew itself, and not getting enough sleep can lead to noticeable changes in your complexion—like puffy under-eye bags and dark circles. While there are many different ways to get adjusted to the new time zone —and we recommend whatever works best for you—we like to take a quick catnap after checking into our hotel to give ourselves some extra energy before heading out to explore a new city. And, if you’re staying somewhere tropical, you could always schedule your excursions for the day after your arrival, that way you have a day to snooze and relax by the pool or beach before a big day of adventure.  


Whether you’re on a plane, taking a bus tour, or waiting in line at a public restroom, germs are everywhere. And with germs comes bacteria that could hit you with a nasty cold and wreak havoc on your skin. One way to avoid germs is to avoid touching your face. If you are holding onto a railing while in line at an amusement park, touching your face immediately after is probably not the best idea. Think of all of the people who touched that railing and all of the germs that you have now just spread across your face. Be extra aware of germs while traveling, carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your backpack or purse, and wash your hands before going near the face.

Note: Posting your photos on social media or catching up on what’s going on back at home while you’re traveling? Clean your smartphone before you make your next call or else you may end up transferring all those germs from your hands to your screen to your face—no, thank you!


Don’t get us wrong, we love those tiny bottles of body lotion and cleanser that hotels leave us in the bathroom of our hotel suite. But, those products and our skin don’t always get along. It doesn’t hurt to bring your own TSA-approved skin care products along with you, as a vacation may not be the best time to expose your skin to a new product, especially if said product makes you break out, gives you dry skin, and so on. Nowadays, most brands offer travel-sized versions of your favorite products. And if they don’t, you can always purchase a set of travel-size bottles—they’re inexpensive, can be reused, and are easy to find at a nearby drugstore—and transfer your go-to products accordingly.

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