My best tips for keeping skin looking healthy while traveling are the same tips that will help keep your whole body staying healthy while traveling. The older I get the more I strive to keep a healthy lifestyle. I’m not a doctor or health professional so do consult one before you embark on any new exercise or health routine.
Here are my best tips for healthy looking skin while traveling.
Moisturize for healthy looking skin while traveling
Skip the foundation but double up on moisturizer for air travel. Airplanes are low humidity zones, somewhere around 20 percent humidity which is extremely dry. I save small containers to hold my favorite moisturizers and skin care products while I am traveling. That enables me to adhere to the rule of keeping all liquids within a 1-quart size plastic bag. I keep a 1/4 once (7 grams) container of moisturizer to put in my purse or pocket for easy access while on the plane.
Moisturize before getting on the plane and if you are on a long flight re-apply moisturizer during the flight, and especially right before getting of the plane. Your skin will thank you!
My favorite new night cream is Reviva Labs Glycolic Acid Cream. This stuff is magic on my skin! The label states: Exfoliation & Cell Renewal For Mature Skin. At 52 years old I suppose I qualify. I started with the 5% solution and switched over to their 10% formula after about a month. In the morning my skin looks smooth and healthy. I love this stuff!
I loved the Riviva Labs product so much I bought a few moisturizers from them, alas I was not pleased with any of them. The collagen cream felt greasy, the DMAE cream and the eye complex firming cream did nothing for me. Your mileage may vary.
At Natural Grocers I found a moisturizer that works great for my skin, it’s called Andalou Naturals Probiotic +C Renewal Cream. I love the light citrus scent. It contains Fruit Stem Cells – from apple and grape. These are supposed to renew dormant cells, repair damaged cells, and regenerate healthy cells. The label states: Certified organic portfolio of superfruit antioxidants. This moisturizer is light and non-greasy on my sensitive skin.
I often suffer from extremely dry skin on my hands when traveling. A quick trick to exfoliate and moisturize the hands is to grab a packet of sugar and use it as an exfoliating scrub when you wash your hands. A manicurist in Austin taught me that little trick.
To keep your feet smooth and moisturized while traveling bring a pair of socks and some deep penetrating moisturizer to lather on the feet at night. Wear the socks overnight to help seal in the moisture.
Get plenty of sleep
Several years ago I read that getting up at the same time every day helps to regulate the body’s internal clock. Once I started setting my alarm for the same time each morning I began to naturally wake up just before the alarm went off. These days I usually wake up a few minutes before the alarm goes off.
When I visited Costa Rica my alarm clock consisted of howler monkeys and tropical birds at 5 am. I was surprised how quickly I adapted to the earlier wake-up time. Normally my alarm is set for 7 am. In Costa Rica I couldn’t push a snooze button to turn off the howler monkeys so I got up and walked for a couple of hours along the beach – looking at the Caribbean Sea on one side and the tropical rain forest on the other.
Scientists and physicians still do not know the entire reason humans need sleep. We spend almost a third of our life sleeping, so it must be important to our overall health. I think our society underestimates the importance of a good night’s sleep.
When I travel I bring my Bose noise canceling headset, inflatable pillow, and a sleep mask so I can sleep better on the plane. I often use the sleep mask at hotels or hostels as well.
The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, but typically the recommendation is for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. When I travel I find that I often sleep only 5 or 6 hours, mostly because I am a light sleeper and it takes a while to get used to the sounds in a new location. Plus I am always excited about exploring my new location when I travel so I tend to wake up early in the morning while traveling.
Exercise for a healthy complexion
I have noticed that my skin always looks great right after I go swimming. I swim for 1 hour, 3 times per week and even if I am dragging myself to the gym I always feel rejuvenated after swimming. The workout does wonders for my mental well-being as well as physical health. I notice my skin has a healthy glow after my 1 hour swim.
For over 13 years I have been starting my day with a 10 – 30 minute yoga and meditation routine. If I skip a day due to catching an early morning flight from some faraway place, I always feel a little off. I think my decision making skills are not as sharp when I skip my yoga routine.
Maintaining a healthy exercise routine while I am traveling is easy for me because I like to walk and explore my destination. On my latest trip to Barcelona I walked over 12 miles wandering around La Ribera district and Park Ciutadella. Walking at a pace of 3 miles per hour (20 minutes per mile) I should burn just over 200 calories per hour.
I love to try swimming pools in foreign lands. In Medellin Colombia I swam in two of the pools at Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex. In Barcelona I swam at both pools at Monjuic – the Olympic size indoor pool and the smaller diving pool outdoors. If you will be out in the sun for long periods of time remember to wear sun protection. I also like to wear a light-weight t-shirt and shorts to better protect my skin from sunburn. If you have ever gone snorkeling for a few hours and forgot to cover up you may have experienced the somewhat painful lower-bum-sector sunburn. I speak from experience!
Regular exercise has many rewards. The key is to find something you enjoy doing so that you will follow through and exercise regularly. The rewards you will gain throughout life include:
- lower heart rate
- increased metabolism
- increase in energy
- stronger bones and muscles
- improved sleep
- better mood
- healthy looking skin!
Healthy diet gives you healthy skin
Pay attention to the old adage you are what you eat. When trying to have healthy looking skin while traveling one of the best tips is to eat a healthy diet. I like this simple rule from Michael Pollan – Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. I do follow this rule most of the time while at home. I avoid highly processed foods. I avoid sweets. I start my day with a healthy smoothie, I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. I eat foods rich in anti-oxidants and healthy fats like those in fish and avocado.
Avoid sugar and you should see an improvement in how your skin looks. Why is sugar bad for the skin? Sugar causes insulin to increase which causes inflammation and produces enzymes that break down collagen. If you want healthy looking skin you need collagen to keep your skin firm and smooth.
Drink plenty of water
To combat feeling dehydrated when flying I always buy a bottle of water after getting through the security checkpoint. I also ask for two glasses of water when the flight attendants are serving drinks. Keeping hydrated helps the skin to look healthier and it helps to reduce jet lag as well.
Dehydration is brutal on the body. Remember the Rule of Three? The average person can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in extreme conditions, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.
Water makes up about 60 percent of our body weight. Drinking plenty of water every day will keep you and your skin hydrated. How much water do we need to drink? According to the Mayo Clinic website men should have 13 cups (3 liters) and women 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluids per day.
No smoking if you want smooth healthy skin
I quit smoking on April 1st 2000 – around 20 years after I started the nasty habit. I consider smoking to be one of the most foolish things I have done in my life.
If you want healthy skin (and healthy lungs and heart) don’t smoke!
Smoking damages the skin because it impedes blood flow to the skin. Smoking causes premature aging of the skin due to the hundreds of chemicals introduced to your body via smoking. The risks to your heart, lungs, and skin are not worth it.
Always bring your sunscreen when traveling
I used to curse my pale complexion when I was young. My skinned burned so easily I had to wear sunscreen on my face for pretty much any outdoor activities. A couple of times during track and field days in school I finished the day with blisters on my nose from too much sun exposure. I became vigilant about wearing sunscreen and wearing a hat to protect my face from the sun.
Purchasing sunscreen in other countries is sometimes more expensive than in the USA, so I always bring my own sunscreen while traveling. Neutrogena offers several of the high SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreens that are in 3 ounce bottles so I can bring them in my carry-on bag. Sometimes it is difficult to find the higher SPF sunscreens in other countries.
Now my skin is reaping the rewards of avoiding the sun. I am over 50 years old but people are always telling me I don’t look my age. And a big thank you to my parents for passing down the no-way-you-don’t-look-that-old gene to me and my siblings. The older I get the more I protect my face from too much exposure to the sun and wind.
Wear a hat or scarf to protect your skin
A scarf is a must for any traveler simply because it is a great multi-purpose item. I have used a scarf to protect my skin from the wind and sun on many occasions. If I don’t want to wear my scarf all the time I keep it tied around my purse handle or in my daypack. On any hiking trip or boat trip a scarf is a great item to have around. If you get too hot you can wet the scarf to help keep cool or hold it overhead to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Protecting skin from the sun and wind by wrapping a scarf loosely around the face and neck works well.
Take care of your skin and enjoy your travels!
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